Bitcoin (BTC) has gained 30% in a week and topped out at $23,777 on Dec. 16 — but hardly anyone in the world knows yet, data suggests.
According to charts tracking public awareness of what Bitcoin has done recently, interest is still a fraction of what it was during its run to previous all-time highs exactly three years ago in 2017.
Anyone who regularly reads crypto Twitter, also known informally as “CT,” may have the impression that the entire social network revolves around Bitcoin price action in 2020.
This is not the case, however, as statistics show that beyond CT, Bitcoin’s highs and lows this year are hardly a trend.
The status quo is only now beginning to change, but according to analytics resource TheTIE, tweet levels are only roughly where they were in January 2018, already after Bitcoin hit just under $20,000.
While roughly moving in step with price action, Twitter activity is indicative of a curious reversal in sentiment when it comes to Bitcoin and the mainstream. Consumers seeing headlines about price bubbles and criminal machinations genuinely appear to have dismissed crypto altogether — with the exception of the odd surprise publicity campaign.
The theory holds true when looking at the popularity of Bitcoin on Wikipedia. Pageviews in December 2020 are but a small uptick on an otherwise flat landscape.
Compared to January 2018, there is no contest — appetite for learning what Bitcoin is was an order of magnitude higher than today.
Interestingly, even the crisis surrounding Covid-19 and its impact on markets in March, combined with Bitcoin’s record recovery to all-time highs, failed to catch the attention of the majority.
Lastly, a global measure of what internet users are searching for underscores how little exposure Bitcoin has right now — and the potential for it to transform.
In what is perhaps the most surprising chart of all, according to Google Trends data, the term “Bitcoin” is less popular this week than in earlier in December or even November.
Even May’s block subsidy halving event proved more popular than this week’s all-time price highs, suggesting once again that people inclined to Google about Bitcoin at all already have some specific interest in cryptocurrency more generally. Mainstream consumers have no incentive to become involved — or so they think.
The evidence all points to the fact that Bitcoin, despite being a different asset to what it was three years ago, has not even touched mainstream consciousness. Institutions, however, are already ahead of the game.
Commenting on the phenomenon, popular Twitter account Polkadot Brown said that his personal contacts are only prepared to buy — paradoxically — once BTC/USD hits new all-time highs.
“This is the mentality of most retail investors,” he wrote.
“Right now institutions are getting in on dips so they can dump on X2 from here. The next bear market won’t happen until we hit a $50k #BTC.”