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The influence of central bank monetary policy announcements on cryptocurrency return volatility

Journal: Investment Management and Financial Innovations (Vol.14, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 60-72

Keywords : bitcoin; cryptocurrency; market volatility; monetary policy announcements; portfolio diversification;

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The emergence of Bitcoin in 2009 has received considerable attention surrounding the validity of cryptocurrencies as a viable and, in some jurisdictions, a legal currency alternative. Despite widespread concern that these cryptocurrencies are fostering the environment within which a substantial bubble can occur, it is important to analyze whether these new assets are behaving similarly to major international currencies. This paper investigates the effects of international monetary policy changes on bitcoin returns using a GARCH (1.1) estimation model. The results indicate that monetary policy decisions based on interest rates taken by the Federal Open Market Committee in the United States significantly impact upon bitcoin returns. After controlling for international effects, we find significant evidence of volatility effects driven by United States, European Union, United Kingdom and Japanese quantitative easing announcements. These results show that, despite its nature and ideals, bitcoin seems to be subject to the same economic factors as traditional fiat currencies, and is not entirely unaffected by government policies. This result has implications for investors using bitcoin as a hedging or diversification tool. In addition, we contribute to the existing debate regarding the classification of bitcoin as an asset class, by illustrating that bitcoin volatility exhibits various reactions that bear resemblance to both currency pairs and store-of-value assets.

Last modified: 2018-03-13 22:17:41