Fear Sentiment, Uncertainty, and Bitcoin Price Dynamics: The Case of COVID-19

Conghui-Jocelyn Chen, Lanlan Liu, Ningru Zhao

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies the impact of fear sentiment caused by the coronavirus pandemic on Bitcoin price dynamics. We construct a new proxy for coronavirus fear sentiment using hourly Google search queries on coronavirus-related words. The results show that market volatility has been exacerbated by fear sentiment as the result of an increase in search interest in coronavirus. Moreover, we find that negative Bitcoin returns and high trading volume can be explained by fear sentiment regarding the coronavirus. Our results also show that Bitcoin fails to act as a safe haven during the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2298-2309
Number of pages12
JournalEmerging Markets Finance and Trade
Issue number10
Early online date25 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020


  • Coronavirus
  • Google search volume
  • Fear sentiment
  • Bitcoin price dynamics
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Finance


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