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Nigeria, Ghana Top Google's Global Interest in Bitcoin Search

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chike onwuegbuchi

Search interest in Bitcoin seems to have heightened in parts of Africa with Nigeria and Ghana presently topping the list of 25 countries globally seeking information about the digital currency, according to Google Trends.

In Nigeria, interest over time - which represents search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time - has reached a peak popularity value of 100 for the term Bitcoin. This is a swift climb from its value of 6 as at the first week of July 2016. By the last day of last year, the value was at 66.

Second-placed Ghana currently has a value of 85 while South Africa has 54. In between are Estonia, Slovenia and The Netherlands with 69, 62 and 54 respectively.

Canada has an interest value of 53 while USA and Singapore which both have a number of Bitcoin exchanges have 50 each.

On a city-by-city basis, Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, maintains a peak popularity value of 100 in search interest for Bitcoin while no other African city made the Google Trends list in this section.

These indicators are not a guarantee that people in these countries are buying the digital currency. Instead they are a depiction of the people's level of curiosity to know what has been fueling the uptake of the currency whose value has increased by almost 14% in the last seven days to be worth US$1,097 average price (as at the time of this writing) across top exchanges worldwide, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

However, despite this global surge, it looks like the new Bitcoin bull run is just starting - if Google Trends' analysis is anything to go by.

Globally, it indicates that the search interest has been on a upward trend since the week ending December 17 when the interest value was at 24 to its increased value of 42 today.

Described as the money of the internet - or the internet of money in another quarter based on the concepts of its use for exchange, trade, value storage and transfers, the Bitcoin technology allows for easy transfer of wealth without an intermediary like banks. Mainstream media's coverage of its recent price rise to over US$1000 has been cited for prompting the keen interest from all over the world.

Though 3 January marked the eighth-year anniversary of the discovery of Bitcoin, its market capitalisation - that is the total USD value of Bitcoin supply in circulation, as calculated by the daily average market price across major exchanges - grew from US$9 billion in September to US$16 billion today.

Bitcoin is currently aiming towards its highest observed price of nearly US$1,150 which it traded on 5 December 2013.

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