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Crypto Covered Interest Parity Deviations

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Bitcoin and other currencies are nowadays frequently discussed again. The debate has emerged mainly because of the strong uptrend in the Bitcoin price. In this blog post, we will leave the price patters to others. We will instead present interesting novel research connected to the well known theoretical model in the fiat currencies – the Covered Interest Rate Parity (CIP). If the CIP holds, interest rates and both the spot and forward rates of two countries should be in equilibrium. Novel research of Franz and Valentin (2020) examines the CIP in BTC/USD pair. The CIP theory states that there should be no arbitrage opportunities, but how the CIP holds in such a volatile market, where individual investors/traders seem to dominate? According to research, there were significant CIP deviations in the past, but it changed with the launch of BTC/USD futures in CME and high-frequency traders’ market entry. Moreover, the second event was much more successful in the reduction of deviations. 

Authors: Friedrich-Carl Franz and Alexander Valentin

Title: Crypto Covered Interest Parity Deviations

Linkhttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3702212

Abstract:

Studying deviations from covered interest rate parity (CIP) in the Bitcoin/US-Dollar (BTC/USD) market, we find large CIP deviations of up to 15% until Q1/2018. Afterwards, CIP deviations have been subdued, which we attribute to the market entry of high-frequency traders (HFTs). We argue that these market entries have increased efficiency of cryptocurrency markets with respect to CIP as well as liquidity, volatility, and bid-ask spreads. Remarkably, these efficiency gains are larger for the less liquid
cryptocurrency Litecoin. Employing a difference-in-differences design, we show that the launch of the BTC/USD future at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) did not affect market efficiency. Finally, remaining CIP deviations after Q1/2018 seem mostly related to increased credit risk of certain crypto exchanges.

As always, the results can be presented through interesting charts:

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