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Can We Predict the Winner in a Market with Network Effects? Competition in Cryptocurrency Market

Author

Listed:
  • Neil Gandal

    () (Department of Economics, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
    CEPR, London EC1V 0DX, UK)

  • Hanna Halaburda

    () (Bank of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G9, Canada
    Stern School of Business, New York University, NY 10012, USA
    Views presented in this paper are those of authors, and do not represent Bank of Canada’s position)

Abstract

We analyze how network effects affect competition in the nascent cryptocurrency market. We do so by examining early dynamics of exchange rates among different cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin essentially dominates this market, our data suggest no evidence of a winner-take-all effect early in the market. Indeed, for a relatively long period, a few other cryptocurrencies competing with Bitcoin (the early industry leader) appreciated much more quickly than Bitcoin. The data in this period are consistent with the use of cryptocurrencies as financial assets (popularized by Bitcoin), and not consistent with winner-take-all dynamics. Toward the end of our sample, however, things change dramatically. Bitcoin appreciates against the USD, while other currencies depreciate against the USD. The data in this period are consistent with strong network effects and winner-take-all dynamics. This trend continues at the time of writing.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Gandal & Hanna Halaburda, 2016. "Can We Predict the Winner in a Market with Network Effects? Competition in Cryptocurrency Market," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-21, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:7:y:2016:i:3:p:16-:d:73475
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua S. Gans & Hanna Halaburda, 2015. "Some Economics of Private Digital Currency," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy, pages 257-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christian Catalini & Catherine Tucker, 2016. "Seeding the S-Curve? The Role of Early Adopters in Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 22596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-143, Summer.
    4. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    5. Halaburda, Hanna & Jullien, Bruno & Yehezkel, Yaron, 2016. "Dynamic Competition with Network Externalities: Why History Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 11205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    7. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    8. Hanna Halaburda & Bruno Jullien & Yaron Yehezkel, 2016. "Dynamic Competition with Network Externalities: Why History Matters," CESifo Working Paper Series 5847, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. What Bitcoin Has Become
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2017-01-23 19:00:14
    2. Bitcoin and Fundamentals
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2017-12-04 18:12:34

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Omane-Adjepong, Maurice & Ababio, Kofi Agyarko & Alagidede, Imhotep Paul, 2019. "Time-frequency analysis of behaviourally classified financial asset markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 54-69.
    2. Christian Haddad & Lars Hornuf, 2016. "The Emergence of the Global Fintech Market: Economic and Technological Determinants," Research Papers in Economics 2016-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    3. White, Reilly & Marinakis, Yorgos & Islam, Nazrul & Walsh, Steven, 2020. "Is Bitcoin a currency, a technology-based product, or something else?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen & Basu, Soumya, 2019. "From mining to markets: The evolution of bitcoin transaction fees," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 91-109.
    5. Abeer ElBahrawy & Laura Alessandretti & Andrea Baronchelli, 2019. "Wikipedia and Digital Currencies: Interplay Between Collective Attention and Market Performance," Papers 1902.04517, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2019.
    6. Abeer ElBahrawy & Laura Alessandretti & Anne Kandler & Romualdo Pastor-Satorras & Andrea Baronchelli, 2017. "Evolutionary dynamics of the cryptocurrency market," Papers 1705.05334, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2017.
    7. Feder, Amir & Gandal, Neil & Hamrick, JT & Moore, Tyler & Mukherjee, Arghya & Rouhi, Farhang & Vasek, Marie, 2018. "The Economics of Cryptocurrency Pump and Dump Schemes," CEPR Discussion Papers 13404, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Aymen Mselmi, 2020. "Blockchain Technology and Systemic Risk," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 10(2), pages 53-60.
    9. Aniruddha Dutta & Saket Kumar & Meheli Basu, 2019. "A Gated Recurrent Unit Approach to Bitcoin Price Prediction," Papers 1912.11166, arXiv.org.
    10. Christian Catalini & Catherine Tucker, 2016. "Seeding the S-Curve? The Role of Early Adopters in Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 22596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ciaian, Pavel & Rajcaniova, Miroslava & Kancs, d'Artis, 2018. "Virtual relationships: Short- and long-run evidence from BitCoin and altcoin markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 173-195.
    12. Christian Haddad & Lars Hornuf, 2016. "The Emergence of the Global Fintech Market: Economic and Technological Determinants," CESifo Working Paper Series 6131, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Beatriz Mota Aragón & José Antonio Núñez Mora, 2019. "Estimación de la distribución multivariada de los rendimientos de los tipos de cambio contra el dólar de las criptomonedas Bitcoin, Ripple y Ether," Remef - Revista Mexicana de Economía y Finanzas Nueva Época REMEF (The Mexican Journal of Economics and Finance), Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos de Finanzas, IMEF, vol. 14(3), pages 447-457, Julio - S.
    14. Yi, Shuyue & Xu, Zishuang & Wang, Gang-Jin, 2018. "Volatility connectedness in the cryptocurrency market: Is Bitcoin a dominant cryptocurrency?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 98-114.
    15. Stosic, Darko & Stosic, Dusan & Ludermir, Teresa B. & Stosic, Tatijana, 2019. "Exploring disorder and complexity in the cryptocurrency space," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 525(C), pages 548-556.
    16. Laura Alessandretti & Abeer ElBahrawy & Luca Maria Aiello & Andrea Baronchelli, 2018. "Anticipating cryptocurrency prices using machine learning," Papers 1805.08550, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2018.
    17. Omane-Adjepong, Maurice & Alagidede, Paul & Akosah, Nana Kwame, 2019. "Wavelet time-scale persistence analysis of cryptocurrency market returns and volatility," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 514(C), pages 105-120.
    18. Christian Haddad & Lars Hornuf, 2019. "The emergence of the global fintech market: economic and technological determinants," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 81-105, June.
    19. Lars Hornuf, 2016. "The Emergence of the Global Fintech Market: Economic and Technological Determinants," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 201606, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    20. Laura Alessandretti & Abeer ElBahrawy & Luca Maria Aiello & Andrea Baronchelli, 2018. "Anticipating Cryptocurrency Prices Using Machine Learning," Complexity, Hindawi, vol. 2018, pages 1-16, November.
    21. Flori, Andrea, 2019. "News and subjective beliefs: A Bayesian approach to Bitcoin investments," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 336-356.
    22. Gandal, Neil & Hamrick, JT & Moore, Tyler & Oberman, Tali, 2018. "Price manipulation in the Bitcoin ecosystem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 86-96.
    23. Anil Savio Kavuri & Alistair Milne, 2019. "FinTech and the future of financial services: What are the research gaps?," CAMA Working Papers 2019-18, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    24. Vidal-Tomás, David & Ibáñez, Ana M. & Farinós, José E., 2019. "Herding in the cryptocurrency market: CSSD and CSAD approaches," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 181-186.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    network effects; cryptocurrencies; first mover advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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