A study conducted by multinational corporation Yandex recently revealed that residents of Kazakhstan have begun to take a lot more interest in cryptocurrencies. In fact, their interest, based on search engine queries, surged 15-fold this year, compared to 2017. According to local news outlet Zakon, cryptocurrency-related searches started surging last year.
Yandex, the largest Russian search engine and the largest technology company in Russia, saw its study compile Kazakhstani search queries between 2016 and early 2018. Per Yandex, Kazakh users’ interest began in June 2017, and surged in September of the same year.
The study notes that Kazakh users often search for courses on cryptocurrencies, guides on how to buy cryptocurrencies, on exchanges, and on mining. Searches for “bitcoin” grew 7-fold this year, when compared to early 2017. Zakon details that overall, Kazakh users’ interest in cryptocurrencies grew exponentially.
“In early 2018, Kazakhstan residents made about 15 times more requests with this word [cryptocurrency] than in the same period of 2017, “ the report reads.
Among the various industry-related search terms Kazakhstani users use, bitcoin, blockchain, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and cryptocurrency mining are among the top. Specific queries see them ask Yandex if a “student can work for bitcoin,” or “what is a blockchain in simple words for dummies.”
When it comes to mining, the country’s residents are seemingly looking to start their own operations. Some of the popular search terms include “how much does mining pay really,” and “where to get money for a mining farm.” Searches for “graphics cards for mining” increased 10-fold when compared to last year.
Kazakhstan users worried about cryptojacking
Yandex’s study further reveals that internet users in Kazakhstan are worried about the ongoing cryptojacking trend. The trend essentially sees cybercriminals use other people’s CPU resources to mine cryptocurrencies. Usually, criminals mine privacy-centric coins like Monero.
Some high-profile cryptojacking victims include the Los Angeles Times, and various government websites throughout the world. Kazakh users often ask Yandex “how to find out if I have a mining virus,” as well as what type of software will help them fend off cryptocurrency mining malware.
As covered by Core Media, Kazakhstan has looked into launching its own fiat-backed cryptocurrency last year. Other countries have entertained the idea as well. So far, only Venezuela launched an oil-backed cryptocurrency, that isn’t even purchasable with the Venezuelan Bolivar.