Any port in a storm: Cryptocurrency safe-havens during the COVID-19 pandemic

Shaen Corbet, Yang (Greg) Hou, Yang Hu, Charles Larkin, Les Oxley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (SciVal)


Controlling for the polarity and subjectivity of social media data based on the development of the COVID-19 outbreak, we analyse the relationships between the largest cryptocurrencies and such time-varying realisation as to the scale of the economic shock centralised within the rapidly-escalating pandemic. We find evidence of significant growth in both returns and volumes traded, indicating that large cryptocurrencies acted as a store of value during this period of exceptional financial market stress. Further, cryptocurrency returns are found to be significantly influenced by negative sentiment relating to COVID-19. While not only providing diversification benefits for investors, results suggest that these digital assets acted as a safe-haven similar to that of precious metals during historiccrises.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109377
JournalEconomics Letters
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Financial crisis
  • Pandemic
  • Safe-haven
  • Sentiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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