Manipulated Searches and Prices?
The BTC price is still holding above $10,000, with a price jump of over $1,000 taking place throughout this week. Interestingly, this follows an unusual jump in Google searches for “Bitcoin.” The recent surge in searches is the highest it’s ever been – even higher than the 2017 bull market mania phase.
According to information provided by Google Trends, the search term “BTC” spiked in interest, while the term “Bitcoin” remains closer to its average trajectory and is relatively unchanged.
This sudden spike has raised eyebrows, with many cryptocurrency and data analysts describing the search surge as “strange,” with others suggesting it could be an attempt to manipulate the price of Bitcoin through manipulating the search trends. Search terms and trends are something that have often had historic correlation with the price trends of Bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market.
To the contrary of the recent surge in Google searches for Bitcoin and BTC, we identified earlier this year that the Bitcoin price uptrend from $3,200 to its 2019 high of $14,000 was not correlated with search terms for “Bitcoin,” which were extremely low in 2019 when compared to the 2017 bull market.
This also suggests that retail investors were not triggering the recent price recovery that has happened throughout 2019.
Source: Bitcoin/BTC search trends Sept. 2019: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=BTC,bitcoin
Source: Bitcoin search trends April 2019 and prior: https://www.crushthestreet.com/articles/digital-currencies/whos-buying-all-the-bitcoin-explosive-rally-sees-up-to-100-gains-for-now
“There are algorithms programmed to look at Google Trends data and try to find correlations between numbers of searches for the word ‘btc’ and the movements in the bitcoin price.
If they detect patterns, it may be profitable to trade off that data. This hacker may be buying some bitcoin, then sending a ton of ‘btc’ search queries to Google. The algorithms see search numbers have risen and are triggered to buy a lot of bitcoin.” – Glen Goodman
Google has countermeasures to prevent manipulation of its search data, but the possibility of search patterns being obscured is still high.
This is not investment advice; please always do thorough research and only invest what you are willing to lose, especially in times of uncertainty.