Google search data and stock activity indicate a drop in interest from retailers as crypto investors look for the next big spark to bring fresh capital into the ecosystem.
One of the main hopes of crypto investors is that there will be a major shift in public perception that will spark a new wave of capital from retail and institutional traders.
Unfortunately for these hopeful bulls, the data suggests the opposite is happening for almost a year, as evidenced by the decline in searches for the term Bitcoin (BTC) on Google.
Google search volume for bitcoin. Source: Google Trends.
A similar picture is evident when looking at search interest in the leading smart contract platform Ethereum (ETH), which peaked in the second week of May 2021 and has been declining ever since. Ethereum search interest is currently at its lowest level since December 2020.
Google search volume for Ethereum. Source: Google Trends.
Based on this information, it may be time for crypto investors to reconsider where the next big market rally will come from, as it is clear that retail interest is largely due to large price swings.
BTC/USDT vs ETH/USDT on a 1-day chart. Source: Trading View
Weak exchange volumes
Additional evidence of declining interest in cryptocurrencies can be found by looking at the total trading volume of the major exchanges. As of April 19, the figure was $165.8 billion, the lowest since October 2020, according to Blockchain.com.
The total volume of exchange trades in US dollars. Source: Blockchain
According to Dune Analytics, the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized exchanges (DEX) is also declining.
Monthly DEX volume by projects. Source: Dune Analytics.
As you can see from the chart above, DEX volume is currently below the amount traded in January 2021 when the bull run was just beginning and the DeFi sector as a whole was experiencing a breakout.
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NFTs are heating up
The only source of hope in the crypto ecosystem is the non-fungible token (NFT) sector, which has seen an increase in daily trading volume on OpenSea, the largest NFT market, after bottoming in early March, according to Dune Analytics. .
Daily volume on OpenSea. Source: Dune Analytics.
As activity picks up in the NFT markets, the reserve prices of some of the leading projects are also rising, indicating that the NFT sector is gaining momentum. This may in part be due to the press attention to projects such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and its recently launched ApeCoin (APE).
It remains to be seen if the hype and speculation generated by the NFT market could lead to increased inflows across the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem, or if the emerging sector is destined to do so, like the ICO boom/bust cycle that erupted in 2017-2018.
In terms of mainstream adoption, it looks like crypto investors are still looking for that killer DApp or use case that will kick-start the next round of broad influx into the market.
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