For bitcoin traders, key times to buy or sell often come at the least opportune time to be behind a computer monitor: Saturday night.
Some of the digital currency’s steepest price swings have happened over a weekend. Bitcoin hit its all-time high near $20,000 on a Saturday in December, and dove to a recent two-month low this Sunday.
Roughly 60 percent of weekends since December have seen a 5 percent or higher price move over a weekend, and 82 percent of weekends have had at least a 3 percent move in either direction, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.
Low liquidity, and limited bank hours have made it all the more challenging for U.S. traders to capitalize on these weekend price swings.
Mark Newton is one analyst on-call during odd hours. The former Morgan Stanley technical strategist has notifications on his phone through the Coinbase trading app, and had been watching for alert when bitcoin hit $7,345 before he cut his losses. This Saturday, bitcoin fell, his Coinbase app lit up, and Newton clicked the sell button.
“Rule no. 1 is you don’t pick losses, you don’t sit there and try to defend a bad position — it’s not emotional,” said Newton, president and founder of Newton Advisors. “We’re seeing above average volatility on weekends with it moving dramatically up or down.”