‘What Is Bitcoin?’ One Of Google’s Top Questions In 2018

Kevin O'Brien

Google released its list of “what was trending in 2018” and ‘What is bitcoin’ ranked as the top “What is…” for users in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to Google Trends.

Google said the list, which includes top searches, news, people, and beauty questions, is “based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year.”

Bitcoin was also a popular query in many other countries across the world. ‘What is bitcoin’ was the second most searched phrase in the consumer technology category in Canada. It was the seond most 'What Is' term in Ireland behind ‘What is blasphemy?’

Still A Lot Of Cryptocurrency Enthusiasm

Despite turbulent markets in 2018, the results from Google suggest that a good number of searchers are still interested in cryptocurrency.

Inside the United States, ‘How to buy Ripple’ was the fourth most searched ‘how to.' Many Canadians were also interested in ‘How to buy Ripple in Canada?’

CryptoGlobe reported in November how searches for the keyword “bitcoin” started to rise in the month amid big price plummets for cryptocurrency.

In 2017, ‘What is Bitcoin’ was the second most popular ‘What is…’, coming in behind ‘What is DACA.’ In the United Kingdom, ‘What is bitcoin’ came in fourth. Globally, ‘How to buy bitcoin’ came in as the fourth most popular ‘How To…’ in 2017, according to Google Trends. As of press time, this information was not yet available for 2018.

Booming markets throughout last year, and especially in the last couple months of 2017, no doubt contributed towards massive search interest. Google Trends data showed how for much of December 2017, more people searched for “bitcoin” than for “Trump.”

Google’s Involvement With The Crypto And Blockchain World

Google have found itself linked with the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain through a variety of measures.

In early November, Google Ventures participated in a fundraising round led by Venrock that raised $15 million for Dapper Labs, creator of the popular CryptoKitties game. Around the same time, Google LLC CEO Sundar Pichai said he discovered how his 11-year old son was mining Ether on a regular computer.

CryptoGlobe reported in July that Google co-founder Sergey Brin revealed his 10-year old son was also a cryptocurrency miner. He made the remarks at a blockchain summit in Morocco.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com