Characteristics of Bitcoin users: an analysis of Google search data

Aaron Yelowitz, Matthew Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1036
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Bitcoin
  • Google search data
  • Libertarians
  • digital currency
  • illegal activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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