How Elon Musk's Twitter Activity Moves Cryptocurrency Markets
28 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2021 Last revised: 13 Jan 2022
Date Written: February 3, 2021
Elon Musk, one of the richest individuals in the world, is considered a technological visionary and has a social network of over 69 million followers on social media platform Twitter. He regularly uses his social media presence to communicate on various topics, one of which is cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Dogecoin. Using an event study approach, we analyze to what extent Musk’s Twitter activity affects short-term cryptocurrency returns and volume. In other words, we investigate whether cryptocurrency markets exhibit a “Musk Effect”. Based on a sample of 47 cryptocurrency-related Twitter events, we identify significant positive abnormal returns and trading volume following such events. However, we discover that on average, price effects are only significant for Dogecoin-related Tweets but not for Bitcoin. This is because regarding the latter, the significant price effects of positive and negative news cancel each other out, as further classification and analysis of Bitcoin-related tweets reveals. Our study shows the significant impact that the social media activity of influential individuals can have on cryptocurrencies. This suggests a conflict between the ideals of freedom of speech, morals and investor protection.
Keywords: Twitter, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Event study, Social media
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