Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap, surpassed bitcoin as the most searched-for cryptocurrency in India over the past few months, according to Quartz, citing a report published by free internet provider Jana.
Per Jana’s Mobile Majority report, Ethereum had a commanding 34.4 percent share of overall cryptocurrency searches, while bitcoin had a 29.9 percent share. Other popular cryptocurrencies in the country were BuyUCoin (NEM), which had a 21.2 percent share, and Dash, with a 5.3 percent share.
During the last week of February 2018, the report claims, Ethereum searches were double that of bitcoin. The data was obtained by Java after it analyzed cryptocurrency search terms and exchange-site visits from its mCent browser app.
These results, as the company’s CEO Nathan Eagle noted, don’t mean Ethereum is more widely used than bitcoin, as “search volume is a leading indicator of what has momentum and is showing signs of growth.”
In early 2018, cryptocurrency-related search volumes dropped, as news digital currencies weren’t going to be accepted as legal tender in the country started circulating. These were emphasized by finance minister Arun Jaitley during a budget speech in February. Commenting on this, Eagle said:
“The government recommending shutting down exchanges and limiting currencies altogether, coupled with the decline in prices, has lead to the feverish pitch waning away dramatically. There are still quite a lot of searches but maybe we’re getting closer to what a true steady state should look like.”
As covered, Indian banks closed accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges last month, and sent 500,000 tax notices to high net worth individuals that trade cryptocurrencies. This saw various Indian traders become fearful of investing in the crypto space due to the uncertain regulatory stance the government has.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Page Loads Dropped
Seemingly confirming the country’s decreasing interest in cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency exchange page loads peaked in December, when most cryptocurrencies hit their all-time high, and then started dropping on negative press coverage.
The highest share of total page loads went to Bengaluru-based cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin, which got 38.85 percent of users. Out of those who visited at least one exchange, half went to Unocoin, while 30.4 percent went to Singapore-based Zebpay.