Here's Why Bitcoin and Ripple Fell Tuesday

Stacks of gold coins with bitcoin symbol.

It's been a rough day in the cryptocurrency markets. All of the top 10 cryptocurrencies are negative today, and Ripple (XRP-USD) has given back much of yesterday's gains. Ripple's drop can be attributed to clarification regarding a market rumor, and separately, a recent report suggests that investor interest in cryptocurrencies could be declining.

Today's cryptocurrency prices

As I mentioned, it's been a pretty gloomy day for cryptocurrencies. Here's a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and how much each has changed over the past 24 hours.

Data source: www.investing.com. Prices and daily changes as of March 6, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. EST, and prices are rounded to the nearest cent where appropriate.

Coinbase squashes Ripple support rumor

Ripple (XRP-USD) shot up by 14% yesterday on rumors that the digital currency could be added to leading exchange Coinbase in the not-too-distant future. And the reason for the rumor certainly made some sense -- the CEO of Ripple and the president of Coinbase are set to appear on CNBC's Fast Money this afternoon.

However, Coinbase in a statement to address the rumors said, "Our January 4, 2018 statement continues to stand: we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company."

That's a pretty clear "no." As a result, Ripple (XRP-USD) promptly fell back toward its previous price level.

Could crypto investors be losing interest?

According to a Bloomberg infographic using Google Trends data, searches for "bitcoin" have fallen tremendously since peaking in mid-December 2017. Search volume for the leading digital currency on March 4 was just 16% of its record level. In other words, 84% fewer people are searching Google for bitcoin (BTC-USD) now -- a huge drop-off. This is the lowest search level since October, when bitcoin was trading for about $5,000 -- less than half of its current value.

To be fair, the volume of Google searches isn't necessarily a perfect gauge of investor interest. After all, it's likely that more people are aware of bitcoin (BTC-USD) now than in late 2017, so fewer people are searching for it. In other words, if a certain individual wanted to learn how to buy bitcoin in December, he or she now knows how to do it, so there's no need to search.

However, this is certainly a troubling statistic, as a decrease of more than 80% in search volume is a pretty clear indication that investors were more interested in bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies when they were in the midst of their parabolic rise in December than they are now.

Furthermore, continued growth in public interest is essential if bitcoin is to become a mainstream currency . According to recent data, only about 5% of Americans report having bought any cryptocurrency, so it's not as if the cryptocurrency markets have reached the peak of their potential interest.

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Matt Frankel owns Ethereum and Litecoin tokens. The Motley Fool has no position in any cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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