After more than a decade of existence, crypto-currencies may now be considered an important class of assets presenting some unique appealing characteristics but also sharing some features with real financial assets. This paper provides a comprehensive statistical analysis of the six most important crypto-currencies from the period 2015–2020. Using daily data we (1) showed that the returns present many of the stylized facts often observed for stock assets, (2) modeled the returns underlying distribution using a semi-parametric mixture model based on the extreme value theory, (3) showed that the returns are weakly autocorrelated and confirmed the presence of long memory as well as short memory in the GARCH volatility, (4) used an econometric approach to compute risk measures, such as the value-at-risk, the expected shortfall, and drawups, (5) found that the crypto-coins’ price trajectories do not contain speculative bubbles and that they move together maintaining the long run equilibrium, and (6) using static and dynamic D-vine pair-copula models, assessed the true dependence structure among the crypto-assets, obtaining robust copula based bivariate dynamic measures of association. The analyses indicate that the strength of dependence among the crypto-currencies has increased over the recent years in the cointegrated crypto-market. The conclusions reached will help investors to manage risk while identifying opportunities for alternative diversified and profitable investments. To complete the analysis we provide a brief discussion on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the crypto-market by including the first semester of 2020 data.
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