Looking for a safe-haven in a crisis-driven Venezuela: The Caracas stock exchange vs gold, oil and bitcoin

TitleLooking for a safe-haven in a crisis-driven Venezuela: The Caracas stock exchange vs gold, oil and bitcoin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMusiałkowska, I., Kliber A., Marszałek P., & wierczyńska K. Ś.
JournalTransforming Government People Process and Policy
Start Page475
Date Published04/2020
Type of Articleresearch article
ISSN 1750-6166
KeywordsBitcoin, crisis, gold, oil, safe-haven, TVAR-Model, Venezuela

Purpose This paper aims to find, which of the assets: gold, oil or bitcoin can be considered a safe-haven for investors in a crisis-driven Venezuela. The authors look also at the governmental change of approach towards the use and mining of cryptocurrencies being one of the assets and potential applications of bitcoin as (quasi) money. Design/methodology/approach The authors collected the daily data (a period from 01 May 2014 to 31 July 2018) on the development of the following magnitudes: Caracas Stock Exchange main index: Índice Bursátil de Capitalisación (IBC) index; gold price in US dollars, the oil price in US dollars and Bitcoin price in bolivar fuerte (VEF) (LocalBitcoins). The authors estimated a threshold VAR model between IBC and each of the possible safe-haven assets, where the trigger variable was the IBC; then the authors modelled the residuals from the TVAR model using MGARCH model with dynamic conditional correlation. Findings The results show that that gold is a better safe-haven than oil for Venezuelan investors, while bitcoin can be considered a weak safe haven. Still, bitcoin can perform (to a certain extent) money functions in a crisis-driven country. Research limitations/implications Further research after the change of local currency from VEF into bolivar soberano might be looked at on the later stage. Practical implications The authors provide evidence on which of analysed asset is the best safe-haven for the investors acting in the time of the crisis. The evidence goes in line with other authors’ findings, thus, the results might bring implications for investors of more universal character. Additionally, the result might be helpful for governments and/or monetary authorities while projecting institutional frameworks and conducting monetary policy. Social implications The unprecedented economic crisis in Venezuela was one of the factors that fuelled the mining and use of cryptocurrencies in the daily life of its citizens. Nowadays, the country is a leader in terms of the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Latin America. The results show a potential application of bitcoin as a store of value or even means of payments in Venezuelan (or in other countries affected by the crisis). Originality/value The paper builds on the original data set collected by the authors and brings evidence from the models the authors constructed to verify, which asset is the best option for investors in hard times of the crisis. The authors add to the existing literature on financial assets, cryptocurrencies and behaviour of investors under different economic conditions.

Refereed DesignationRefereed