Driven by various bullish developments, the bitcoin price has had an impressive month. Over the course of October, the price of the leading cryptocurrency has increased by more than 25%.
Data from Google Trends suggests that rising prices are attracting renewed attention from retail investors, seemingly from outside of the industry. Meanwhile, others claim that the return of volatility will have piqued institutional interest in the market too.
Bullish Bitcoin Metrics Heating Up
Having started October at less than $10,900 and now trading in excess of $13,750, bitcoin market sentiment is decidedly bullish right now. This month alone has seen the BTC price increase by more than 26%.
Such price increases have clearly not gone unnoticed. Google Trends, one of the simplest metrics by which to judge public interest in the industry, suggests new money could start entering the market.
Still a long way from all-time high levels of interest, observed at the 2017 bull market peak, October has seen a rise in the number of people searching Google for the phrase “how to buy bitcoin.” Previous spikes in the metric have also coincided with BTC price runs.
Searches for “how to buy bitcoin” increased in May, August, and December of 2017, as well as in early July 2019 and during the recovery from the March 2020 price crash. Each example saw the bitcoin price increase rapidly in a short period of time.
The renewed interest is likely related to a slew of bullish developments surrounding bitcoin. Large company-level investments, an optimistic report from JPMorgan, and PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrency are all likely contributors.
Institutions and Retail This Time?
The Google Trends data likely represent rising retail interest in bitcoin. While the average investor probably turns to the popular search engine for information on buying BTC, it seems doubtful that institutional buyers, with tens or hundreds of millions at their disposal, would approach the market in this way.
However, market analyst Travis Kling believes stock market volatility will have attracted institutional interest too. He highlights the growth of the CBOE’s Volatility Index, or VIX, coinciding with that of bitcoin prices.
#Bitcoin is up 25% in October with VIX up 50% and if you think institutional investors aren't paying attention to that you've lost your mind.
— Travis Kling (@Travis_Kling) October 30, 2020
VIX is commonly thought of as the stock market’s fear gauge. It measures volatility in the stock market. Recent spikes in coronavirus cases, coupled with the looming presidential election, are apparently inspiring uncertainty among investors.
With traditional markets dumping on Wednesday, Kling suggests that institutions may be looking for a safer place to protect wealth. Positive appraisals from the likes of JPMorgan and maverick investment plays by MicroStrategy and others could well be forcing the planet’s largest money managers to consider bitcoin.
Thanks to scant options for institutional-sized buyers, the bitcoin bull run of 2017 was largely driven by retail investors. However, the industry has matured a lot since then. Efforts by established names such as Fidelity are not only legitimizing BTC to a more monied class of investors but providing the means to actually take positions.
As BeInCrypto has previously reported, this year has already seen signs of increased institutional interest in bitcoin. An OKEx report from September suggested that large order buying activity had increased, particularly around the crash in March and during the later consolidation at around $10,000.
Thanks to increasing interest on Google and growing signs of institutional interest, any pending rally might feature both institutional and retail participants this time.