The data, released on Sept. 8 by BitcoinEconomics.io, roughly correlates to the four-year cycle length based on reward halving periods.
Bitcoin Profit Probability chart. Source: BitcoinEconomics.io
Profiting from Bitcoin: A waiting game
While a 100% sure profit would have taken a maximum of 1,335 days, this relates to the bull run in late 2013, when Bitcoin price surged to $1,150.
Buying in right at the top would have meant it took until early 2017 before BTC finally broke that level again.
Missing the peak of that rally would have resulted in a substantially reduced wait for a profit. Holding Bitcoin for 317 days would have given a 75% chance of profit. There was a 60% chance of profit if Bitcoin was held for 35 days, and the likelihood that you were up over any single day was 50%.
If that seems like a long time, check the S&P 500
For comparison, to achieve a sure profit on the S&P 500, an investor would have needed to hold their position for 23 years.
This analysis purely looks at the chance of profit and not the scale of that profit. When Bitcoin is on a bull run, profits dwarf those achievable on stock market indices.
For example, the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust outperformed everything so far in 2019 with appreciation of almost 300% in the year to date, as reported by Cointelegraph in July.