China in Love With Crypto… And Libra
Don’t ask us why, but Libra is trending in China. Yes, China. Despite the fact that Facebook is vehemently verboten in the nation, which has also blocked most mainstream Western media outlets, the cryptocurrency has reached the peak of the Chinese internet. This also comes in spite of the fact that most crypto-related activities, especially those involving Bitcoin and the trading of the asset, are also restricted.
Noted by Chinese crypto insider cnLedger on Thursday, data from Google Trends suggests that its users in that nation are showing more interest for the term “Facebook Libra” than those in the United States. In fact, per cnLedger, China is expressing ten times more interest in Libra in comparison to the United States.
With most of the companies involved in this crypto asset venture and outlets reporting on Libra being based in the U.S., this likely comes as a shock. What’s even weirder is that Google is technically banned in China, making this statistic even more impactful if you think about it.
It is important to note that this data doesn’t suggest that China has more interest in “Facebook Libra” by pure numbers. As an excerpt of the Google Trends data methodology reads:
“Search results are proportionate to the time and location of a query by the following process: Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents to compare relative popularity.”
This could mean that in China, searches for “Facebook Libra” are taking up a higher percentage of the national Google bandwidth than in the United States. Regardless, this is still a surprising tidbit of information.
As a side note, Weibo — China’s take on Twitter — has seen “Libra” trend as the second most popular search term/tag.
According to a thread from Chinese cryptocurrency investor Dovey Wan, this spike in interest was a result of David Marcus’ mention of Alipay and WeChat Pay during the Wednesday hearing for Congress on Libra’s development. In fact, hashtags mentioning Libra and WeChat/Alipay have seen over 220 million views.
Most of the comments on the matter were actually anti-Libra, touching on how Facebook won’t be able to compete in China because of the Great Firewall and how Libra is unlikely to be an “actual currency.” Whatever that means anyway.
This all comes as crypto in China has been on the up and up. Per previous reports from this very outlet, WeChat keyword analytics have accentuated a massive uptick in the volume of “Bitcoin”. In fact, the past ninety days have seen keyword volume for the Chinese term for “Bitcoin” skyrocket by five times.
And, Sina Finance, a major financial news and data provider owned by a major technology firm, added Bitcoin and cryptocurrency price feed data to its application.
This latest spike of interest as Libra has received pushback is only another sign that the Chinese are back into cryptocurrencies once again. Let’s hope it isn’t a passing fad this time around.