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Global and local drivers of Bitcoin trading vis-à-vis fiat currencies

10/11/2023 BCE Visiter le site source

We analyse the drivers of Bitcoin transactions against 44 fiat currencies in the largest peer-to-peer crypto exchanges. Momentum and volatility in the cryptoasset market, as well as volatility and liquidity in global financial markets do matter for Bitcoin trading. There is suggestive evidence of a global crypto cycle driven by speculative motives. However, in emerging and developing economies (EMDEs), Bitcoin seems to offer also transactional benefits, since trading increases when the value of the domestic currency is unstable. Proxies of banking depth and digitalisation are negatively correlated with the currency loadings on the global factor, indicating that crypto-assets may offer a speculative alternative to traditional finance when this is not available, especially in EMDEs where the share of younger risk-prone population is higher. Our results clearly point to potential financial stability risks from cryptoisation in EMDEs with low levels of financial development and unstable fiat currencies.