Even as investors move back into bitcoin, the virtual currency has lost its place in the global spotlight.
Bitcoin is a hot investment following an eight-month rally during which the virtual currency has gained about 130%, but it’s no longer the hot topic it once was.
The volume of media articles and blogs mentioning bitcoin worldwide tanked in 2014 and has failed to recover even as the value of the virtual currency started rising again at the end of last year, according to Factiva, a media database owned by Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
While there was a sudden surge of articles in May due to the revelations of a self proclaimed founder of bitcoin, that soon subsided.
The media’s faded interest reflects that most of the investment interest in bitcoin comes from China. A search of Chinese articles shows that media interest in bitcoin there has risen with the currency’s value.
Two Chinese bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, now account for 92% of all global trade in this currency. Analysts say that fears about a sudden devaluation of the yuan and stories of scams in peer-to-peer lending platforms have led some Chinese investors to look at bitcoin.
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But the rest of the world appears to have lost interest.
That’s not great for the long-term use of bitcoin and the fans who want to see it become a widely-used medium of exchange. With the currency currently dependent on notoriously-fickle Chinese retail investors, they would surely swap a gain in global popularity over a short-term rally in value.
Right now, the virtual currency just seems to have lost its “cool.”