Can you day trade Bitcoin?.

I explore Bitcoin Day Trading.

It's not for everybody and even then I think it's basically gambling.

The following are personal observations. I'm not an expert, I've never traded stocks. This is not financial advice.

I'm going to sort of start this at the end and go back to the beginning. Let's define day trading as trying to observe the behavior of Bitcoin prices and determine patterns that can be leveraged to make money.

Bitcoin prices fluctuate dramatically. It can go up or down by hundreds of dollars in value in a day.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

Having no experience in this sort of thing, I decided to start with the basic concept that the goal is to buy low and sell high. It was clear this would only work if you made some basic assumptions. I opened up my trading dashboard and started trying to guess when it had peaked then sell then wait for it to drop and buy.

That clearly wasn't going to work!

Observation A: The price of Bitcoin goes up, then it drops, then it goes back up, it does this for some period of time but eventually it always goes higher than it was before.

Assumption #1: Bitcoin displays several repeating patterns and will continue to do so until it doesn't any more in the same way a whirlpool will whirl consistently until it suddenly collapses, then there is no whirlpool until another one forms somewhere else.

Each transaction has a fee. I pay around 0.05 USD on a $200 transfer or cash out. The goal is to buy at a low price then wait for it to go up, then sell, then wait for it to go back down, then buy. The game is to guess when it has hit its highest and lowest points before it goes the other way significantly. As long as it always comes back higher than it has been before you will win eventually. Given enough time, you should always be able to make a profit. That made sense to me. The problem was that sometimes it would go up and down in a day and sometimes it could take weeks or even months. It was becoming apparent that as long as you were in it for the long haul you could probably do OK, the price would always go back up eventually to a price that was higher than you bought at, you just had to be able to wait it out.

In order to day trade small fluctations I would have to be buying and selling very large amounts to leverage a profit. A small price fluctuation wasn't worth much if you were only talking about a few hundred dollars in trades, if you were buying and selling millions, that's another story.

Another thing I read about people doing was trading on the price difference between exchanges. The same coin could be two different prices depending on the exchange the idea was to trade off of that difference. I never tried it as it required access to multiple exchanges which I never had.

You can track cotton prices back a century and still there is no formula for predicting cotton prices with 100% accuracy. Bitcoin is so new and unpredictable there really are no long term precedents like we have with commodities or stocks.

As long as Assumption #1 holds, you can buy Bitcoin at any time and as long as you hold it long enough you will make a profit at some point down the road.

Conclusion: Day trading Bitcoin can be done but it takes legitimate sums and is basically gambling.

See my next post There's got to be a better way!