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Blockchain Analysis of the Bitcoin Market

Author

Listed:
  • Igor Makarov
  • Antoinette Schoar

Abstract

In this paper, we provide detailed analyses of the Bitcoin network and its main participants. We build a novel database using a large number of public and proprietary sources to link Bitcoin addresses to real entities and develop an extensive suite of algorithms to extract information about the behavior of the main market participants. We conduct three major pieces of analysis of the Bitcoin eco-system. First, we analyze the transaction volume and network structure of the main participants on the blockchain. Second, we document the concentration and regional composition of the miners which are the backbone of the verification protocol and ensure the integrity of the blockchain ledger. Finally, we analyze the ownership concentration of the largest holders of Bitcoin.

Suggested Citation

  • Igor Makarov & Antoinette Schoar, 2021. "Blockchain Analysis of the Bitcoin Market," NBER Working Papers 29396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:29396
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schuler, Katrin & Nadler, Matthias & Schär, Fabian, 2023. "Contagion and loss redistribution in crypto asset markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 231(C).
    2. Alexander, Carol & Deng, Jun & Zou, Bin, 2023. "Hedging with automatic liquidation and leverage selection on bitcoin futures," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 306(1), pages 478-493.
    3. Cole, Benjamin M. & Dyhrberg, Anne H. & Foley, Sean & Svec, Jiri, 2022. "Can Bitcoin be Trusted? Quantifying the economic value of blockchain transactions," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    4. Bianchi, Daniele & Babiak, Mykola & Dickerson, Alexander, 2022. "Trading volume and liquidity provision in cryptocurrency markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    5. Sofia Priazhkina & Samuel Palmer & Pablo Martín-Ramiro & Román Orús & Samuel Mugel & Vladimir Skavysh, 2024. "Digital Payments in Firm Networks: Theory of Adoption and Quantum Algorithm," Staff Working Papers 24-17, Bank of Canada.
    6. Stinner, Jona & Tyrell, Marcel, 2022. "Proof-Of-Work Consensus Under Exogenous Distress: Evidence from Mining Shocks in the Bitcoin Ecosystem," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264115, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf & Karamfil Todorov, 2023. "Crypto carry," BIS Working Papers 1087, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Borri, Nicola & Shakhnov, Kirill, 2023. "Cryptomarket discounts," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    9. Carlo Campajola & Raffaele Cristodaro & Francesco Maria De Collibus & Tao Yan & Nicolo' Vallarano & Claudio J. Tessone, 2022. "The Evolution Of Centralisation on Cryptocurrency Platforms," Papers 2206.05081, arXiv.org, revised May 2023.
    10. Cowden, Birton & Tang, Jintong, 2022. "Institutional entrepreneurial orientation: Beyond setting the rules of the game for blockchain technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    11. Sarkodie, Samuel Asumadu & Ahmed, Maruf Yakubu & Leirvik, Thomas, 2022. "Trade volume affects bitcoin energy consumption and carbon footprint," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(C).
    12. Pietro Saggese & Esther Segalla & Michael Sigmund & Burkhard Raunig & Felix Zangerl & Bernhard Haslhofer, 2023. "Assessing the Solvency of Virtual Asset Service Providers: Are Current Standards Sufficient?," Papers 2309.16408, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2024.
    13. Makridis, Christos A. & Fröwis, Michael & Sridhar, Kiran & Böhme, Rainer, 2023. "The rise of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges: Evaluating the role of airdrops and governance tokens," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    14. Divakaruni, Anantha & Zimmerman, Peter, 2023. "The Lightning Network: Turning Bitcoin into money," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    15. Wilko Bolt & Vera Lubbersen & Peter Wierts, 2022. "Getting the balance right: Crypto, stablecoin and CBDC," Working Papers 736, DNB.
    16. Igor Makarov & Antoinette Schoar, 2022. "Cryptocurrencies and Decentralised Finance," BIS Working Papers 1061, Bank for International Settlements.
    17. Bernhard Haslhofer & Burkhard Raunig & Pietro Saggase & Esther Segalla & Michael Sigmund & Felix Zangerl, 2023. "Assessing the Solvency of Virtual Asset Service Providers: Are Current Standards Sufficient? (Pietro Saggese, Esther Segalla, Michael Sigmund, Burkhard Raunig, Felix Zangerl, Bernhard Haslhofer)," Working Papers 248, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    18. Ferko, Alex & Moin, Amani & Onur, Esen & Penick, Michael, 2023. "Who trades bitcoin futures and why?," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    19. Jean Barthélémy & Paul Gardin & Benoit Nguyen, 2023. "Stablecoins and the Financing of the Real Economy," Working papers 908, Banque de France.
    20. Lioba Heimbach & Wenqian Huang, 2024. "DeFi leverage," BIS Working Papers 1171, Bank for International Settlements.
    21. Michael Sockin & Wei Xiong, 2023. "Decentralization through Tokenization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 78(1), pages 247-299, February.
    22. Sarkodie, Samuel Asumadu & Ahmed, Maruf Yakubu & Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa, 2022. "COVID-19 pandemic improves market signals of cryptocurrencies–evidence from Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    23. Karau, Sören, 2023. "Monetary policy and Bitcoin," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    24. Feyen,Erik H.B. & Kawashima,Yusaku & Mittal,Raunak, 2022. "Crypto-Assets Activity around the World : Evolution and Macro-Financial Drivers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9962, The World Bank.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F38 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Financial Policy: Financial Transactions Tax; Capital Controls
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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