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Development of Cryptoassets Ecosystem: New Trends
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Development of Cryptoassets Ecosystem: New Trends

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2019-3-51-58
© 2019   Alexander O. MASLENNIKOV
Received 02.12.2019

Alexander O. MASLENNIKOV (maslennikov@imemo.ru), Researcher, Center of Energy Studies.   Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared as part of the research work “Formation of a polycentric world order: risks and opportunities for Russia” of the program of the Russian Academy of Sciences KP19-268 “Big Challenges and the Scientific Foundations of Forecasting and Strategic Planning”.

The number of actively traded cryptoassets reached 2348 in October 2019, though the largest cryptocurrency bitcoin still remains at the core of the crypto ecosystem as it accounts for about two-thirds of the ecosystem’s total market capitalization. The article shows that despite persistently high level of cryptocomplex concentration the role of crypto assets other than bitcoin has been increasing since mid-2018 at least in three aspects. First, tether overtook bitcoin in trading volume. Second, ethereum caught up with bitcoin as a price leader for other cryptocurrencies. During Jul. 2018 – Oct. 2019 ethereum was the most correlated large cryptocurrency in terms of daily returns for 37% of actively traded cryptocurrencies, which is close to that of bitcoin (35%). That is a sharp contrast to the results for the period Jan. 2017 – Jun. 2018, when bitcoin was the price leader for more than 70% of actively traded cryptocurrencies. Third, the gap between the level of market risk of non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies and that of bitcoin itself is narrowing although the former still remains to be more risky than bitcoin. It is also shown that bitcoin and other major cryptoassets alike have become less risky during the last 1.5 years in terms of volatility of their daily returns. The potential inflow of funds into crypto complex from institutional investors, which currently prefer to stay away of cryptoassets, could accelerate the development of the crypto ecosystem. The author argues that recent trends in expanding the list of crypto instruments available to institutional investors, development of custodial services for cryptoassets and crypto market regulation in the United States could increase the attractiveness of cryptoassets for institutional investors, provided that large enough number of companies in different economic sectors chose to include cryptoassets into their business models.

For citation:

Maslennikov A. Development of Cryptoassets Ecosystem: New Trends. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2019, no 3, pp. 51-58. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2019-3-51-58

© IMEMO 2020