Bitcoin’s Price Movement is ‘Highly Predictable’ on Set Days, Study Finds

Not financial advice, but crypto tends to move most during certain periods of time, according to new research


Source: Shutterstock / Sodel Vladyslav, modified by Blockworks


Digital assets have been found to move in cyclical patterns based on volatility, leading to larger outsized returns.

An exhaustive study conducted by researchers at risk management and trading platform The Risk Protocol (TRP) found bellwether bitcoin volatility differed significantly depending on the time of day.

Measuring in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), TRP said hours two and 15 through 18 were found to be the most volatile, the study, titled “The Nature of the Beast,” indicated.

Put differently, by analyzing the average absolute return and absolute return standard deviation, it was revealed that crypto tends to move most during the 9 am start of the day across Asia and the US.

“If you look at the volatility pattern in the US financial markets, it is typically U shaped, in the sense that it is higher at market opening and closing and lower in the middle,” TRP CEO Karamvir Gosal told Blockworks.

Gosal added: “If traders are building a large position in crypto or trying to unwind one, they want to do so in periods of low volatility.”

Volatility can be described as the degree of variation of a financial instrument’s price over time, and can manifest in either positive or negative moves.

It is often measured by the standard deviation of an asset’s returns over a certain period. In other words, the higher the volatility, the more the price of the asset fluctuates, which implies a greater risk for investors.

Volatility across Asia typically lasts for between five and six hours before dropping to its lowest point as parts of Europe approached late evening, the study found. Volatility then begins to pick up once again during US working hours, peaking by about 2 pm.

With people in the US starting a new trading day, “we would typically expect more trading activity during these hours,” TRP said.

Large levels of exchange trading volumes have been witnessed occurring during those times, which is consistent with the analysis, researchers said.

Ethereum, too, was also shown to have the same volatility patterns as bitcoin, which makes sense given their close correlation during major market moves.

“Findings are not too surprising given the regular working hours around the world,” TRP said. The study also found that, of the 50 digital assets it analyzed, Friday, offered up significantly higher volatility than other days.

To test the statistical significance of the results, the researchers conducted a mean difference test between Tuesday and other days and found the weekend offered the lowest levels of significant price changes.

The results are likely correlated to crypto’s round-the-clock trading times compared to traditional markets, meaning more people are likely to trade during days when they are at work taking a break during the weekend, they said.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit