Public curiosity about cryptocurrency and bitcoin has declined bigly over the last year. Google Trends search interest over time for “cryptocurrency,” “bitcoin,” and “bitcoin price” queries is respectively 26%, 36%, and 29% of what it was last March.
Google doesn’t publish the number of searches, but that is a massive drop off from whatever number of searches these terms were getting a year ago.
Google Trends “Cryptocurrency” Interest Over Time
Google Trends “Bitcoin” Interest Over Time
Google Trends “Bitcoin Price” Interest Over Time
Search Interest Tends to Follow Bitcoin’s Price
Big and sudden increases in bitcoin’s price garner greater amounts of earned media attention, and the extra publicity drives search interest, which can further pump the price.
But at some point in the market adoption life cycle for Bitcoin, somewhere amid the transition from the Visionary stage of Early Adopters to the Pragmatic stage of the Early Majority, mainstream public interest could pique and lead to a swell of Early Majority adopters.
Bitcoin thought leader Andreas Antonopoulos says sudden spikes of interest in bitcoin by the pragmatic Early Majority will be precipitated by moments of currency crisis with the money they use every day. At that time they will learn about and adopt bitcoin because it’s more pragmatic to hold and use for cash than their own currency.
Of course it’s up to developers and entrepreneurs to build the technologies, platforms, and businesses around bitcoin to push it past that tipping point.
Where it’s just more practical to use bitcoin for the average person whose currency is crashing or who has to go to a lot more trouble to get a bank account.
That’s the pragmatic early majority.
The Next Bitcoin Price Quake
Bitcoin’s price seems to be on an increasingly stable equilibrium seeking trajectory in its current paradigm. It’s getting some lift in 2019 out of institutional investing joining the game.
But the kind of exciting movements that we saw bitcoin make in 2017 will require more mass than institutional investing can muster alone.
The next bitcoin bull run will also be fueled by the use of bitcoin as cash for daily small payments via mass merchant and consumer adoption of payment apps that support bitcoin.
When Bitcoin reaches that stage of market adoption, we’ll learn just how undervalued it was before a majority of people began using it on a daily basis.
Visa may give us some idea: It processes $2 trillion in payments a quarter.