Cancel your weekends– Bitcoin doesn’t rest, and neither can you

by | Jan 13, 2021 | Investing | 1 comment

There have been a number of weekend and public holiday cost rises recently that helped the cryptocurrency soar

Author of the short article:



Tom Wilson and Anna Irrera

Publishing date:

Jan 11, 20214 minute read

The increasing activity of bigger U.S. investors like hedge funds in the market has driven the Bitcoin rally and the shift to wild weekends.
The increasing activity of bigger U.S. financiers like hedge funds in the market has actually driven the Bitcoin rally and the shift to wild weekends. Picture by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg files

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LONDON– Bitcoin does not sleep.

On the first slow Saturday of 2021, Jan. 2, many people were still nursing New Year hangovers. But there was no breather for Bitcoin, which powered previous US$30,00 0 for the very first time.

Its 10 percent single-day dive was among a number of weekend and public vacation rate surges that assisted the cryptocurrency skyrocket by two-thirds from the start of December to early January.

Trading volumes across six major cryptocurrency exchanges have actually been 10 per cent higher at weekends than weekdays because period, information from scientist CryptoCompare programs. That represents a significant shift from the previous 11 months, when weekend volumes were 13 percent lower than standard trading hours.

The wild weekends are posing new challenges for market players big and little who deal with needing to personnel desks outside standard office hours or run the risk of missing out on potentially rewarding, or damaging, cost moves.

So what’s caused the change?

The increasing activity of larger U.S. financiers like hedge funds in the market, which has driven the Bitcoin rally, and specifically their usage of trading algorithms, according to interviews with over half a dozen cryptocurrency brokers and traders.

Financiers utilize algorithms, or algos, to buy and offer Bitcoin in smaller sized portions that won’t move rates a lot. The technique was utilized by U.S. software firm MicroStrategy Inc. to purchase Bitcoin worth US$425 million, crypto exchange Coinbase, which was in charge of executing the trade, stated in a December blog

” In the past, trading activity has operated on the basis of traders purchasing a specific amount at a specific moment, which is more typical on weekdays,” said Blair Halliday, U.K. head of New york city exchange Gemini.

” The amounts being bought at this moment are too large, so these trades are bleeding into the weekends.”

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However the method can trigger outsized cost swings at weekends, when liquidity tends to be thinner– in other words, fewer Bitcoin are on the marketplace at any provided price, even if trading volumes are still high. Manual traders and other algos following moves further amplify volatility.

Spreads between bid and ask costs at significant crypto exchanges widened over the Christmas holidays, indicating thinner liquidity, according to U.S. researcher Coin Metrics. Volatility leapt, too.


Bitcoin markets have actually always run 24/ 7, setting the phase for rate swings at unforeseeable hours. However, historically, retail and day traders have actually driven the moves.

However throughout Bitcoin’s most current rally– it leapt over five-fold since the start of in 2015 to strike a record US$42,00 0 last week– big U.S. financiers have actually been more main in dictating price moves.

And with the entry of hedge funds and more conventional financial investment managers, the function of so-called algo trading has actually increased, contributing to bitcoin’s volatile weekends.

Algo traders in crypto markets use techniques similar to those released for mainstream assets.

During Bitcoin's latest rally large U.S. investors have been more central in dictating price moves.
During Bitcoin’s latest rally big U.S. investors have been more main in determining price moves. Image by Dado Ruvic/Reuters files

One, referred to as time-weighted typical cost, enables traders to purchase or sell a particular quantity of Bitcoin over a designated period. Another, volume-weighted average, lets traders location orders depending on the quantity of volume in crypto markets at an offered time.

However this technology exists alongside manual trading, whether by people or non-prescription trading desks. And with increased weekend activity stimulated by algos, manual traders need to also work all the time to take advantage of cost moves.

” Funds are continuously trying to find opportunities in the market and look for volatility, which typically takes place throughout durations of less liquidity,” said Fernando Martínez, head of Americas at crypto trading firm OSL.


Scott McKim, head of trading at Gibraltar-based Digital Possession Management, executed 5 trades for an overall of 1.5 million euros (US$ 1.8 million) on Jan. 6, the Epiphany holiday in Spain.

McKim was taking calls and scheduling trades manually for his clients while his girlfriend’s family arranged the conventional Dia de los Reyes Magos meal and opened presents.

” Bitcoin never sleeps and apparently never ever do I,” stated McKim, who also traded on Christmas Day between bites of prawns.

” We trade due to the fact that there is demand, the marketplaces are live 24/ 7/365 and we can be there to satisfy those requirements when clients wish to trade on Friday night, Sunday morning.”

Bitcoin never sleeps and seemingly never ever do I

Scott McKim, head of trading, Digital Possession Management

Some, for example, might need to think about how best to track crypto markets outside office hours.

” It’s certainly something that conventional market participants need to get more comfortable with,” said Joel Kruger, a strategist at crypto exchange LMAX Digital.

” There need to be modifications on desks to be able to deal with it.”

Still, the truth that crypto markets, unlike standard assets, have no downtime can likewise be a positive for investors who wish to react quickly to possibly price-moving occasions that unfold at weekends or public vacations.

” If an occasion occurs in the middle of the weekend, those that participate in crypto will able to right away hedge that risk– which’s an actually effective thing for markets,” said Chris Zuehlke, worldwide head of Cumberland, the crypto arm of Chicago trading firm DRW.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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