BTC interest on Google Trends appears to be getting manipulated as Bitcoin prices rise

Posted: 3 September 2019 4:07 pm
News

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It's not clear what's going on with Google Trends search interest for "BTC", but it's definitely weird.

Search interest for "BTC" has suddenly spiked off the charts, proverbially speaking. More literally speaking, the chart has found a new benchmark for "100".

Here's what worldwide search interest for "BTC" (in blue) and "Bitcoin" (in red) looks like over the last five years.

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This totally natural and organic volume spike for "BTC" has swiftly taken it to a new all-time high.

Zooming in, here's what that looks like over the last seven days. It appears to have begun a few days ago, with the ebbs and flows running through a perfect 24-hour cycle day by day. At the time of writing, we're still a few hours off today's "BTC" search peak.

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Manipulation?

The first thing we should do is look for some kind of rational explanation for this. But we won't because it's obviously being manipulated.

The vast majority of that search interest is, according to Google Trends, coming from Romania at the time of writing.

But when you randomly pick out any country, or really any individual location of a country, from Google Trends, you'll find a similar spiky search pattern.

Here's what search interest for "BTC" in Guadeloupe looks like right now, for example.

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The same spikes are visible in a more consistent fashion in other countries with a larger population, but will probably be found in various forms in every country in the world right now.

It's safe to say the entire world hasn't suddenly gone crazy for "BTC" (as opposed to "Bitcoin"), which strongly suggests manipulation.

At the same time, various other Internet search volume gadgets aren't showing the same thing. They're still showing the usual balance of "Bitcoin" to "BTC" Internet searches, with "Bitcoin" being several times more popular than "BTC".

Of course, Google Trends isn't a direct search volume tool, and careless interpretation can lead to bad conclusions, but the reasonably large existing search volume for "BTC", the perfect 24-hour cycles and the apparent universality of this trend strongly suggests that this is some deliberate type of manipulation rather than a natural statistical anomaly.

The strangest part may be that whatever's going on here seems to be confined to Google Trends. It may or may not be manipulation and it may or may not mean anything, but barring any obvious oversights, whatever's going on here is 100% guaranteed weird.

Bitcoin breaking back through $10,000

That said, Bitcoin prices have definitely been climbing today, although it almost certainly has nothing to do with the "BTC" weirdness. It's back above $10,000 with gusto, cracking through several technical indicators in the process, and Bitcoin dominance according to CoinMarketCap has topped 70% for the first time since March 2017.



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Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.

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