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The Cross-Section of Crypto-Currencies as Financial Assets: An Overview

Author

Listed:
  • Hermann Elendner
  • Simon Trimborn
  • Bobby Ong
  • Teik Ming Lee

Abstract

Crypto-currencies have developed a vibrant market since bitcoin, the rst crypto-currency, was created in 2009. We look at the properties of cryptocurrencies as nancial assets in a broad cross-section. We discuss approaches of altcoins to generate value and their trading and information platforms. Then we investigate crypto-currencies as alternative investment assets, studying their returns and the co-movements of altcoin prices with bitcoin and against each other. We evaluate their addition to investors' portfolios and document they are indeed able to enhance the diversi cation of portfolios due to their little co-movements with established assets, as well as with each other. Furthermore, we evaluate pure portfolios of crypto-currencies: an equallyweighted one, a value-weighted one, and one based on the CRypto-currency IndeX (CRIX). The CRIX portfolio displays lower risk than any individual of the liquid crypto-currencies. We also document the changing characteristics of the crypto-currency market. Deepening liquidity is accompanied by a rise in market value, and a growing number of altcoins is contributing larger amounts to aggregate crypto-currency market capitalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermann Elendner & Simon Trimborn & Bobby Ong & Teik Ming Lee, 2016. "The Cross-Section of Crypto-Currencies as Financial Assets: An Overview," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-038, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2016-038
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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2016-038.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marie Briere & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Virtual Currency, Tangible Return: Portfolio Diversification with Bitcoin," Working Papers CEB 13-031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    3. Simon Trimborn & Wolfgang Karl Härdle, 2015. "CRIX or evaluating Blockchain based currencies," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-048, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. Nicolas Houy, 2014. "It will cost you nothing to "kill" a Proof-of-Stake crypto-currency," Working Papers 1404, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, May.
    6. Nicolas Houy, 2014. "It will cost you nothing to "kill" a Proof-of-Stake crypto-currency," Working Papers halshs-00945053, HAL.
    7. Rainer Böhme & Nicolas Christin & Benjamin Edelman & Tyler Moore, 2015. "Bitcoin: Economics, Technology, and Governance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    8. Nicolas Houy, 2014. "It will cost you nothing to "kill" a proof-of-stake crypto-currency," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 1038-1044.
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    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. Simon Trimborn & Mingyang Li & Wolfgang Karl Härdle, 2017. "Investing with cryptocurrencies - A liquidity constrained investment approach," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2017-014, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Thomas Walther & Tony Klein & Hien Pham Thu, 2018. "Bitcoin is not the New Gold - A Comparison of Volatility, Correlation, and Portfolio Performance," Working Papers on Finance 1812, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    4. repec:eee:bushor:v:61:y:2018:i:4:p:567-575 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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