As Bitcoin Surges, Google Searches Suggest Little FOMO Among Retail Investors

Web search data suggests popular interest in bitcoin remains at normal levels, despite a sharp price rally to near $16,000.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2020 at 11:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:28 a.m. UTC

Web search data suggests popular interest in bitcoin remains at normal levels, despite a sharp price rally to near $16,000.

  • The top cryptocurrency has chalked up a nearly 50% gain in the past four weeks to trade as high as $15,971 earlier on Friday – a level last seen during the bull market frenzy between December 2017 and January 2018.
  • Some observers say the rally is now being driven higher by retail greed and fear of missing out (FOMO). However, Google data suggests otherwise.
  • Google Trends, a barometer used to gauge general interest in trending topics, is currently returning a value of 10 for the worldwide search query "bitcoin price."
  • That's significantly lower than the value of 93 observed in early December 2017 following bitcoin's record break above $15,000.
  • The current reading is also lower than the peak of 19 observed in the second week of May when bitcoin underwent its third mining reward "halving."
  • Google's data suggests retail investors are showing calm over bitcoin's recent rally and the market is far from being in a state of bull frenzy.
  • Google search values typically rise following a major bull run as high street investors, who missed the early rise, often scan the internet for price information before joining the market.
  • Google Trends provides access to a mostly unfiltered sample of actual search requests made to Google and scales their searches on a range of 0 to 100, according to the company.
CoinDesk - Unknown
Values for worldwide search query "Bitcoin Price"
  • FOMO action is widely considered a sign of an asset nearing a major top as retailers are usually the last to join the market.
  • But with popular interest still relatively low, it seems safe to say that FOMO is yet to take hold of the market and the ongoing institutional-driven rally has legs.
  • Bitcoin peaked at a record high of $20,000 in mid-December 2017. At the same time, the worldwide search query "Bitcoin Price" touched 100 on Google Trends.
  • It's worth noting, though, that a high search value does not necessarily translate into increased buying pressure. Often investors search for information, but remain on the fence.
  • At press time, bitcoin is trading near $15,588, representing a 118% gain on a year-to-date basis. The figure of $15,971 reached early Friday was a 33-month high.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about