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Bitcoin and the bailout


  • Luther, William J.
  • Salter, Alexander W.


On March 16, 2013, Cyprus announced that it would accept a bailout that required imposing a one-time levy on bank deposits. It has been argued that, by making traditional deposit accounts seem less secure, the bailout announcement prompted some to consider—or reconsider—using the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Relying on rank data for a subset of apps, existing studies maintain that interest in bitcoin increased following the announcement, especially in countries with troubled banks. We argue that (1) focusing on a subset of apps does not allow one to distinguish a general increase in the demand for bitcoin apps from a substitution between bitcoin apps and (2) changes in rank data are a poor predictor of changes in the number of downloads. In order to address these concerns, we collect rank data for all fifteen bitcoin apps available at the time and use an established technique to estimate an index of downloads for each country considered. We find that, while downloads of bitcoin apps increased following the announcement, the observed effect was not especially pronounced in countries thought to have had troubled banking systems at the time.

Suggested Citation

  • Luther, William J. & Salter, Alexander W., 2017. "Bitcoin and the bailout," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 50-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:50-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.qref.2017.01.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fang, Libing & Bouri, Elie & Gupta, Rangan & Roubaud, David, 2019. "Does global economic uncertainty matter for the volatility and hedging effectiveness of Bitcoin?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 29-36.
    2. Catherine England & Craig Fratrik, 2018. "Where to Bitcoin?," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 33(Spring 20), pages 9-30.
    3. Selmi, Refk & Mensi, Walid & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Bouoiyour, Jamal, 2018. "Is Bitcoin a hedge, a safe haven or a diversifier for oil price movements? A comparison with gold," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 787-801.
    4. Bouri, Elie & Gupta, Rangan & Lau, Chi Keung Marco & Roubaud, David & Wang, Shixuan, 2018. "Bitcoin and global financial stress: A copula-based approach to dependence and causality in the quantiles," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 297-307.
    5. Hussain Shahzad, Syed Jawad & Bouri, Elie & Roubaud, David & Kristoufek, Ladislav, 2020. "Safe haven, hedge and diversification for G7 stock markets: Gold versus bitcoin," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 212-224.
    6. Matkovskyy, Roman, 2019. "Centralized and decentralized bitcoin markets: Euro vs USD vs GBP," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 270-279.
    7. Osamah Al-Khazali & Elie Bouri & David Roubaud, 2018. "The impact of positive and negative macroeconomic news surprises: Gold versus Bitcoin," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(1), pages 373-382.
    8. Corbet, Shaen & Lucey, Brian & Urquhart, Andrew & Yarovaya, Larisa, 2019. "Cryptocurrencies as a financial asset: A systematic analysis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 182-199.
    9. Bouri, Elie & Gupta, Rangan & Lahiani, Amine & Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2018. "Testing for asymmetric nonlinear short- and long-run relationships between bitcoin, aggregate commodity and gold prices," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 224-235.
    10. Isah, Kazeem O. & Raheem, Ibrahim D., 2019. "The hidden predictive power of cryptocurrencies and QE: Evidence from US stock market," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 536(C).
    11. Obryan Poyser, 2017. "Exploring the determinants of Bitcoin's price: an application of Bayesian Structural Time Series," Papers 1706.01437,
    12. Cheng, Jiameng & Dai, Yanke, 2020. "Is bitcoin a channel of capital inflow? Evidence from carry trade activity," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 261-278.
    13. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi & Mark E. Wohar, 2019. "Bitcoin: competitor or complement to gold?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(1), pages 186-191.
    14. E. Fedorova A. & K. Bechvaya Z. & O. Rogov Yu. & Е. Федорова А. & К. Бечвая З. & О. Рогов Ю., 2018. "Влияние Тональности Новостей На Курс Биткоина // The Influence Of The Tonality Of News On The Exchange Rate Of Bitcoin," Финансы: теория и практика/Finance: Theory and Practice // Finance: Theory and Practice, ФГОБУВО Финансовый университет при Правительстве Российской Федерации // Financial University under The Government of Russian Federation, vol. 22(4), pages 104-113.
    15. Oh, Jeong Hun, 2018. "The Foreign Exchange Market With the Cryptocurrency and "Kimchi Premium"," 22nd ITS Biennial Conference, Seoul 2018. Beyond the boundaries: Challenges for business, policy and society 190386, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    16. Yue-Jun Zhang & Elie Bouri & Rangan Gupta, 2020. "Risk Spillover between Bitcoin and Conventional Financial Markets: An Expectile-Based Approach," Working Papers 202027, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    17. Shahzad, Syed Jawad Hussain & Bouri, Elie & Roubaud, David & Kristoufek, Ladislav & Lucey, Brian, 2019. "Is Bitcoin a better safe-haven investment than gold and commodities?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 322-330.
    18. William J. Luther, 2018. "Is Bitcoin Intrinsically Worthless?," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 33(Spring 20), pages 31-45.
    19. Chan, Wing Hong & Le, Minh & Wu, Yan Wendy, 2019. "Holding Bitcoin longer: The dynamic hedging abilities of Bitcoin," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 107-113.

    More about this item


    Bitcoin; Cryptocurrency; Currency competition; Medium of exchange; Payment system;

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E49 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Other


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