Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Martin Boileau

Second Advisor

Terra McKinnish


I explore the effect of US monetary policy shocks on the returns of digital assets since the creation of Bitcoin. A pool of 100 cryptocurrencies are separated into three categories. The monetary policy shocks are measured with two different futures contracts, Fed fund futures and 10-Year bond futures, around a FOMC meeting announcement. With the use of a panel fixed effect model, I find that changes to both futures prices around FOMC meeting have differing effects on the returns of digital assets. In particular, my results suggest that digital assets with deeper integration of blockchain, like digital assets under the dApp category, are more vulnerable to shocks from the long-term forward guidance of FOMC whereas assets with top level blockchain infrastructure, like digital assets under the Currency category, shows no significant effect from either of the monetary policy shocks.