In brief

  • Google searches for Bitcoin have surged in Argentina in the past weeks.
  • They are now twice as high as they were during 2017's famous bull run.
  • The country is burdened by inflation, economic debt, and a falling currency, causing many people to consider Bitcoin as an alternative asset.

Google searches for “Bitcoin” in Argentina have surged skyward in the past few months, data from the search engine giant shows. It follows Bitcoin’s price rise from under $4,000 to over $41,000 in the past year but outperforms searches in other countries.

“Trends” are a proprietary metric used by Google to calculate the interest in a particular term, sentence, or word in a certain region in a particular time period compared to all searches for the same terms in another time period. A value of 100 is said to be “peak popularity,” while values below 50 mean half or less than half of the popularity.

Bitcoin zoomed to the 100 level in Argentina last week, up from a popularity level of just 28 in December last year. The move coincided with the asset breaking its past all-time high of nearly $20,000 to over $41,000 around the same time, which may have contributed to the interest as well.

The value is also the highest it had ever been in the past five years, with search data showing the current interest for “Bitcoin” searches was twice that of 2017’s infamous bullrun.

Google searches for Bitcoin are more than double those of even 2017. Image: Google Trends

Bitcoin to the rescue

Research shows that since the last decade, Argentina’s economy has reeled from price depreciation, excessive debt build up, inflation, and economic contraction. This has caused widespread unemployment and limited jobs for the youth—all factors that lead to the adoption of decentralized and deflationary assets such as Bitcoin.

Data suggests Argentinians are savvy about Bitcoin. A survey by peer-to-peer crypto exchange Paxful last year found out over 73% of the test-takers in the country considered Bitcoin as an effective hedge against the ill-effects of inflation—a sentiment that is now increasingly shared by tech firm CEOs and hedge funds alike.

As such, the devaluation of the Argentine peso meant Bitcoin broke its Argentinian all-time high much before its US dollar all-time high. The pesos has lost more than 50% of its value against the latter in the past three years, as the chart below shows.

Argentina Peso: USD
The value of the Argentina peso has dropped significantly over time. Image: ARS:USD on TradingView.

Meanwhile, it’s not only Argentinians jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Google trend results show similar figures for several other countries undergoing their own economic crises, such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana.