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The growing issue of crypto trading addiction

Image: © AFP
Image: © AFP

Addiction specialists have classified cryptocurrency addiction as a type of day-trading addiction, which has strong parallels to other forms of gambling addiction. This is clinically referred to as a gambling disease.

In a new report, has spoken with a panel of five addiction experts to explore the growing issue of cryptocurrency trading addiction.

Through a series of interviews, unpicks what the experts think about the similarities between cryptocurrency and gambling addiction, how the extreme volatility in crypto can impact an individual’s mental health, the issue of influencers promoting cryptocurrencies they do not understand, and how the problem of crypto trading addiction is likely to grow moving forward.

Commenting on how cryptocurrency trading can impact an individual’s mental health, Dr. Jeremiah Weinstock, a professor in the Psychology department at Saint Louis University, tells Digital Journal: “For some individuals the volatility will be exciting and they will chase the thrill of trying to “time” the market. As individuals tie their crypto investment into their identity it affects self-esteem and contributes to depression and anxiety”.

The consensus of the experts is that crypto addiction will become much bigger problem moving forwards. This is to the degree that 20 percent of the expert panel believe the world would be a better place without crypto.

In terms of the roots of dangerous addiction, all of the experts were in agreement that influencers promoting crypto on social media is a big problem and totally unethical. From here on, the next driver towards ruination was identified as market volatility. The unpredictability of markets was cited as one of the key contributing factors to developing crypto trading addiction and impacting people’s mental health.

Further to mental health issues, the experts agreed that cryptocurrency trading poses a similar threat and traits to gambling when it comes to addiction development. It is fairly common for someone not to be aware if they are suffering from cryptocurrency addiction.

In terms of building safeguards, the majority of the experts were of the consensus view that there should be an age limit on crypto trading to help protect the younger generation who might be more impressionable.

The experts also predicts that the identified problems are only going to grow alongside the industry, with crypto markets becoming more and more accessible, such as easy access to gambling like being able to gamble on a smartphone. The use of mobile technology makes the pattern of continuous gambling more likely to occur.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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