Feb 15, 2020 01:08 AM | Charlie Custer

The most critical question for any trader is: when should I buy, and when should I sell? The goal, obviously, is to buy low and sell high, but it’s difficult to know exactly when “low” and “high” actually are. 

To highlight some patterns, we analyzed two years of hourly Bitcoin price data from Coinbase (via CryptoDataDownload). We broke the data down by day of the week and by hour, and then found the average open, close, high, and low prices for each hour. To get the data point open price for Monday at 1 AM, for example, we took the BTC price on Coinbase every Monday at 1 AM and averaged them to find the mean BTC price at that time over the past two years.

Analyzing two years of data (2/6/2018 to 2/6/2020) gives us a robust set of data — each day and hour combination occured 104 times during this period. It also may be a better reflection of the “modern” state of Bitcoin than a larger data set, which would be factoring in the meteoric rise and precipitous fall that occurred in late 2017 and early 2018.

So what did we find?


(You can view a larger, interactive version of the above chart here).

Over the past two years, Bitcoin’s price has tended to be at its lowest point of the week on Fridays at around 6 AM UTC, and Thursdays and Fridays tend to be lower in general than other days of the week. It tends to hit its highest point around Monday evening/Tuesday morning at midnight UTC, although there is also a spike on Wednesdays around 1PM UTC. 

On average, Bitcoin’s open price (for example) has been roughly $170 higher on Monday/Tuesday at midnight UTC than it has been on Friday at 6 AM UTC.

It’s important to remember, though, that these are averages. They reflect broad trends over the past two years, but they don’t necessarily have any predictive power, and they are unlikely to override macro trends like a major bull run or bear market. So this article is obviously not investment advice.

As to why these price trends exist, we can only speculate. Monday evening midnight UTC is 7 PM Eastern Standard Time and 8 AM China Standard Time, so it may be a moment when more traders tend to be active. However, we ran the same analysis on hourly trading volume, and there isn’t a notable spike in volume during that period:


(You can view a larger, interactive version of the above chart here).

On the other hand, the low point — Friday at around 6 AM UTC — does correspond with a relative low point in average trading volume, although it isn’t the week’s lowest point. 6 AM UTC is 1 AM EST, so it’s possible the lull there is due to the fact that American and European traders are likely to be tired near the end of the week, and perhaps less likely to be up and trading at those hours.

If you have a good idea for a data story, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Please send pitches and tips to:

Email:[email protected]

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