Researchers Uncover an Anomaly in Bitcoin Search Patterns Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 08 September 2019 Historically, searches concerning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on popular search engine Google seem to be related to the prevalent prices of the assets themselves. Currently, the Bitcoin trading price has increased dramatically since the year began, although the asset seems to have entered into a period of extreme volatility, with a price peg of $10,411 at press time. However, the volatility in the price of Bitcoin isn’t exactly what seems to be bothering us. Rather, it is the frequency of searches. In a research paper published recently, Kryptografen, a cryptocurrency news medium, and data analysis site, revealed that there seems to have been some discrepancies in the search numbers for “Bitcoin” and “BTC,” the trading ticker for the world’s most popular crypto asset. According to the paper, search numbers for “BTC” have climbed much more than those for “Bitcoin.” It is an unusual anomaly because, amongst other things, “BTC” searches are usually lower than those for “Bitcoin.” As things stand, however, “BTC” searches are even higher than they were back in 2017, when Bitcoin went on its most significant bull run. Ideally, many have seen increased search numbers as an indicator that people could be looking to buy cryptocurrency. However, it would seem that there have been some discrepancies in the search metrics. Kryptografen revealed that after surveying search patterns, it is highly likely that someone in Romania is responsible for the anomaly. The company revealed that the search patterns had been rather distributed across the world, suggesting that the instigators have been employing Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and other location modifying the software to skew results. Google Trends points out that changes have been relatively large in Romania. Is this the source, or is it just because there have been fewer searches for BTC previously? Whatever the answer is–something very strange has happened to the interest in the keyword ‘BTC’ this past week,” the company summarized. In addition to Kryptografen, Trijo News also found that expanding the search results for popular keywords such as “Where can I buy Bitcoin,” “Bitcoin price,” and “Buy Bitcoin,” will reveal an even more significant increase in the number of Google searches that have involved Bitcoin lately. Glen Goodman, a popular Bitcoin trader, and author, explained that this tactic could be an organized effort by some people to try manipulating the Bitcoin price. Expanding his view, Goodman revealed that there are algorithms which examine data on Google Trends and pick correlations between the Bitcoin price movements and the number of searches involving the word “BTC.” He added, “If they detect patterns, it may be profitable to trade-off that data. This hacker maybe buying some BTC, then sending a ton of ‘BTC’ search queries to Google, the algos see search numbers have risen and are triggered to buy a lot of BTC which pushes the price up, and the hacker then sells their BTC at a profit. Easy money!” If it is true, then it is quite a lot of work to go through in a bid to make a profit off investment in Bitcoin. Again, given how unstable Bitcoin has been trading recently, it isn’t completely out of line for prospective traders to use Google as a tool.