Price provides one indication of the value of Bitcoin. Google search statistics provide another.
Last year around this time, Bitcoin hovered at a value of more than US$1,000. Since then, the price has dropped as much as 65% and has not returned to the same levels. Many speculate that such price drops are early warning signs that Bitcoin is on the road to failure. The search giant Google contradicts this conclusion. According to a company email, Bitcoin searches have risen by 38% in the last few weeks.
We can interpret these numbers in a number of ways. But this is evident: The price of Bitcoin during a certain period does not show the whole picture regarding Bitcoin´s popularity. Several other statistics are relevant when considering Bitcoin acceptance. A rapid rise of 38% in Google searches for the cryptocurrency is significant. The number of daily Bitcoin transactions has also doubled during the past year.
An article in Techcrunch implied that people are buying and selling in large chunks instead of making smaller consumer purchases, but if we look at the above chart, this does not make sense. It shows that daily transactions began to rise at roughly the same time that larger retail and service companies began announcing Bitcoin as a payment option.
Merchant acceptance is one of the largest indicators of the strength of Bitcoin. While many merchants, large and small, refuse Bitcoin acceptance, some of the largest businesses in the world have been adding Bitcoin as a payment option over the last twelve months. Recently, even Ford Motor Company recognized this trend away from traditional payment methods.
Merchants who decided two decades ago against using personal computers usually failed. Non-acceptance of Bitcoin may lead to a similar catastrophe for those who fail to keep up with changing times.
The reason that merchants have begun to accept Bitcoin is simple: Customers are requesting it as a payment option. Microsoft recently began accepting Bitcoin on a limited basis. The company admitted that digital currencies such as Bitcoin were becoming much more popular:
“The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue, and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.”
The news that Google searches for Bitcoin have increased should not come as a surprise considering widespread merchant acceptance. Price trends are good indicators of the strength of a specific market, but rarely do they indicate the popularity of a specific market item. Orange juice is one example. A mild winter in citrus-producing states will cause a significant drop in the price of orange juice. This hardly translates to the failure of orange juice as a breakfast drink.
The same is true for Bitcoin. A drop in price does not necessarily mean a drop in popularity.
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