- Searches online in Britain for bitcoin are down 61% so far this year
- Peak search engine traffic was on 17 December – just as the price hit its top
- Worldwide Google Trends data shows searches are at lowest level since October
The number of people searching for bitcoin online both in Britain and worldwide has fallen sharply since the start of the year, data for This is Money shows.
Searches for the digital currency reached their summit in the week starting 17 December 2017, which is exactly when the price peaked at nearly $20,000 a coin.
The correlation shows that many novice investors may have piled into the cryptocurrency at the price peak.
It means some may have been stung since as the price has more than halved.
Losing interest? Search engine data shows that the amount of people looking online for bitcoin has slumped in 2018
According to exclusive data for This is Money by analytics firm Hitwise, UK searches for bitcoin have fallen 61 per cent so far in 2018 compared to the end of 2017.
Hitwise analyses the online behaviour of 3million Britons, using the likes of Google, Bing and app data.
The price of bitcoin fell from the peak of $19,343 on 16 December to $6,914 on 5 February.
It has since recovered, but today has slid back to $8,500 a coin – a 25 per cent dip compared to Monday.
In the three weeks previous today, bitcoin had been going through a relatively stable time compared to previous spells for the often volatile digital currency.
It had fluctuated between $9,500 and $11,500 since 14 February to yesterday after that sharp fall from December.
Pattern: The top graph from Google Trends showing search engine data from bitcoin is similar to the one below of the price – both peaked at around the same
Data for This is Money by Hitwise Monitor in December showed that searches for bitcoin were up 819 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year as interest in the digital currency snowballed.
Furthermore, data from Google Trends – which is a barometer of how popular a certain topic is – shows that worldwide searches for bitcoin are at their lowest level since October 2017.
This indicates that appetite for the cryptocurrency around the globe has slowed substantially.
Last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called for cryptocurrency regulation and said bitcoin and rivals exhibit ‘classic hallmarks of bubbles’ attracting ‘fools’.
The Bank’s Financial Policy Committee is carrying out a study into the risks posed to UK financial stability by cryptocurrencies.
A host of regulators including in South Korea, China, Russia and India have already expressed concern about bitcoin, while Germany’s Bundesbank has also called for global regulation.