Alternative assets, defined by their low correlation with classical financial assets, have become an important investment vehicle in times of negative interest rates and in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. Hedge funds increasingly invest in physical assets such as fine art, wine, or diamonds. Although digital and not physical, cryptocurrencies share many features of alternative assets, but are hampered by high volatility, sluggish commercial acceptance, and regulatory uncertainties. This special issue covers a broad variety of topics in financial technology, and provides a state-of-the-art overview of cryptocurrencies from economic, financial, statistical and technical points of view.
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