Why is bitcoin so volatile?

It played out at the Super Bowl and has been viewed 28 million times on Twitter and YouTube. Imagine if you suddenly couldn’t withdraw cash from your bank, or you heard other people couldn’t. You’d be at the nearest cash machine, along with everybody else, in record time, and this in itself would create more upheaval and more panic. «The price is only and purely whatever people are prepared to buy it from you for,» she tells me. Folks continuing to buy Bitcoin regardless of the (lack of) fundamentals, also contributes to Bitcoin’s high volatility.

In May 2021, for instance, bitcoin prices plunged by more than half; over the past month, however, they’ve rallied by more than 40%. Before you decide whether you want to invest in crypto, you need to know if crypto volatility you’re up for a bumpy ride. Can you imagine losing 30% of what you have in your bank account in one day? If that mere thought made you break out into hives, cryptocurrency may not be a good investment for you.

These two asset classes illustrate the actual performance of the U.S. dollar versus bitcoin over the past 10 years. For example, $10,000 ten years ago would have the purchasing power of only $8,070 today as measured by the consumer price index, an erosion of over 19% of its value. While volatility is typically not something that is desired by investors, it is helpful to question whether or not it matters for a core investment thesis.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

Financial markets facilitate the trading of financial assets across many participants. These markets are usually owned by a company who pairs buyers and sellers of different assets and maintains the market’s fairness. This section analyzes whether the three key properties of a currency, namely medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value, also hold for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. We conclude that Bitcoin’s excess expected returns and volatility (relative to the S&P500) do not unambiguously make it a good portfolio diversifier or hedge. Its excess volatility implies very low or zero weights in a minimum variance portfolio.

Assets that fluctuate significantly in price are considered more volatile. Hence, we conclude that Bitcoin volatility is different from the volatility of the three major currencies. Considering the results presented in Table 2 further shows that Bitcoin volatility is higher than FX volatility. This changed with President Nixon abandoning all linkages of the U.S. dollar to gold in 1971, removing the peg or fixed exchange rate of gold to U.S. dollars and adopting a free-floating exchange rate. If this sounds a bit too esoteric or all theory, a relatively recent example of gold’s emergence as an asset class may be helpful.

In June 2021, when Bitcoin’s price fell below $30,000, its 30-day and 60-day volatility index values reached their highest points since April 2020. There are no official thresholds for determining what counts as “extreme,” but one only needs to look at Bitcoin’s chart for the past 10 years to know that it has not enjoyed as much stability as stocks. The stock market’s volatility is measured by the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX).

We’ve already seen the power of sentiment create much volatility across traditional stock markets in 2021. The GameStop (GME) short squeeze in January was caused by a collection of retail investors coordinating themselves via social media to collectively buy a specific stock to boost its price. Bitcoin volatility is also driven, to an extent, by these investors.

Why Is Bitcoin Volatile

This is in contrast to Bitcoin which does not work as a store of value in the short run but potentially in the long run. Table 2 presents descriptive statistics for returns and volatility. As can be seen, the average return of Bitcoin is similar across five out of the six markets. The slightly negative return observed on BTCBOX is due to the fact that the time series for this market only starts in January 2018, amidst the downturn period after the all-time high in December 2017.

For example, some large traditional financial services (TradFi) institutions that were prior crypto-naysayers are now showing an interest in the crypto sector. The Securities and Exchange Commission, recently told a House committee there are gaps in the system. He pointed out that there’s a need for legislation to specify which regulator should oversee crypto exchanges.

«Massive retracements are always scary, but seasoned investors tend to see them as buying opportunities,» said Mati Greenspan, portfolio manager and founder of Quantum Economics. Rumors about regulations tend to impact Bitcoin’s price in the short term, but the significance of the impacts is still being analyzed and debated. It is difficult to predict what will happen to prices when the limit is reached; there will no longer be any profit from mining Bitcoin. As big financial players compete for ownership in an environment of dwindling supply, Bitcoin’s price will likely fluctuate in response to any actions they take. Volatility profiles based on trailing-three-year calculations of the standard deviation of service investment returns. Fortunately for the company, Bitcoin has been doing well lately; in the period from last Friday to this one, it advanced by 9% to hit nearly $29,340.

In contrast, the weights are high, about 50% or higher, in portfolios based on optimal Sharpe ratios due to the high excess returns despite the positive correlations. We perform a portfolio analysis for all three return frequencies and find surprising results regarding Bitcoin’s role as a diversifier in an equity-Bitcoin portfolio. The correlations are positive and thus different compared with previous findings. The correlations increase from 0.09 for daily returns to 0.21 for monthly returns and to 0.34 for quarterly returns. A critical issue in the Bitcoin framework is the regulation of cryptocurrencies which is heterogeneous across countries. In some jurisdictions, Bitcoin is completely banned (e.g., Bolivia, Morocco, or Nepal); in others there is no limit to its use (European countries, USA, and many others).

Recession looms, inflation is soaring, interest rates are rising and living costs are biting. Stock markets are wobbling too, with the US S&P 500 now in a bear market (down 20% from its recent high). I’m going to concentrate on Bitcoin here – but if you’re a crypto follower, you’ll know the whole market is troubled, to put it mildly. But write about it we must, because the past 24 hours have been catastrophic for the grande dame of cryptocurrency – even by Bitcoin standards.

  • Its capitalisation slightly exceeds one trillion dollars as of April 2023, while that of the New York Stock Exchange exceeds thirty-five trillion dollars.
  • The overall state of the economy can also affect the price of Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin can make you rich overnight, but in a couple of days, you can lose a significant part of your investment.
  • As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve and mature, it will be interesting to see how the relationship between USDT and Bitcoin evolves.
  • As Bitcoin is currently not accepted as a medium of exchange, it cannot have the unit of account feature.

It has often been reported that Bitcoin price changes are uncorrelated with other assets’ price changes making Bitcoin a good diversifier of risk in asset portfolios. We use daily, monthly and quarterly returns of the S&P500 and Bitcoin https://www.xcritical.in/ for the period August 2011 to August 2020 to test this feature of Bitcoin. As gold went through a major price discovery process in the 70’s, which then resulted in amassing a larger base of investors, volatility naturally declined.