Bitcoin Arbitrage: How You Can (and Can’t) Profit from It

On January 9 of this year, the price of Bitcoin in South Korea was 43% higher than it was in the U.S.

If you’d had a way of buying $100k USD of BTC on SFOX and selling it on Bithumb without any fees, foreign currency exchange rates, or time delays, you could have pocketed $43k. That’s the financial tactic of arbitrage: the practice of buying an asset and immediately selling it at a higher price for a very low-risk profit.

But of course, it’s not that easy to buy BTC on one exchange and then transfer and sell it on a different exchange “without any fees or time delays.” When you factor in all of the time and fees involved, how much can you really profit off of arbitrage opportunities? And how frequent are these opportunities in the first place?

Here’s the short answer: Bitcoin arbitrage is possible, but it’s not a long-term sustainable strategy.

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