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Following an explosive crypto market last month, people searched for the first available opportunity to trade digital assets. Recently, both Coinbase and Crypto.com topped the Apple and Google Play Stores respectively as the most downloaded free apps. Furthermore, a growing list of mayors across the United States is even paying in Bitcoin. These include Francis Suarez of Miami and the newly elected Eric Adams of New York.
If you’re one of those interested people, you may be asking: When is the market open for trading crypto?
The short answer is: always.
That’s right – the crypto market is open 24 / 7 / 365 across a growing number of exchanges. So barring the occasional glitch or outage, you can technically trade cryptocurrencies whenever you want.
However, that doesn’t paint the whole picture. Depending on the time of day, crypto trading may be less lucrative and more expensive. Below, we will carefully review the factors affecting these costs and identify the optimal times to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
What Makes For An Accessible Crypto Market?
Although crypto markets are ‘open’ all the time, the best traders will act when global market activity is high. That includes training for traditional financial markets like stocks and forex, which are not indefinitely open. Furthermore, they will pick the days and times when on-chain transaction fees are the lowest.
Traditional Market Activity
Why should you pay attention to this as a crypto trader? Because traditional, global financial markets imact the crypto markets whenever they move. Take March of 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak tanked the stock market and Bitcoin simultaneously.
The same applies to not only prices but trading volume within these markets. For example, Charles Edwards – Founder of Capriole Investments – has observed that late Sunday night/ early Monday morning is a great time to buy Bitcoin. This is likely because there tend to be fewer active traders over the weekend on traditional markets.
The number of active traders at a particular time tends to impact cryptocurrency prices. When trading is high, selling prices tend to be higher. Conversely, low trading activity can mean difficulty selling, resulting in lower prices. Sellers should try to enter the market during the former and buyers during the latter. That being said, one may benefit from paying attention to when traditional markets are open – even when trading crypto.
Here are the opening times for the Forex and Stock markets, depending on your location.
Stock Exchange Working Hours (GST):
- Tokyo: 12 am to 6 am
- Shenzhen and Shanghai: 1:30 am to 7 am
- Hong Kong: 1:30 am to 8 am
- Euronext Paris: 8am to 4:30pm
- London: 8am to 4:30pm
- New York and NASDAQ: 2:30 pm to 9 pm
Forex Markets Working Hours (GST):
- Sydney: 8 pm to 5 am
- Tokyo: 12 am to 9 am
- London: 8 am to 4 pm
- New York: 1 pm to 10 pm
*Note the overlapping times on Forex Markets. For example, 12 am to 5 am tend to be peak trading hours, alongside 1 pm to 4 pm.
There are no regular trading hours for stocks or forex trading over the weekend. Furthermore, stock markets often close during public holidays. For example, the NYSE is not open on July 4th (Independence Day), even weekdays.
Knowing the active hours for each area is essential, as different stock exchanges may react differently to relevant news. For example, information related to cryptocurrency that impacts Americans may affect trading activity on the NYSE specifically. Therefore, if positive crypto news drops for North Americans, investors may wish to purchase crypto before the NYSE goes live again.
Transaction Fees When Trading Crypto
Whenever you send cryptocurrency, not all of it reaches the end-user. Instead, a fraction of one’s payment goes into transaction fees. For example, Bitcoin transaction fees compensate miners for securing the network. Meanwhile, Ethereum fees go towards the collective burn pool.
Fees can vary depending on the number of pending transactions and the processing power demand for smart contracts. These are especially prevalent on Ethereum, which regularly sees transaction fees above $50.
Whether buying crypto or just sending some to a friend or employee, knowing the cheapest times to transact can help save you money. For example, on Ethereum, the highest transaction fees are between 2 pm and 6 pm UTC. Meanwhile, transaction fees are lowest between 1 am and 3 am UTC and 9 and 11 pm UTC. Also, like the stock market, they tend to be lowest over the weekend.
In other words, if you want to save money, transact when nobody else is. For example, over the weekend, early in the morning, or late at night.
Bitcoin follows a similar pattern – but isn’t nearly as much of an issue on that network. Fees are only a few dollars each when transacting on layer one and even less when transacting through lightning.
You now know the fundamentals of when to trade crypto! Although crypto trading is always an option, specific times of day are more rewarding than others. Generally, transaction fees and stock market activity are lowest over the weekend – especially Sunday. So use this window if you intend to buy crypto and profit in the short term.