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From Google to Baidu, Bitcoin Searches Jump as Retail Buyers Stir

Search engine queries for “bitcoin” are at a 16-month high according to Google Trends; and are making a dent on China’s Baidu too.

Although we are not back at the heady heights of late 2017, interest has picked up markedly.

The all-time high is scored at 100 by Google Trends, with the current level worldwide on 25.

The last time searches were running at that pitch was in the week 18-24 February 2018.

Searches for bitcoin are most prevalent in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana.

Coinbase highlights that in the US bitcoin now outstrips “kim kardashian” and “royal wedding”, in a sure sign that the digital currency has returned to capture a valuable slice of the cultural zeitgeist.

Whether or not Google searches are a leading or lagging indicator has been the subject of much debate, but whichever side you come down on, it at minimum reflects where the price is in today’s renewed bullish environment.

Bitcoin catching up on Trump

We did our own comparison, adding in “Donald Trump”. That’s not to say Kim K is not as popular as she ever was, but the US president feels like a better signifier.

By that measure bitcoin has some catching up to do but the trajectory is excellent.

Pulling out from the year view to the past five years, we can see that the last time bitcoin overtook the president was in December 2017

Chinese banks, Baidu and the bitcoin price

After hitting a near-term high at $13,800 the bitcoin price has pulled back sharply but, the uptrend is still in tact.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $12,111 after falling in the Asia session, perhaps as a result of the trade war truce breaking out between China and the US at the G20.

China is thought to have driven a lot of the recent buying. And it is not just the trade dispute that has the country’s investors jumpy and increasingly open to taking a position in bitcoin.

The government has been pumping money into medium-sized regional banks after being forced to step in and take over the failing Baoshang Bank.

Bad debts emanating chiefly from the property market mean banks are carrying sizeable portfolios of non-performing debt.

Add to that the general deflationary nature of the policies of the major central banks, and bitcoin becomes an attractive hedge against monetary dovishness – and no more so than in China.

So while we are on China, what are people searching for on Baidu with a crypto slant?

Under its ‘hot spot’ section (Google Translates), the keywords “bitcoin returns to $10,000” is in the list of top searches at number 48, and is rising.

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Bitcoin at $100,000 By End 2021 Says Morgan Creek’s Pompliano

Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital is the latest industry notable to call a price target of $100,00 for bitcoin, which he expects to be hit before the end of 2021.

‘The Pomp’, as he is known in crypto circles, correctly predicted that bitcoin would bottom in the $3,000s before rising again.

In his Off
The Chain email newsletter (and podcast)
, he writes:

“This prediction of a ~50% drop in Bitcoin’s price was met with plenty of skepticism, but it ultimately proved to be accurate. Bitcoin proceeded to drop under $3,200 in December 2018 before recovering and shooting past a $10,000 price this past Friday.”

See his tweet below trumpeting his “deadly accurate” prediction for the bitcoin price floor of the bear market.

Now he is targeting $100,000 by end 2021 on the basis of “supply/demand economics”, with demand increasing and supply contracting.

Demand-side pressures “include large scale institutional
adoption, multiple ETF and retail product approvals, increased global
instability, lack of performance in traditional markets, and the continued
manipulation of markets, economies, and currencies by governments around the
world”.

And on the supply side, block rewards are halved in May
2020.

The Pomp assigns a “70-75%” confidence level to his prediction.

And just in case you didn’t know that crypto investing is
risky. The Pomp provides the following reminder of the volatility of the asset
class

“An investment in Bitcoin will deliver approximately a 10x
return if I am correct in my $100,000 price target, while the risk is a
complete loss of invested capital (-1x).”

Bitcoin to add “trillions in value” says Clem Chambers

There is more bullish optimism in evidence on the other side
of the pond.

Bitcoin is set to add “trillions in value” to the global
economy says Clem Chambers, chief executive of Online Blockchain plc, which trades
on London’ Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market.

“This is no difference to the rally and bubble of 2017. In
both cases it is driven by the blockchain revolution set to add trillions in
value to the world economy,” says Chambers.

Bitcoin, traded as high at 11,150 over the weekend, with
multiple analysts predicting the price could reach new all-time highs.

Chambers agrees: “There will be cycles of boom, bubble and
bust and this is another boom/bubble part of that. How high it goes this time
is anyone’s guess but mine is above the previous high.”

Chambers provides some perspective as FOMO threatens to
reappear in the crypto markets:

“The whole cryptocurrency space is still only the size of a
single Nasdaq blue chip so there is a long way to go yet,” he points out.

CNBC Squawk Box anchor Kernen turning into bitcoin (BTC) true believer?

And the crypto penny seems to be dropping in some unexpected
quarters.

Joe Kernen, the anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box, put it like this in conversation with one of his guests.

Corporation get all the float. Fiat is currency for governments, libra is currency for corporations. Only bitcoin is currency for the people. I’m feeling like an evangelist almost. Who put facebook in charge of giving currency to the rest of the world… who anointed them. That would be the last person I’d give the keys to.

Barry Silbert thinks Kernen might be turning into a believer:

Google Trends shows retail FOMO hasn’t kicked in yet

Coming back to FOMO, its look lie it hasn’t even got started
yet. Worldwide searches for ‘bitcoin’ is at 16, where December 2017, the
all-time high,  is 100.

No retail bitcoin FOMO yet

Driving the market higher are people already in the know who
had perhaps been sitting out the crypto winter.

Loose money helping bitcoin

Trace Mayer, a crypto podcaster with 58,000 followers, has posted an interesting chart showing the correlation with the bitcoin price and the US Treasury 10-Year note (inverted). See below.

He succinctly highlights one of the macros that has been
cementing the bullish sentiment in the market even before Facebook turned up.

The central bankers are looking into a future that may
produce a global recession in a year or two, or even sooner if the trader war
goes full on and world trade contracts accordingly.

In Europe investors are effectively paying governments to
buy their debt (negative interest rate).

Whether mainstream investors are sold on bitcoin is a mute point but an increasing number perhaps are, or will be.

“With $gold & $BTC rallies, perhaps look at $USD’s problems like yield curve, interest rate, trade wars, tariffs, etc. Plus, Chinese bank failures, negative yielding Euro debt & emerging markets getting whacked.#Bitcoin perfectly designed for this environment,” tweets Mayer.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Leads Google Trends Most Commonly Asked in 2018

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While market prices continue to look shaky for cryptocurrency and the broader altcoin market, Bitcoin managed to score a minor win on the day. According to the analytics trending tool published by Google, “What is Bitcoin?” was the most searched phrase for the question-asking category for 2018. Both United States and United Kingdom Google users searched for information about the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization more than any other topic, giving an indication that–while some would proclaim the technology a bubble in the process of bursting–there still remains interest in the field of cryptocurrency.

Rounding out the top five included “What is racketeering,” “What is DACA,” “What is a government shutdown” and “What is Good Friday.” Bitcoin’s top position for Google’s rankings comes at a time when the currency is experiencing its relative lowest point for the year. Last week EWN reported on the state of the crypto markets in 2018, with BTC experiencing its worst monthly loss in November since August 2011. The price fall for Bitcoin comes at the tail end of an already bearish year for cryptocurrency, seeing the entire market capitalization tumble from over $800 billion to its present value of $110 billion.

Bitcoin, in particular, has ceded its share of losses, dropping from close to $20,000 at the end of December 2017 to today’s trading price of $3500. While some analysts have pointed to indicators that BTC and the crypto markets may be entering oversold territory, with a potential bounce coming for investors, others have pointed to a much dire future for crypto into next year.

News of search interest for the cryptocurrency is a welcomed sight for investors amidst the price fall, with many claiming a fundamental lack of understanding by the general population for being a catalyst to Bitcoin’s recent price drop. As opposed to learning about the technology and the potential for cryptocurrency, investors through money at BTC, altcoins and ICOs with abandon throughout 2017’s bull run, leading to the bloated market prices to start the year that would inevitably lead to the crash.

With the conversation shifting from the daily price movement of Bitcoin and the money to be made from investing in the digital asset, industry enthusiasts are hoping to garner more focus on the development and adoption for the technology. Last year saw “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” become to buzz words, similar to the social media and app-development frenzy in the early part of this decade, which fueled unrealistic expectations for the industry. Bitcoin, as a technology, was unprepared to handle the influx of consumers, which led to the service becoming nearly unusable with skyrocketing transaction fees and unacceptable confirmation times. Detractors of the digital asset quickly latched onto the flaws of the currency under high network stress, leading to a negative shift in sentiment for the viability of cryptocurrency and contributing to the growing investment uncertainty.

With the market turned at the start of the year, it did so with equal ferocity to the bull run which ended 2017. Now, entering the final month of 2018, the majority of currencies are sitting on over 90 percent losses since their last all time high, with most financial analysts calling for further crypto blood and claiming that the bubble has finally popped.

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