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Monetary policy and Bitcoin

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  • Karau, Sören

Abstract

Bitcoin was conceptualized in response to perceived shortcomings in the monetary and financialsystem, not only related to large financial institutions but also to discretionary decision makingin monetary policy. Using high-frequency data and a weekly proxy VAR model, I study theimpact of monetary policy on Bitcoin. The paper shows that monetary shocks have sizableeffects on Bitcoin prices, but that these differ in sign: a disinflationary monetary tightening bythe ECB lowers valuations - consistent with the notion of Bitcoin as a digital gold -, whereasa Fed tightening increases Bitcoin prices. I document similar differences with respect to cen-tral bank information shocks and explore potential explanations by studying various aspects ofthe Bitcoin ecosystem. Exploiting both differences in Bitcoin valuations across currencies andblockchain transaction data, the paper shows that the increased demand for Bitcoin following aUS monetary tightening is primarily driven by emerging markets. I argue that this likely reflectsthe technological and institutional particularities of Bitcoin that make it sought after as globaldigital cashwhen international economic and financial conditions deteriorate.

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  • Karau, Sören, 2021. "Monetary policy and Bitcoin," Discussion Papers 41/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdps:412021
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    Cited by:

    1. David Cerezo S'anchez, 2022. "Zero-Knowledge Optimal Monetary Policy under Stochastic Dominance," Papers 2210.06139, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bitcoin; Blockchain; Monetary policy; Proxy VAR;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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