According to Google Trends, the volume of searches on bitcoin remained more or less stable during 2019 compared to 2018, although in reality, it was not at all constant.
In fact, when the price increases, searches for the word bitcoin on Google also increase. And so, of course, the highest peak ever recorded was in December 2017 with search volumes also high in January 2018 and June 2019.
Nigeria at the top of the charts
The most curious thing, however, is the data regarding the geographical distribution of this research.
In fact, in 2019 most of these were in African countries, with Nigeria at the top. This is a very populous country, with over 200 million inhabitants.
Moreover, considering that Google is used very little in China, for example, it is not so surprising that in 2019 the country with the most Google searches for the term bitcoin was Nigeria.
But the cause is probably not only the high population since other smaller African countries are also in the top 5 of this ranking, namely South Africa and Ghana.
In particular, in Nigeria after the peak of June 2019 the volume of searches remained high, probably due to two queries that have seen a significant surge in search volumes during the year: “mr benson bitcoin“, which is sought basically only in Nigeria and only from June 2019, and “bitcoin loophole“, which is also very sought after in the Middle East.
As for South Africa, the second country for number of searches of the word bitcoin on Google, the queries associated with more searches were “bitcoin wallet ladysmith” and “bitcoin era“.
The query “mr benson bitcoin” actually refers to a piece of music, called Bitcoins, by a singer who is probably Nigerian, Mr Benson. Therefore it is not really about bitcoin directly.
Whereas the other queries mentioned so far refer to online offers of a dubious entity or actual scams that evidently managed to attract a lot of interest.
The curious thing is that in Ghana searches have focused on the bitcoin currency and in particular on its value in US dollars and the latest news about it.
Austria is in third place in this ranking, while Switzerland is in fifth place.
Bitcoin Halving on Google Trends
However, since the generic search for the term “bitcoin” often does not refer directly to the currency, it is worth analysing the search for “bitcoin halving” instead.
This search began to grow significantly in mid-December 2019, with an increase in volume of about 5 times in the last 4 months.
Considering only the last 90 days, the countries where the largest search volumes for this query have been carried out are Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia.
In Singapore, the “bitcoin halving” query is the main query associated with bitcoin, and this shows a very wide and specific interest on the issue of halving.
In Austria, the local Bitpanda exchange plays a key role, and it is no coincidence that it is the single fastest-growing query among those related to bitcoin.
In Switzerland, among the queries associated with more searches in the last 90 days, there are “bitcoin profit” and “bitcoin pro”, which are services of a more than dubious nature, more or less similar to those sought in South Africa.
Unfortunately, also in Slovenia, the most growing associated query is “bitcoin revolution”, which is another proposal of doubtful nature.
In the Netherlands, the query most searched for in the last 90 days has been “carice van houten“, a Dutch actor and songwriter who has been involved in one of the classic hoaxes that involve VIPs without their knowledge to promote phantom automatic trading software.
A not very rosy picture
Although on the one hand, the good and legitimate interest in bitcoin halving is on the rise, on the other, a lot of interest in bitcoin-related research seems, unfortunately, to be channelled by scams, Ponzi schemes or proposals of a very dubious nature that promise false earnings.
However, it is likely that the proximity of the halving and a possible further strong rise in price could contribute to the overtaking of good searches on the bad ones.