A pair of computer science researchers recently published pre-print research indicating that the nascent cryptocurrency market is beginning to show a level of maturity similar to the traditional equities market.
Dubbed “Collective dynamics, diversification and optimal portfolio construction for cryptocurrencies,” the paper was written by Nick James, a fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Data Science, and Max Menzies, an assistant professor at the Beijing Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, affiliated with Tsinghua University.
The pair set out to determine what role cryptocurrency plays in portfolio diveristy and how the cryptocurrency market compares to the traditional equities market.
Their findings indicate that, while there remains some key differences between the two markets, cryptocurrency is beginning to show palpable and demonstrable signs of maturity:
“Overall, we have uncovered nuanced similarities and differences between the cryptocurrency and equity markets. These mathematical properties signal increased signatures of maturity in the collective dynamics and diversification benefit of different portfolio spreads.”
The team used a study approach called collective dynamics to discern the mathematical properties — with particular focus on measuring interactions between groups of data called “hierarchical clustering” — underlying both the cryptocurrency and equities markets. In order to compare the two, they measured diversification spreads across respective portfolios.
Both markets showed similar hierarchical clustering. The study authors also state that there's evidence for “the existence of a ‘best value’ cryptocurrency portfolio.”
According to the researchers, by comparison, cryptocurrency may even offer a lower complexity threshold for diversification:
“Retail investors with limited ability to hold complex portfolios of many cryptocurrencies may be sufficiently diversified with a relatively small portfolio across just 16 cryptocurrencies.”
The study authors note that cryptocurrency has been called “an immature market, characterized by significant swings in volatility and occasionally described as lacking rhyme or reason,” but the research appears to indicate otherwise.
Ultimately, the study concludes that the cryptocurrency market is showing signs of maturity, but it's not quite on par with the equities market just yet.
The researchers raise the issue of opaque underlying business functions related to cryptocurrencies, stating that related business cycles are “far less clear” than in the equities market. They also note a need for “the development of better understood and widely disseminated cryptocurrency investment principles.”