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Cryptocurrency bubble risk and the FOMC announcements during COVID-19 black swan event

Anis Jarboui (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France and Researcher, Institut de Recherche en Gestion (IRG), Creteil, France)
Emna Mnif (University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia)

Journal of Investment Compliance

ISSN: 1528-5812

Article publication date: 1 April 2021

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021




After the COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Reserve has undertaken several monetary policies to alleviate the pandemic consequences on the markets. This paper aims to evaluate the effects of the Federal Reserve monetary policy on the cryptocurrency dynamics during the COVID19 pandemic.


We examine the response and feedback effects via an event study methodology. For this purpose, abnormal returns (AR) and cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) around the first FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) announcement related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the top five cryptocurrencies are explored. We, further investigate the effect of the eight FOMC statement announcements during the COVID19 pandemic on these cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Litecoin, and Ripple). In the above-mentioned crypto-currency markets, we investigate the presence of bubbles by using the PSY test. We then examine the concordance of the dates of these bubbles with the dates of the FOMC announcements.


The empirical results show that the first FOMC event has a negative significant effect after 4 days of the announcement date for all studied cryptocurrencies except Tether. The results also indicate that cumulative abnormal returns are significant during the event windows of (−3,8), (−3,9), and (−3,10). Besides, we find that Bitcoin, Ethereum and, Litecoin lived short bubbles lasting for a few days. However, Ripple and Tether markets present no bubbles and no explosive periods.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents trained proof that FOMC announcements have a positive effect on volatility's predictive capacity. This work therefore promotes the study of the data quality of volatility in future research as well.

Practical implications

The justified effect of the FOMC announcements on cryptocurrency as a speculative asset has practical implications for investors in building their trading strategies in anticipation of the next FOMC announcement. Therefore, this study implies that the FOMC announcements contain very relevant information for investors in the cryptocurrency market. This research may not only encourage a better understanding of the evolution of the expectations of policymakers, but also facilitate a better understanding of how these expectations are developed.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed the stability of financial markets, inciting the Fed to take some monetary regulations. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first one that analyses the response of five major cryptocurrencies to FOMC announcements during COVID 19 pandemic and associates these dates with bubble occurrences.



Jarboui, A. and Mnif, E. (2021), "Cryptocurrency bubble risk and the FOMC announcements during COVID-19 black swan event", Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 95-108.



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