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Virtual relationships: Short- and long-run evidence from BitCoin and altcoin markets

This paper empirically examines interdependencies between BitCoin and altcoin markets in the short- and long-run. We apply time-series analytical mechanisms to daily data of 17 virtual currencies (BitCoin + 16 alternative virtual currencies) and two Altcoin price indices for the period 2013-2016. Our empirical findings confirm that indeed BitCoin and Altcoin markets are interdependent. The BitCoin-Altcoin price relationship is significantly stronger in the short-run than in the long-run. We cannot fully confirm the hypothesis that the BitCoin price relationship is stronger with those Altcoins that are more similar in their price formation mechanism to BitCoin. In the long-run, macro-financial indicators determine the altcoin price formation to a greater degree than BitCoin does. The virtual currency supply is exogenous and therefore plays only a limited role in the price formation.