Presto’s bitcoin market analysis published in an SSCI-level international finance journal
Presto, a local blockchain startup, published a thesis on the cryptocurrency market in Finance Research Letters, an SSCI-level journal on international finance. This is the first thesis on the cryptocurrency market to be published in an SSCI-level international journal. The SSCI, or the Social Sciences Citation Index, is a representative index for academic theses provided by Thomson Scientific. The purpose of the thesis In December 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) listed bitcoin futures---the first ever in the world. The move created a link between institutional finance and bitcoin, a cryptocurrency which before then existed outside the established financial system. The thesis analyzes whether bitcoin futures actually brought stability to the bitcoin market. “Through research, we found out that in order to escalate the cryptocurrency market into a stable finance market, government authorities should escape from prioritizing existing regulations and push efforts to create more links between [bitcoins and] institutional finance,” said Dr. Kim Won-se, a member of Presto’s research team and the lead author of the thesis. “Therefore, this research bears significance as having suggested a concrete direction to authorities for stabilizing the cryptocurrency market.” What’s Presto? Presto is a local startup that has developed a token sale platform with a focus on investor protection. The platform is due for launch in the third quarter. It has an internal research team and is making investments in academic work as well. Last year, it said the government had violated the constitution for not devising a proper regulation plan after a Financial Service Commission decision banned initial coin offerings. Later, the startup filed a constitutional appeal to the Supreme Court—an action that brought it to the attention of the blockchain industry. Parker’s note It’s notable that the startup shed light on the fact that bitcoin futures actually brought stability to the market—and did so in an unusual way. There have been many attempts to analyze market stability on a fundamental level, but writing that delved into the subject in such technological depth has been rare. This is one factor we can guess played a role in its selection to be included in an SSCI-level international journal. However, it does have limits: only five exchanges were studied, and the three periods that were studied through the Fourier transform method were between December 2017 and June 2018. It may have been inevitable considering the registration of the thesis for the journal, but it would have been better if the range was longer.