- Interest in cryptocurrency, per Google data, is 16.6% lower this year compared with the 2021 average worldwide
- Bitcoin’s price fall this year is 52.7%, while layoffs and liquidations have struck the industry too
- Largest drop in interest is Netherlands, with a 37% decrease, followed by Ireland and New Zealand
- Central African Republic buck the trend, with interest rocking 592% following their own government announcing Bitcoin would be legal tender in April
- Other African countries – Morocco and Kenya – are next, with impressive jumps of 61% and 55% respectively in interest compared to last year
- Developing nations’ crypto interest has held firmer than developed world, with many countries increasing this year despite downturn
The crypto market has turned sharply downward in 2022. Bitcoin’s price – which is no stranger to volatility – is currently 52% below the $47,700 level that it traded at on New Year’s Day.
But it’s not just prices that have wavered. We have seen liquidations of major players as contagion has swirled – most notably the collapse of former top 10 coin Luna and the death spiral of its accompanying stablecoin UST in May, but also bankruptcy filings for crypto lenders Celsius and Voyager Digital, to name a few.
Unfortunately, layoffs have swept the industry too. None more high profile than Coinbase, who laid off 18% of its staff (1,110 employees), only a couple months after spending millions on a SuperBowl ad.
So we were curious – has interest fallen across the globe this year in response to the bull market hysteria coming to a close? If so, which countries’ interest in crypto has fallen the most?
Cryptocurrency interest falls significantly in 2022
The fall in interest across the world is 16.6%, quite a stark drop. The worst nation is Netherlands, seeing a staggering 37% decrease, followed by European counterparts Ireland with a 30% dropoff, and New Zealand with a 28% fall.
Noticeably, the USA are next with a dropoff of over 26% compared to 2021 search volume. With the US still driving such a large part of market volumes, this symbolises quite how different the market is today compared to last year, contextualising the layoffs and price collapse we have seen.
Interestingly, the most resilient countries in terms of crypto interest are mostly developing nations – Morocco, Kenya, Sri Lanka Nigeria and Colombia all placing among the countries where interest has actually spiked. For Morocco and Kenya, the two African countries have seen jumps of 61% and 55% respectively.
Interest over the last month has fallen even further
The bear market has really kicked into gear since May, when Terra went under, and accordingly the last few months have been brutal. In looking at falloffs in July alone as opposed to the entire 2022, the falloff is even worse. The world average shows there are 63% less searches for cryptocurrency this month compared to the 2022 average.
New Zealand, Spain, Venezuela, and – somewhat surprisingly – USA and Canada, are all among the countries to see the greatest fall-off in interest. US searches have fallen 59%, with Canada just behind on 58%.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele often tweets his government is “buying the dip” when Bitcoin is plummeting. It appears that the citizens of his country, where Bitcoin has been legal tender since last year, are not of the same opinion.
Per Google search trends, interest in Bitcoin fell further in July in El Salvador than any other country, compared to 2021 numbers. A drop of some form is to be expected, given the surge in searches inevitable when Bukele announced it as legal tender in 2021, however a drop of 63% is concerning and highlights both the damaging effect of the bear market and the challenges of onboarding the population to Bitcoin in El Salvador.
Taking the entire picture, interest during 2022 as a whole has fallen 17.9% compared to 2021, which is not quite as stark as the July fall of 64% – but still a large fall.
Central African Republic
There was one nation left off the above graphs for scale purposes. And that’s because the Central African Republic blow those numbers out of the water. Interest in crypto in July-22 is up 715% in July-22 (592% for 2022 as a whole) compared to numbers in 2021.
This is, of course, because they became the second nation to declare Bitcoin as legal tender in April. Not only that, but they went even further – announcing the tokenising of the country’s rich resources (diamonds, uranium, oil) with a newly launched cryptocurrency “Sango Coin”.
Yet among the poorest countries in the world, and with only 10% having Internet access, whether this is a prudent initiative is a tale for another day.