A new study has established a link between problem gambling and cryptocurrency trading – with more than 50% of those who gamble at least once a month getting involved in crypto over the past year.
According to researchers at the Center for Gambling Studies in the US, crypto trading has appeal for those who are unable to control their gambling urges – giving them an adrenalin rush not too dissimilar from the one seen when engaging in sports betting or casino games. Similar patterns have been found in those who engage in day trading, with more than 75% of those who dabble in high-risk stocks getting involved in crypto as well.
Experts say the findings are concerning because of how much volatility exists in the crypto markets – and the fact that many problem gamblers may be susceptible to making impulsive transactions in an attempt to “beat the market.” Although gambling and trading can both take place 24/7 because of the internet, the anonymity and unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies can all too often mean it is difficult for potential addicts to seek help.
Devin Mills, the report’s lead author, said:
“For some people, trading cryptocurrency is seen as an investment opportunity. But there is an alarming proportion of people who are ‘gambling’ on these cryptocurrency markets as they would gamble on horses or sports or slots. And it has the potential to get them into significant trouble.”
A total of 876 adults who gambled on a regular basis participated in the study.
Like with problem gambling, the notion of cryptocurrency addiction has been gaining steam over recent months – so much so that a treatment facility in Scotland has begun offering a specialized treatment plan for those who continue trading as their losses grow deeper and deeper.
Castle Craig Hospital says men, especially young adults and teens, are most at risk of becoming susceptible to cryptocurrency addiction – and recently introduced a list of the warning signs to look out for. They include having an inability to stop trading, spending large amounts on cryptocurrency, becoming irritable when screen time is reduced, and borrowing money whenever funds are lost because of an investment.