What Drives Volatility of Bitcoin?

Extremely high Bitcoin returns and drawdowns come hand in hand with significant volatility. As Bitcoin is becoming an unignorable part of finance with substantial institutional participation, it is necessary to understand the key drivers of returns and volatility, which is comparably persistent as in other, more established asset classes. In addition, other cryptocurrencies are extremely correlated with Bitcoin, so understanding of key drivers of Bitcoin volatility might also carry to other cryptos. The research of Lyócsa, Molnár, Plíhal and Širaňová (2020) examines several possible drivers of the volatility. The authors study the realized volatility and its jump component and identify whether the volatility is influenced by various factors such as news about the regulation of bitcoin, hacking attacks on bitcoin exchanges, investor sentiment, and various types of macroeconomic news. The study identifies the significant impact of two intuitive factors: news about the regulation or cryptocurrency exchange hacks. Lagged volatility is also an essential factor, as shown by regression analysis. Regarding macroeconomic data, economic fundamentals do not seem to influence the volatility, except for forward-looking indicators (e.g., the consumer confidence index). Lastly, the authors study the investor sentiment extracted from Google searches, but only the positive sentiment has some impact.


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