Are people searching more for news about bitcoin or North Korea?
According to recently released data from Google, bitcoin may be on top. As detailed in the search giant's "Year in Search 2017," an overview of what was trending in 2017, bitcoin ranked second under the "Global News" category, a distinction that indicates search volume was higher for the technology than even some of the year's more talked-about news events including the Les Vegas shooting and this year's Solar Eclipse.
Similarly, "How to buy bitcoin" also took the third spot under the list's "How to..." search category.
In this way, the news perhaps provides context by putting an estimate on just how strong the attention on bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been in 2017 during what was a historic run-up in market prices.
As charted by the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), the price of bitcoin grew by 20x over the course of 2017, rising from roughly $900 in January to an all-time-high at $19,783 in December. The cryptocurrency market capitalization also topped over $650 billion, up from $17 billion since early January, data from CoinMarketCap shows.
Yet what's also interesting is that users from outside the U.S. seem to be boosting bitcoin's overall ranking. In a U.S. country breakdown, for instance, Google's data indicates that bitcoin-related terms ranked lower than they did on the global breakdown.
Indeed, searching "bitcoin" in Google Trends reveals the countries most contributing to current volume include South Africa, Slovenia, Netherlands, Nigeria and Austria, while the U.S. ranks 16th on the list.
Screen capture from Google Trend. Globe image via CoinDesk's archive.