Retail Investors Aren’t Excited About Crypto

The Bitcoin price has been on an absolute tear of the past year. Despite the cryptocurrency currently trading some 20% lower than its $14,000 year-to-date high, BTC is still up some 200-odd% since January 1st. With this move, many have been left wondering, “who the hell is behind the crypto market’s resurgence?”

Retail investors are what many first looked to. You see, in 2017, Bitcoin’s move from $1,000 to $20,000 was widely believed to be a byproduct of retail FOMO, with mom & pop investors across the globe siphoning billions into the market as they saw news headlines mentioning BTC.

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But, data is showing that Bitcoin’s recent return to the mainstream may not have been led by retail investors like you or me.

Retail Likely Not Behind Bitcoin Boom

Bloomberg, citing data from blockchain analytics firm TokenAnalyst, has confirmed that fewer retail traders have been involved in this rally than in 2017. The firm found that the number of unique addresses sending Bitcoin to known platforms like Binance and BitMEX has been on the decline.

In fact, the number of addresses using Bitfinex has reached a two-year low; Binance has seen incoming Bitcoin transactions fall to early-2018 levels. Sid Shekhar, the co-founder of TokenAnalyst, said the following on the statistics:

“[The low number of incoming transactions suggests a] lack of retail interest in general currently in crypto. If we go by the ‘Bitcoin as safe haven in times of recession’ narrative, the number of new users/buyers should actually be increasing.”


Google Trends data corroborates this analysis. Below is the search interest for the term “Bitcoin” from the start of 2017 to now. In it, you can clearly see that interest in the leading cryptocurrency spiked in late-2017, when Bitcoin started to reach levels where it is currently trading now.

The idea here: the fact that search interest for “Bitcoin” is still sitting at bear market levels implies that only investors that already know about Bitcoin…

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