A comparative analysis of cryptocurrency markets
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Cryptocurrency is a relatively recent economic and technological phenomenon, competing with established traditional third party financial systems through a trust-based peer-to-peer decentralized network. This unique financial and technological transactional structure opens new market opportunities and challenges, defining the cryptocurrency compared to the established financial market. To illuminate and analyse the inner workings of the cryptocurrency market, this thesis highlights the market drivers for the current top five cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, by focusing on the current market situation and market history. This is supplemented by examining the history of traditional money and how cryptocurrencies can be compared with it. In addition, the technological and financial structure of the main cryptocurrencies and how the main components of the market work will be examined. Financial analysis such as price, volatility, market correlation, market history matching, liquidity of the cryptocurrency market and strategic market analysis were conducted as part of this study. By using this information, it is possible to establish a foundation for further market comprehension of the five major cryptocurrencies and the future challenges. Based on the analysis in this thesis, several findings were made regarding the nature of the cryptocurrency market. Generally, it is apparent that established market models are applicable to the cryptocurrency market. However, the cryptocurrency market experiences symptoms of its own free decentralized market model, technology, and limited public adoption. Arguably, a common public opinion is that the cryptocurrency market is difficult to comprehend, and market development can often seem arbitrary and mysterious to outsiders. The market is complicated by periods of with seemingly arbitrary exceptionally high volatility. This along with historical growth levels that are unparalleled in many other industries are common in the cryptocurrency market. Other common unbalancing factors are the exposure to market manipulations, geopolitical uncertainties and agendas, and market responses to news and singular events. There are additionally several limitations and challenges with regards to the industry’s technological foundations. This has the potential to impact the valuation and longevity of the different cryptocurrencies. By analysing these aspects, an insightful and comprehensive comparative market analysis of the cryptocurrency industry is formed.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics