Bitcoin is in an uptrend and will likely breach the all-important liquidation line at $72,000. At the spot rate, the coin is up approximately 25% from May lows and may rally, even breaking all-time highs of $73,800.

Retail Interest In Bitcoin Falling Even As Prices Approach All-Time Highs

Even as Bitcoin prints impressive higher highs, Mike Alfred, a “value investor” and an active crypto commentator, has identified a surprising disconnect: organic search engine traffic on Google is dropping. Apart from the spike in search from Q4 2023 till early January 2024, the trend has been southwards since then.

Bitcoin price versus searches | Source: @mikealfred via X

The upswing in organic searches on Google during this period is primarily due to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) preparing to approve the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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The excitement ahead of this milestone and the multi-year wait not only saw BTC prices rally but also improved sentiment. Subsequently, more people, mostly new to the industry, were eager to learn more about the digital asset.

Bitcoin price trending upward on the daily chart | Source: BTCUSDT on Binance, TradingView
Bitcoin price trending upward on the daily chart | Source: BTCUSDT on Binance, TradingView

The rally from Q4 2023 has not fizzled and continues to spot rates. Bitcoin dipped in February before bouncing sharply, breaking $70,000 and printing new all-time highs at $73,800. Even though prices fell weeks later, dipping to as low as $56,500 in May, bulls are preparing to take higher prices.

However, unlike the interest seen from Q4 2023 through early January 2024, organic searches, as mentioned, are unusually falling. Alfred argues that this divergence points towards an “institutionally driven bull market” and still “early.”

In the past, and before the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, retailers played a big role in driving price and sentiment. However, institutions are in play with the products available in the United States.

One observer notes that these market participants tend to exhibit “committed ownership,” negating the need for constant online searches.

Encouragingly, the absence of retailers in this cycle–extending from the search in organic searches–signifies a drop in speculative buying. Subsequently, in the current state, the Bitcoin market is more liquid and stable than before.

Increasing Awareness, Affordability A Reason?

There are several explanations behind the drop in organic searches on Google and other search engines. Though institutions might be behind the rally, the decline is because the general awareness of Bitcoin has rapidly grown over the years.

Of note, the availability of spot Bitcoin ETFs and widespread media coverage have boosted the coin’s recognition.

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Besides this, there is another aspect of affordability. With the price hovering around $71,200, purchasing a whole Bitcoin is out of reach for many. In return, this dampens retail investor enthusiasm, leading them to consider cheaper altcoins like Dogecoin or Solana.

Feature image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView

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