Is Bitcoin a Hedge? How Extreme Volatility Can Destroy the Hedge Property
27 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2021 Last revised: 22 Jan 2022
Date Written: September 18, 2021
A large literature tests whether Bitcoin can hedge portfolio risk, i.e. reduce the risk if added to a portfolio. Intuitively, given the extreme volatility and thus risk of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the idea that Bitcoin is a hedge may be puzzling. Indeed, we show that for extreme levels of volatility, Bitcoin does not reduce the risk if added to a benchmark equity portfolio. This is not only true on average but also holds for sub-samples, including the COVID-19 crisis period. We conclude that a focus on correlations is not sufficient for extreme levels of volatility.
Keywords: Bitcoin, hedge, portfolio diversifier
JEL Classification: G00, G10, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation