Retail Investors Are Cautiously Returning To Crypto

Indicators show rising interest from casual investors, but they still aren’t apeing in.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

image of investors looking at bitcoin

Is retail back?

Yes, but not entirely.

According to K33 Research, 90-day website traffic to crypto exchanges increased 45% in the past quarter compared to the previous one. Similarly, web traffic to data aggregation sites such as Coingecko and Coinmarketcap is up 66%.

Vetle Lunde, senior analyst for K33 Research, highlights that both data points are well under the records set in the summer of 2022.

90 day website traffic chart
90 day website traffic

Another interesting data point is Google searches. The word Bitcoin has a 100 score and has been on a significant uptrend since October 2023. However, the search “how to buy Bitcoin” has not garnered the same interest. Although it has also seen positive momentum, it lands on a 74 score.

Notably, Ethereum’s Google searches show more interest than Bitcoin. It scores an 82 for “how to buy Ethereum,” with a predicted upward trend.

Crypto apps are another sign of interest from retail investors.

Before the nine spot Bitcoin ETFs began piling billions into the market, Coinbase sat at number 498 for app usage on Jan. 1, according to data from The Block. It quickly rose to its recent peak of 49 on Mar. 05, dropping since then to 123.

CashApp continues to be the top crypto finance app, although it offers a plethora of banking services beyond digital assets. According to Similarweb, it lands at 17 for the United States.

Wen Alt Season?

Retail investors are slowly but surely returning to the market, but it is far from peak interest.

Gauging from Coinbase usage, which marked the top of the last bull cycle when it reached number 1 for all apps, it appears retail investors are reluctant to commit entirely to buying crypto.

Interestingly, some are asking when a full-blown alt season could commence, especially since money tied up in Bitcoin ETFs will likely remain in those instruments.

Matt Hougan, Bitwise's CIO, pointed out that we are in an “everything season” thanks to the rapid rally in Bitcoin. Hougan also pointed out that an added catalyst is the tech infrastructure, which is “significantly improved” this time around.

He expects things like Ethereum’s upcoming Dencun upgrade and the rise of L2s to increase adoption and, thus, prices.

Everyone agrees, at least in the bull camp, that we are in the early innings. Full-blown retail interest isn’t here yet.