14 Apr 2020

Search interest for the 'bitcoin halving' reaches all-time high

Data from Google Trends show that searches for the term “bitcoin halving” have reached a new all-time high, surpassing the top from the last halving event in 2016, but the interest is still insignificant compared to stand alone searches for “bitcoin”.
Searches for bitcoin halving to ATH.png
With a new halving event coming up for Bitcoin, we see that the interest is increasing as well. With a steady growth in search volume throughout 2019, we’ve now passed the old highs from 2016. As the current interest now is more persistent and has built for longer than in 2016, the search volume is actually 3x higher than in 2016, when you collapse the data over a longer time period. It is now less than a month to the halving event where Bitcoin’s yearly production will be cut in half, decreasing from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC per block. The current estimate is that this will happen on May 12th.
Several factors may be behind the recent surge
Plan B and the $100,000 per coin
The popular Stock-to-flow model has gained popularity throughout 2019 and 2020, and may have caused increased interest in the bitcoin supply schedule and halvings. This model predicts a bitcoin price around $100,000 after the halving, as the supply of new bitcoin drops.
The BCH and BSV halvings came early
It could also be that the recent halvings of the two bitcoin forks, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, have impacted the search volumes linked to Bitcoin (BTC). People might have been searching for the BCH and BSV halving and some of the activity might have be picked up in the search term “bitcoin halving”. In addition, reading about the two other halvings, people might have been more inclined to read about the bitcoin halving as well.
The printer goes brrrrrrrrrrr
Recently, the bitcoin halving has been discussed and contrasted to the huge stimulus packages launched after the corona outbreak. The largest economies in the world are pursuing an increasingly expansionary monetary and fiscal policy while bitcoin on the other hand is contracting its supply growth.
When is it again?
There are probably many more reasons behind the growing search volumes. In fact, if we are to judge by our own search activity, the main driver might be bitcoin people just wanting to see the latest estimate of exactly when the magic will happen.
Insignificant compared to searches for “bitcoin”
Even though the bitcoin halving has grown in popularity over the last year, it is still completely insignificant compared to searches for “bitcoin”. When comparing these two search terms, “bitcoin halving” is accounting for less than 1% of the search volume compared to “bitcoin”.
What does it mean?
On the one hand, this could mean that the amount of people familiar with the upcoming halving, while growing fast, is relatively speaking, very low. If so, it is unlikely that the halving has been fully “priced in”. Those not knowing about the event cannot price it in, and those who understand this might be credit constrained.On the other hand, it might just mean that there is much more to bitcoin than its halving, and that there are many other reasons to search for bitcoin.  Nevertheless, there is no denying that the halvings are important events in the evolution of bitcoin and that the interest in and knowledge about it, is growing fast.
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