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  • Bitcoin-related mentions in social media are far from 2017 all-time highs even though prices are close to the previous peak.
  • While institutional investors flock to the cryptocurrency industry, retail interest remains dormant.
  • A spike in demand by retail investors could lead to one of the most explosive price actions BTC has experienced to date.

Bitcoin price is now closer to its previous all-time high than ever before. However, social media mentions are way below the levels seen during the ICO mania of 2017, suggesting there is plenty of room to go up.

Billionaires flock to Bitcoin while retail investors seem uninterested

Bitcoin seems to be getting a lot more attention from institutional investors than the retail sector. The quantitative easing policies being implemented worldwide to contain the impact of the pandemic could be one of the main reasons behind this development. It appears that some of the most prominent billionaires are using BTC as a hedging asset against inflation.

Amongst these enterprise investors are the likes of Pual Tudor Jones, who compared buying Bitcoin to investing in tech stocks like Google and Apple in their early days. Mexican business magnate Ricardo Salinas Pliego also stated that 10% of his liquid portfolio is in BTC, confirming that the asset guards his wealth against erosion.

Despite the rising interest among big players, Bitcoin has yet to see the same spike in demand from retail investors. If this were to happen as it did back in late 2017, prices would likely shoot up towards new yearly highs and peak at $300,000, as explained by Citibank’s Managing Director, Tom Fitzpatrick. 

Santiment’s social volume index is an important metric to measure whether retail interest starts picking up. Historical data shows that spikes in Bitcoin’s volatility are always accompanied by substantial jumps in the number of BTC-related mentions on social media. 

During the peak of the 2015-2017 bull market, social engagement metrics surged to an all-time high of over 132,000. The increased levels of attention that Bitcoin was able to capture in the last few weeks of December 2017 was followed by a price dump towards $7,600. Alongside prices, social volume dropped to 83,500 as retail investors began to lose interest.

Social engagement vs price from Santiment

Now, a similar scenario could be about to play out. 

Bitcoin currently sits a few hundred dollars shy from its previous all-time high of $20,000, while social volume remains dormant. Such a divergence between prices and social media activity suggests that the pioneer cryptocurrency has more gas in the tank. 

The way search trends are beginning to gain traction indicates that a bullish breakout is underway.

On the cusp of a massive price jump

If Bitcoin manages to push through 2017’s all-time high of $19,900, retail investors may enter a FOMO state. Moving past this resistance barrier will increase the odds for an upswing towards the 127.2% or 200% Fibonacci retracement levels.

These potential areas of interest sit at $24,500 and $37,000, respectively.   

btc chart

BTC/USD Weekly Price Chart

It is worth noting that the bullish outlook will prevail as long as Bitcoin holds above the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $16,300. Failing to do so will result in a temporary pause of the ongoing uptrend and lead to a pullback to $13,500, which is where some of the most prominent analysts in the industry plan to “buy the dip.”


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