Ethereum Commanded 34.4% of Searches, Ahead of Bitcoin
Ethereum (ETH) beat Bitcoin (BTC) as the most searched-for cryptocurrency in India over the last 5 months according to a study conducted by Jana. The cryptocurrency commanded 34.4% of searches for currency, while Bitcoin’s tally stood at 29.9%. BuyUCoin (NEM) stood next, with a 21.2% share of currency searches.
The study was conducted by Jana across the company’s mCent browser app, and attempted to analyze currency search terms and exchange-site visits in India from October 2017 to February 2018.
What Led to the Decline in Interest?
As can be observed in the chart above, the fall in the search interest in Bitcoin coincides with the fall in the price of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s popularity in India reached its peak commanding 30% of all searches in December, the same month its price hit a record high of $20,000. However, since the beginning of 2018, the cryptocurrency market in India has been affected by regulatory warnings and increased uncertainty with respect to its legality. Consequently, interest in cryptocurrencies has fallen.
Nathan Eagle, CEO of Jana, has attributed this drop-off in search interest in cryptocurrencies to the “government recommending shutting down exchanges and limiting currencies altogether, coupled with the decline in prices.” While that explains the decline in the aggregate search queries for cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the year, it doesn’t solve the mystery of Ethereum gaining popularity over Bitcoin.
Why Has Ethereum Gained in Popularity?
Here’s our take on it. The regulatory crackdown did affect the cryptocurrency market and trading in India, especially Bitcoin being the most widely-known and owned cryptocurrency in India, presently. However, the continued rise in the number of tokenized offerings based on the Ethereum smart contracts, and rising investor interest towards these, is the probable reason behind the rise in popularity of Ethereum over Bitcoin.
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