There is 58% more volume on Wednesdays compared to Saturdays
By looking at the “real” trading volume* of bitcoin, as defined by Bitwise Asset Management, we have identified when traders are most active. The share of weekly trading happening per day is significantly lower during weekends.
Our data shows that Saturday is the day of the week with the least amount of trading activity, while Wednesday has the highest volume.
Is bitcoin trading becoming a traditional full-time job?
It is reasonable to assume that a significant share of bitcoin traders treat this activity as a full-time job, based on the numbers. Trading bitcoin Monday through Friday and take the weekend of with family and friends.
The mismatch between the banking system and the bitcoin market, in terms of opening hours, may strengthen this effect. Banks are typically open 40 hours a week, which makes bank transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges challenging during weekends.
Strong weekend effect on Gemini and Poloniex
If the weekend effect is tied to a combination of bank reliance and full-timers taking the weekends off, we would expect to see a different effect on the various exchanges.
Breaking the volumes down, we find that Binance has the lowest variation in volume over the week, closely followed by Bitfinex. Binance has merely 30% more activity during weekdays than during weekends. This doesn’t come as a surprise, with the global reach of these exchanges, with limited fiat on-ramps and low barrier to entry, resulting in many retail traders.
Gemini, on the other hand, has double the variation of Binance over the week, and is closely followed by Poloniex. They see almost 80% more activity during weekdays than on weekends.
Gemini is a high-end crypto exchange, that target more traditional and professional investors.
Relatively low volatility during weekends
With lower volume during weekends, one would assume that markets were more prone to sudden price movements. Lower volumes equals thinner order books, and less funds are necessary to move markets. One could imagine that so-called ‘whales’ acting during the weekends to have a stronger effect on the market. However, when analyzing volatility during weekends, we do not find excess volatility. If anything, it’s actually the other way around.
From January 2019 to October 2019, the average daily price move for bitcoin was 2.49% in absolute terms. Looking closer at weekdays, the average movement per day was 2.63%.
During weekends and especially Saturday, the price movements were smaller. Saturdays saw an average price move of only 1.76%, and Sundays lie just above the total average with 2.50%.
*itBit exchange is excluded in this analysis