Bitcoin Charts example

Although it is absolutely possible to backtest a strategy with tick data as supplied by using pyalgotrade.bitcoincharts.barfeed.CSVTradeFeed, you may want to to backtest using summarized bars at a different frequency to make backtesting faster.

As of 12-Aug-2014, has 4588830 events so we’ll transform a portion of it into 30 minute bars for backtesting purposes with the following script:

from pyalgotrade.bitcoincharts import barfeed
from import resample
from pyalgotrade import bar

import datetime

def main():
    barFeed = barfeed.CSVTradeFeed()
    barFeed.addBarsFromCSV("bitstampUSD.csv", fromDateTime=datetime.datetime(2014, 1, 1))
    resample.resample_to_csv(barFeed, bar.Frequency.MINUTE*30, "30min-bitstampUSD.csv")

if __name__ == "__main__":

It will take some time to execute, so be patient. The resampled file should look like this:

Date Time,Open,High,Low,Close,Volume,Adj Close
2014-01-01 00:00:00,732.0,738.25,729.01,734.81,266.17955488,
2014-01-01 00:30:00,734.81,739.9,734.47,739.02,308.96802502,
2014-01-01 01:00:00,739.02,739.97,737.65,738.11,65.66924473,
2014-01-01 01:30:00,738.0,742.0,737.65,741.89,710.27165024,
2014-01-01 02:00:00,741.89,757.99,741.89,752.23,1085.13335011,
2014-01-01 02:30:00,752.23,755.0,747.0,747.2,272.03949342,
2014-01-01 04:00:00,744.98,748.02,744.98,747.19,104.65989075,

We can now take advantage of pyalgotrade.barfeed.csvfeed.GenericBarFeed to load the resampled file and backtest a Bitcoin strategy. We’ll be using a VWAP momentum strategy for illustration purposes:

from pyalgotrade import bar
from pyalgotrade import strategy
from pyalgotrade import plotter
from pyalgotrade.technical import vwap
from pyalgotrade.barfeed import csvfeed
from pyalgotrade.bitstamp import broker
from pyalgotrade import broker as basebroker

class VWAPMomentum(strategy.BacktestingStrategy):
    MIN_TRADE = 5

    def __init__(self, feed, brk, instrument, vwapWindowSize, buyThreshold, sellThreshold):
        super(VWAPMomentum, self).__init__(feed, brk)
        self.__instrument = instrument
        self.__vwap = vwap.VWAP(feed[instrument], vwapWindowSize)
        self.__buyThreshold = buyThreshold
        self.__sellThreshold = sellThreshold

    def _getActiveOrders(self):
        orders = self.getBroker().getActiveOrders()
        buy = filter(lambda o: o.isBuy(), orders)
        sell = filter(lambda o: o.isSell(), orders)
        return buy, sell

    def _cancelOrders(self, orders):
        brk = self.getBroker()
        for o in orders:
  "Canceling order %s" % (o.getId()))

    def _buySignal(self, price):
        buyOrders, sellOrders = self._getActiveOrders()

        brk = self.getBroker()
        cashAvail = brk.getCash() * 0.98
        size = round(cashAvail / price, 3)
        if len(buyOrders) == 0 and price*size > VWAPMomentum.MIN_TRADE:
  "Buy %s at %s" % (size, price))
                self.limitOrder(self.__instrument, price, size)
            except Exception, e:
                self.error("Failed to buy: %s" % (e))

    def _sellSignal(self, price):
        buyOrders, sellOrders = self._getActiveOrders()

        brk = self.getBroker()
        shares = brk.getShares(self.__instrument)
        if len(sellOrders) == 0 and shares > 0:
  "Sell %s at %s" % (shares, price))
            self.limitOrder(self.__instrument, price, shares*-1)

    def getVWAP(self):
        return self.__vwap

    def onBars(self, bars):
        vwap = self.__vwap[-1]
        if vwap is None:

        price = bars[self.__instrument].getClose()
        if price > vwap * (1 + self.__buyThreshold):
        elif price < vwap * (1 - self.__sellThreshold):

    def onOrderUpdated(self, order):
        if order.isBuy():
            orderType = "Buy"
            orderType = "Sell""%s order %d updated - Status: %s - %s" % (

def main(plot):
    instrument = "BTC"
    initialCash = 1000
    vwapWindowSize = 100
    buyThreshold = 0.02
    sellThreshold = 0.01

    barFeed = csvfeed.GenericBarFeed(bar.Frequency.MINUTE*30)
    barFeed.addBarsFromCSV(instrument, "30min-bitstampUSD.csv")
    brk = broker.BacktestingBroker(initialCash, barFeed)
    strat = VWAPMomentum(barFeed, brk, instrument, vwapWindowSize, buyThreshold, sellThreshold)

    if plot:
        plt = plotter.StrategyPlotter(strat)
        plt.getInstrumentSubplot(instrument).addDataSeries("VWAP", strat.getVWAP())

    if plot:

if __name__ == "__main__":

This is what the plot looks like:


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