Google has just published its annual Year in Search query statistics for 2018 and the biggest question of last year was “What is Bitcoin?” According to Google Trends, searches for the term “Bitcoin” have declined rapidly since 2017, but web users querying its definition led internet searches last year.
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2018’s Most Asked Question of the Year — What Is Bitcoin?
In 2017, one of the biggest terms searched on Google was “Bitcoin” as the price rose significantly throughout the whole year. However, following all-time highs, bitcoin prices declined exponentially in 2018, losing roughly 80 percent of the gains captured up until Dec. 17, 2017. With the price decline in 2018, interest in the technology also lost momentum, as reflected in waning “Bitcoin” Google searches. There was one cryptocurrency related query that topped Google’s Year in Search results for 2018 however and that was: “What is Bitcoin?”
Top trending U.K. (left) and U.S. (right) “What is…?” queries in 2018.
In more populated regions like the U.K. and the U.S., people pondering the definition of Bitcoin has outpaced questions about the GDPR, Ibex, government shutdowns, upskirting, and the video game Fortnite. Asking what bitcoin is was questioned the most in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, and the U.S. People also asked what Ethereum is and searched for information on Bitcoin forks as well in the related queries section. Other related topics include the “stock market,” “exchange-traded funds (ETF),” and cryptocurrency “debit cards.”
Where “What is Bitcoin?” was asked the most.
Cryptocurrency Apps Are Still Trending
Squre’s bitcoin Cash App was the 17th most popular free app in 2018.
Search for “What is Bitcoin?”, at least in the U.S, and the browser provides a definition of the technology. “[Bitcoin] is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank,” explains the search engine. This definition is followed by a slew of Bitcoin-related Youtube video explainers, pictures of the digital currency’s symbol, and a wide variety of editorials that detail what Bitcoin actually is and what it means to certain authors.
These days people love to see data that stems from Google trends and other large corporations like Apple. The California tech giant Apple recently released its 2018 top app store applications and a platform that supports bitcoin, called the Cash App, was the 17th most popular free iPhone application. This week, the Cash App, developed by Square, also surpassed top payment platforms like Paypal on Apple’s app store. The Coinbase application has been a top cryptocurrency app as well multiple times in 2018. Many cryptocurrency platforms are also still capturing the top trending apps on the Google Play store.
A chart of the question’s queries over the last five years. “What is Bitcoin?” was the most popular Google “What is…” search in 2018.
Individuals Between 35-44 Have the Hardest Time Understanding Bitcoin
Google’s Year in Search statistics which highlighted Bitcoin evoke the audience intelligence report done by Pulsar back in March 2018. Over a certain period of time, Pulsar’s comprehensive study analyzed five million cryptocurrency mentions across popular social media channels. The underlying message within Pulsar’s survey indicated that mainstream audiences still are asking “What is bitcoin?” Furthermore, the research report says this question is asked by audiences of all age groups but people aged 35-44 have a particularly hard time understanding the technology.
So even though cryptocurrency markets have lost considerable value, the most popular 2018 search on Google pertaining to Bitcoin can at least give proponents confidence that the technology is still grasping the world’s attention.
What do you think about the question “What is Bitcoin?” topping Google’s 2018 Year in Search trends? Do you think this is a meaningful metric? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Google Browser, Google Trends, and Pixabay.
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