The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high above $28,000 this week, and while it has since endured a small correction to $26,850 at press time. Data shows that the rally that helped BTC’s price rise was likely fueled by institutions.

Skew analytics shared on social media data showing that, according to Google Trends, search interest for “bitcoin” is slightly above 25 on a scale that goes up to 100, which was hit back in December 2017 when the price of bitcoin hit $19,000.

Data from Google Trends is often used to measure retail interest in the flagship cryptocurrency, and Skew’s data implies that retail investors aren’t as interest in BTC as they were back in 2017. To some analysts, there are several reasons for the lack of interest from retail investors.

Back in 2017, initial coin offerings (ICOs) were all the rage in the cryptocurrency space, but a large number of scams prompted regulators to act against the practice, and projects launching through ICOs are now rare. Some, like Brave and Binance, succeeded through the fundraising method, which was soon replaced by initial exchange offerings (IEOs).

On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to shut down and the economic fallout may have left various retail investors cash strapped. To analyst Josh Rager, retail investors will now only pay attention to BTC’s price performance once it hits the psychological barrier of $50,000.

On the other hand, Skew pointed to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) as an example of institutional interest in the cryptocurrency space, as it now has over $14 billion worth of assets under management. Grayscale, across its various funds, has over $16 billion in assets under management as institutional investors turn to other cryptoassets.

Messari researcher Ryan Watkins predicted that next year institutions will be buying up Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, pointing out that if BTC has value, other cryptoassets may also be valuable.

Featured image via Pixabay.