“Buy bitcoin” has overtaken “buy gold” as an online search term, according to new data from Google Trends examined by Bloomberg.

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More people are searching online for how to buy bitcoin than for how to buy gold, according to Google Trends data.

Gold has appreciated by 11% this year. According to a report by the World Gold Council, gold saw its weakest third-quarter global demand since 2009, on the back of a well-performing U.S. stock market.

“The gold market was pulled in different directions: geopolitical uncertainty was a tailwind for gold, but higher interest rates and a stronger dollar were headwinds, especially for U.S. investors,” the report said.

On the other hand, bitcoin (BTC) hit an all-time high of $7,800 on November 8, before withdrawing into $7,200-$7,300 territory. The cryptocurrency has climbed from less than $1,000 on January 1 – a more than 600% rise on the year.

buy bitcoin vs buy gold google trends
Google Trends “buy bitcoin” vs. “buy gold” comparison for the past 7 days

Earlier this month, CME Group (formerly the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) – the world’s largest options and futures exchange – announced that it would launch a bitcoin futures contract by the end of the year.

In an interview with Reuters, CME’s Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed said that bitcoin is likely to transcend its current status as a crytocurrency and become a tradeable asset class in its own right, such as gold or stocks.

“That’s a very important step for bitcoin’s history. We will regulate, make bitcoin not wild, nor wilder. We’ll tame it into a regular type instrument of trade with rules,” Melamed said.

Melamed – a pioneer of financial futures, said he expects BTC to attract major institutional investors.

Investors are already trying to get in on the action, with the number of hedge funds focusing on cryptocurrencies rising from 55 funds on August 29 to 110 on October 18, according to fintech research house Autonomous NEXT.

Image source: Tom Crypto/Flickr

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