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Cryptocurrencies vs global foreign exchange risk

Calvin W. H. Cheong (Faculty of Business, Design and Arts, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Kuching, Malaysia)

Journal of Risk Finance

ISSN: 1526-5943

Article publication date: 6 September 2019

Issue publication date: 15 October 2019

1742

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the properties of four major cryptocurrencies and how they can be used as a simpler alternative mode of hedging foreign exchange (FX) risks as compared to existing mainstream financial risk management techniques.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a combination of visual data representations and the classic Fama and Macbeth (1973) two-pass procedure regressions.

Findings

The findings show that cryptocurrencies can be a more effective hedge against FX risks as compared to other common hedging instruments and/or techniques such as gold or a diversified currency portfolio.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions were arrived at based only on a small group of cryptocurrency, i.e. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. Other cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin or ZCash might exhibit different properties.

Practical implications

Cryptocurrencies can be cost-effective and cost-efficient instruments that provide a solid hedge for investors and/or firms that are exposed to global FX volatility. Its ease of trade and virtually zero barriers to entry makes it an easily accessible alternative hedge instrument as compared to more complex items such as derivatives.

Originality/value

If cryptocurrencies are to be accepted into mainstream usage, a detailed examination of its various uses is necessary. In particular, as they are often touted to be the future of currency, its properties and price behavior relative to other mainstream financial instruments need to be well-understood, not only by finance professionals but also by laypersons.

Keywords

Citation

Cheong, C.W.H. (2019), "Cryptocurrencies vs global foreign exchange risk", Journal of Risk Finance, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 330-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRF-11-2018-0178

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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