Trading cryptocurrencies can be wild, but sometimes too wild. Traders of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and all the rest need volatility for opportunities but can suffer from shocking moves that come out of the blue and find them unprepared.
Here are the times to trade, starting with weekdays:
Very busy but not that risky
Asian morning, but not too early: 1:00 to 7:00 GMT
A significant amount of crypto trading takes place in South Kore, and so does a lot of news that moves the markets. The action, driven by regulators in Seoul, by crypto-exchanges, or by other market-moving events, can be wild in the first hours of the morning and more specifically, just as Korean banks open at 9:00 local time which is 00:00 GMT.
Starting a trading session an hour later reduces the risks of jawdropping gaps on the charts or any shocking news that may send prices down or up within seconds. Nevertheless, the high volume of trading during working hours in Korea and Asia in general, provide a good environment for two-way action.
At 7:00 GMT, European traders get ready for the day, and they may examine events in Asia and perhaps take a different view. While we may have trading opportunities also at these times, moves may be somewhat less predictable.
Medium sized action when the focus is elsewhere
European mid-morning to the American mid-morning: 9:00 to 16:00 GMT
Forex traders know that these may be the busiest hours and that the release of American news around 13:30 and 15:00 GMT can be perilous. But in the world of virtual coins, these hours can consist of lower volume when Asians slow down in the evening and Americans are mostly awake only on the East Coast. The news may flow, and so prices of coins may fluctuate, but there is a lower chance for nasty surprises.
From 16:00 GMT, forex trading may slow down, but the West Coast is wide awake. Everything that has happened beforehand is digested, and new developments may arise. A significant part of the activity in virtual currencies occurs in the Bay Area.
American afternoon to early American evening 18:00 to 23:00 GMT
After a significant part of the action calmed down in the West Coast and Asia is deep in the night, things may quiet down. For some, it may be too calm to provide trading opportunities, but the risk of unpleasant surprises is also diminished. Closer to the Asian morning, as Australia and New Zealand, wake up, there may be additional action, but the risk of surprises jumps only when the cycle reaches its completion and Koreans are busy once again.
Weekends - Warnings around Asian times still apply
Trading in cryptocurrencies differs with forex in that markets are open also on the weekends. During Saturday and Sunday, we may again see high volatility, but shocking moves depend more on surprises. In general, there is a higher chance of surprises when Asia is awake.
As an extra measure of caution, the time span between 23:00 GMT and up to 3:00 GMT may be messier. In general, the trading volume may be somewhat lower, and air pockets can appear due to low liquidity.
Caution is warranted at all times on the weekend, but 3:00 to 23:00 GMT may be a wiser time to trade.
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