By CCN Markets: Since early 2019, search engine interest for the keyword “bitcoin” has nearly doubled, according to data from Google Trends.
However, with consumer interest still down nearly 90 percent from its all-time high, there’s a strong possibility the crypto boom has more room to run.
Google: Bitcoin Searches Still Down 88% from 2017 Peak
The sharp fall in the bitcoin price from above $6,000 to $3,150 in December 2018 led many investors to despair. Others simply lost interest, leading to a mammoth decline in crypto-related search queries.
As the bitcoin price recovered from $3,150 to $10,915 in just a six-month span, search interest for the asset increased. But, even now, it is nowhere close to the enthusiasm seen in the 2017 bull market during which the bitcoin price peaked at $20,000.
On a scale of 100, in the 2017 bull market, the interest for bitcoin peaked at 100. In comparison to 2017, the popularity of the keyword as of June 2019 hovers at around 12, down a remarkable 88 percent from 2017.
In 2017, virtually every mainstream media outlet in major crypto markets – including Japan, the U.S., and South Korea – provided extensive coverage of bitcoin, fueling fear of missing out (FOMO) among investors.
Primarily triggered by demand from retail or individual investors, the bitcoin price established a new all-time high at $20,000 in the global market, reaching as high as $23,000 in South Korea due to market premiums.
The recent crypto market rally is said to have been led by institutions rather than retail investors. Based on Google Trends interest, it is evident that retail interest in bitcoin does not even compare to the interest seen in 2017.
“Institutional investors comprised the highest percentage of total demand for Grayscale products in the first quarter (73%). This was also consistent with their share of inflows over the trailing twelve months (73%). As we have mentioned in previous reports, many institutional investors may view the current drawdown as an attractive entry point to add to their core positions in digital assets,” Grayscale’s Q1 report read.
The bitcoin price continues to push toward new year-to-date highs. | Source: TradingView
Hence, if the inflow of capital from institutional investors generally led the market to recover in the past six months without much retail interest, analysts speculate that once retail investors begin to get involved, the market should see the formation of even larger momentum.
Earlier this week, Fundstrat co-founder Thomas Lee indicated that the bitcoin price could easily reach $20,000 to $40,000 after piercing its $10,000 “FOMO level.”
“To be more clear, we looked at past fear of missing out (FOMO) periods; so when does bitcoin trade within three percent of its historical price levels and that was roughly $10,000 for bitcoin. And looking at the past bull cycles, once you breach that FOMO level, bitcoin typically rallies 200 to 400 percent.”
Retail Investors Haven’t Even Joined the Crypto Party Yet
Despite the strong recovery of bitcoin in 2019 and its breach of a key psychological level at $10,000, it may take a long time for disgruntled retail investors to forget the brutal 16-month correction throughout 2018 and 2019.
As such, some investors like Vinny Lingham foresee bitcoin stabilizing at $10,000 for now after essentially tripling in the past six months.