Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency were the buzz words online in 2017. However, after problems with regulators, Bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies have slumped in value over the past months. In fact, Bitcoin has struggled to maintain $10,000. And you will be surprised that it has been mirrored by the recent search volume on Google.
A decrease in Search Volume
One of the best metrics that can be used in order to measure the popularity of Bitcoin is Google. After slumping below $7,000 in February, the search volume for “Bitcoin” has also dropped to the lowest since October last year.
According to Google Trends, “Bitcoin” was searched the most from December 17 to 23 which coincided during the time when Bitcoin reached almost $19,000 on December 17, 2017. But since mid-February, the search for “Bitcoin” has slumped having a score of 19 during the first few weeks of March. This means that “Bitcoin” is only ranked 19th most popular term on the search engine. And the last time that Bitcoin had the same score was during the first week of October 2017 when Bitcoin was then at $4300.
Problem with Regulators
Regulators were the one that mainly caused Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to experience bearish trends. China was among the first countries that banned crypto activity by banning ICOs and later both international and local crypto exchanges operating in the country.
Fortunately, Bitcoin and other digital currencies dodged a bullet from South Korea when the regulators didn’t push their initial plans to ban crypto activity completely. However, things are far from over. You can expect Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to get affected since Finnish banks have blocked transactions from cryptocurrency exchanges.
Already four banks in the region blocked transactions from Prasos Oy. According to Henry Brade, the Chief Executive Officer for Prasos, banks have been disturbed mainly by the number of and the amount of crypto transactions.
He further explained that “we’ve realized that the growth in the international transaction volumes started to disturb the banks”.
The most problematic part of this is that banks provided very little information how to solve the problem.
Prasos Running Different Exchanges
Prasos is the one responsible for running websites Bittiraha.fi and Coinmotion.com among many others. Using these exchanges, investors can exchange their Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into Euros. Other than the volume, banks now fear the possibility of future trouble due to the possibility that cryptocurrencies are used in money laundering. After changes, Prasos wanted the regulators to set concrete guidelines in order to know possible solutions.
Prasos also mentioned that they have developed an “identification practice” that complies with the anti-money laundering regulations of the country. According to their statement, “we’ve created identification practices, which we have taken into use in March, and they comply fully with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, even though authorities do not even require this from us as our business is not under regulatory obligations”.
For the time being though, even Andrea Enria, the head of the European Bank Authority mentioned that EBA will tell banks that they should stay away from crypto exchanges for the time being. Hanna Heiskanen, who is a senior advisor at the regulator mentioned that “Cryptocurrency trading places are not currently under the regulatory mandate of the Finnish FSA”.