Bitcoin (BTC) may hold the most name-recognition in the cryptocurrency space, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most popular – in certain countries around Europe at least.
A year-long analysis of Google Trends by online casino experts, AskGamblers, revealed the most popular cryptocurrencies in various European countries according to the volume of Google search queries.
The research showed that while Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency across Europe as a whole, it was beaten out in countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, France and Italy by a very unlikely competitor.
UK’s Most Popular Crypto? A Meme-Coin
Yes, Shiba Inu (SHIB) – the much-maligned meme-coin – proved to be more popular than Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) in seven European countries overall, and the second most-searched coin on the entire continent.
Shiba Inu received equal parts derision and fanfare when it was launched in mid-2021. Created amid the spike in Dogecoin’s (DOGE) popularity when it was being courted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Shiba Inu claimed no practical utility whatsoever, instead hoping to cash in on the appetite for meme-coins which existed at the time.
What’s more, half of the Shiba Inu coin supply (over 500 billion coins) was sent to Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin in 2021 as a marketing stunt, meaning a huge portion of the coin’s supply was in the hands of a single individual – something that could have sunk the coin price had Buterin decided to sell his holdings.
Fortunately, Buterin declared he wanted no part of Shiba Inu, and generously donated over $1 billion worth of the haul to the India Covid Relief Fund, before irreversibly burning the rest of the tokens which were collectively worth around $6 billion at the time.
Interest in Shiba Inu from the UK and other countries around Europe likely stems from SHIB’s 30,000% price surge throughout 2021, when it rocketed up the cryptocurrency market cap rankings and briefly occupied a top ten spot, before declining just as quickly as it climbed.
More recently, plans have been set in motion to expand the Shiba Inu ecosystem to encompass a Layer-2 scaling platform, a dedicated dollar-pegged stablecoin, and even a dedicated metaverse.
Europe’s Favorite Cryptocurrencies
Among the rest of Europe’s most searched for cryptocurrencies, Ethereum followed Bitcoin and Shiba Inu in third place, followed by Cardano (ADA), and finally Dogecoin (DOGE).
The presence of two meme-coins in the top five suggests Europe’s crypto-curious are more than willing to explore cryptocurrencies which don’t take themselves too seriously. It also points to the stratospheric reach meme-coins can achieve among the population compared to other, more straight-faced cryptos.
“With 38 million crypto users in Europe and thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market to choose from, it is fascinating to see which one people are most interested in investing in. Although Bitcoin is the most popular overall, the interest in Shiba Inu has grown to surpass Bitcoin in major countries such as Russia and the UK,” said an AskGambler spokesperson.