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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.
    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. Laura Alessandretti & Abeer ElBahrawy & Luca Maria Aiello & Andrea Baronchelli, 2018. "Machine Learning the Cryptocurrency Market," Papers 1805.08550, arXiv.org.
    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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. Christian Haddad & Lars Hornuf, 2016. "The Emergence of the Global Fintech Market: Economic and Technological Determinants," CESifo Working Paper Series 6131, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. repec:eee:moneco:v:95:y:2018:i:c:p:86-96 is not listed on IDEAS

    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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