UK Doctors issue a warning about cryptocurrencies

8. juni 2018
Doctors gaming

It is not up to the discussion that cryptocurrencies have completely engrossed the world. Anyone from a small-town farmer to the CEO of a multi-billion company has heard of digital currencies. Stories of people buying houses and cars with the gains on their investments have made it impossible for many to refrain from looking into this new technology. Many started purchasing miners to generate coins over the time, while others prefer more risky ways to earn money on cryptocurrencies with possibly larger gains. Trading has been a part of the financial world for a long time. People were investing in the stock market with great enthusiasm long before it was even possible to conceptualize a virtual currency. Yet, the level of speculation seen with cryptocurrencies is unprecedented if we consider the risks and fluctuations they carry. Disregarding the risks, many people are still actively trading on cryptocurrency exchanges. One explanation offered by scholars is that trading cryptocurrencies is as addictive as gambling.

Dr. Mark Griffiths is a professor of Behavioural Addictions at Nottingham Trent University. He was one of the first to classify Bitcoin trading as a “sub-type of online addictions” and compare it to a gambling addiction. Representatives from Castle Craig Hospital, a facility that provides help to people addicted to day-trading, have also joined in on the discussion. Chris Burn, a therapist at the hospital commented on cryptocurrency trading. “It is a form of gambling. People gamble on all kinds of things which makes cryptocurrency trading exciting. Compulsive gamblers like it – it’s mysterious, not really regulated and you can make huge gains – and huge losses – in a single day. People dive in because they don’t want to miss out on a good thing and they start putting money in without thinking about the consequences. But the reality is trading is a fascinating idea, but it can do a great deal of harm” – Mr. Burn explained.

According to Craig Hospital, some of the reasons people might get addicted to cryptocurrency trading include looking for an escape from boredom. People with depression might find temporary relief in short-term gains that are often associated with day-trading. It is also very likely that trading is simply replacing another addiction that a person might have developed. This could be an alcohol or drug addiction. Currently, the hospital says that it treats people who are addicted to cryptocurrency trading the same way they would treat someone with a gambling addiction. The treatment process has multiple steps including building self-esteem and making the patients recognize the consequences of their actions.