Who’s searching about bitcoin mining the most?

According to Google Trends at the time of writing, the answer is a handful of African countries. Search interest rankings from the past 12 months rank these countries as having the most interest in “bitcoin mining” queries.

  • Botswana
  • Maldives
  • Nigeria
  • Zimbabwe
  • Ghana

South Africa and Ethiopia are also in the top 10 countries querying Google about bitcoin mining. Canada (#20) and the United States (22) are ranked far below these countries.

What’s driving the interest in mining?

Naming one or two catalysts with complete certainty is impossible. But a couple key cryptocurrency-related dynamics shared by several countries across the African continent lend clues to what’s causing people to ask Google about bitcoin mining.

Buying and using bitcoin

A steady stream of cryptocurrency headlines over the past year have highlighted the recent surge in investor and merchant interest in bitcoin.

  • Despite crackdowns from financial regulators, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from Nigerians is soaring.
  • Paxful CEO Ray Youssef says Africa is “leading” cryptocurrency adoption.
  • After the US, Sub-Saharan Africa is leading global trading volume from Paxful by a significant margin.

In most countries, widespread interest in buying and using bitcoin typically precedes strong interest in mining bitcoin too. Although it doesn’t necessarily explain all of the region’s interest in mining, people who want bitcoin tend to also want to learn how to mine it.

Chinese miner migration

Another possible explanation for some of Africa’s mining interest signaled by Google search is the relocation of mining companies from China after the Asian country’s crackdown earlier this year. Of course, most of the hashrate leaving China is moving to North America and parts of East Europe.

But China’s strong and growing commercial presence across Africa is no secret. The influence of Chinese capital on African economic development is so strong in fact that some analysts and journalists wonder whether North American companies can even compete in the region.

As some of the world’s largest mining companies are leaving and have left China, and as African countries continue building out their own cryptocurrency mining infrastructure, it’s a safe bet that some hashing power from China is finding a new home in Africa, which might be boosting some of the regions search interest in mining.