- Trading cryptocurrencies is making many people rich, but there are even more who are getting addicted to trading according to studies.
- Experts have equated cryptocurrency addiction to gambling, where the victims are convinced they can leave if they want, but they never do.
The cryptocurrency industry has faced a number of challenges in recent years, from China’s ban to multi-billion dollar hacks and scams to tighter regulations. However, one that has gone under the radar for long but is becoming a great concern is cryptocurrency addiction. With the dream of becoming the next DOGE or Bitcoin millionaire, many young traders are losing themselves in the process and ruining their lives, and those around them.
One former addict, Matt Danzico, narrated his experience to French multinational news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP). Danzico, who is a U.S-born designer living in Barcelona, knew he had a problem when he started seeing cryptocurrency logos on the packaging of grocery items.
I would have these sleepless nights where I’d be tossing and turning, trying to get these charts out of my head. I thought I was losing my mind.
The trading took a toll on his health, both physical and mental as well as his finances. He channeled almost all his money into cryptocurrencies as he waited for the next pump that would ‘make him millions.’ The obsession with price charts also took a toll on his relationship with his wife and others around him.
He’s now gradually recovering and hasn’t traded for a while. He has channeled all his time and energy into art to evade the allure of trading cryptocurrencies. Ironically, he has minted some of his art as NFTs which he sells for Ethereum.
He believes that what happened to him isn’t unique.
We’re talking tens of millions of people who are trading cryptocurrencies. If one small fraction of those people are becoming hooked, we’re talking about a burgeoning potential mental health crisis on a scale that I don’t think that the world has ever seen.
Crypto trading anonymous
One institution that’s championing the treatment of cryptocurrency addiction is Castle Craig, an Edinburgh, Scotland-based rehab center. On its website, the center reveals that one of the reasons traders get addicted to cryptocurrencies is because they delude themselves to believe that they are investing, not gambling.
It states, “Many people justify gambling on the cryptocurrency markets as ‘investing’. It isn’t seen as a one-off bet on a horse, or a night spend playing online poker, if it’s an investment it is a sensible thing to do. Or is it?”
Cryptocurrencies are also quite easy to access through smartphones, with most exchanges allowing traders to bet on their future in seconds. Social media hasn’t helped, with TikTok, Twitter and YouTube affirming the traders’ habits.
And then there are the fluctuating and highly-volatile markets which according to Castle Craig’s specialist Chris Burn, compound the problem.
The high-risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality.
Danzico, the former addict, believes it’s time that society recognized the great challenge that cryptocurrency addiction has become. He describes it as “an enormous mental health crisis.”
You have kids who are literally becoming millionaires in their parents’ basements and then losing it all before they run up for dinner. What we can do is begin talking about this.