Characteristics of Bitcoin Users: An Analysis of Google Search Data

13 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2014  

Matthew Graham Wilson

University of Kentucky

Aaron Yelowitz

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 3, 2014

Abstract

The anonymity of Bitcoin prevents analysis of its users. We collect Google Trends data to examine determinants of interest in Bitcoin. Based on anecdotal evidence regarding Bitcoin users, we construct proxies for four possible clientele: computer programming enthusiasts, speculative investors, Libertarians, and criminals. Computer programming and illegal activity search terms are positively correlated with Bitcoin interest, while Libertarian and investment terms are not.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Digital currency, Google search data, Libertarians, Illegal Activity

JEL Classification: E42, F33, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Matthew Graham and Yelowitz, Aaron, Characteristics of Bitcoin Users: An Analysis of Google Search Data (November 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2518603

Matthew Graham Wilson

University of Kentucky ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Aaron Yelowitz (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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