It probably seems obvious to most but cryptocurrency trading has been identified as posing a risk to people suffering from compulsive gambling habits. A survey by the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University New Brunswick’s School of Social Work highlighted the link between the two high-risk pursuits.
Rutgers has published the findings of the research in journal Addictive Behaviors. It also drew links between the two forms of gambling and an increased risk of depression and anxiety symptoms.
Problem Gamblers at Risk in Wild West of Crypto
The survey conducted by Rutgers University’s Center for Gambling studies was responded to by total of 876 adults who had gambled at least once every month for the past year. Answers were submitted via a cross-sectional online survey.
It identified that more than 50 percent of those asked had traded cryptocurrency in the past year.
The lead author of the study, Devin Mills, commented on the findings:
“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.”
As reported by MedicalExpress, the study focusing on the relationship between problem gambling and cryptocurrency trading is the first of its kind. Its goal was to explore the use of digital currency as a payment method for online casinos and trading habits amongst those who frequently gambled.
Mills went on to highlight that cryptocurrency trading could potentially pose greater risk for problem gamblers since the markets were unregulated and available 24/7. He also commented that there was a tendency amongst problem gamblers to believe they could “beat the market”.
The study drew parallels between those trading cryptocurrency and those buying and selling high risk stocks. Lia Nower, the co-author of the report, stated:
“Those who like risky stocks are also more likely to jump into the cryptocurrency trading market compared to those who, for example, invest in stocks over the long term.”
A recent Motherboard documentary titled, Addicted to Bitcoin: The Cryptocurrency Rehab Center, details the plight of one such problem gamblers-turned-crypto-trader. The individual whose identity was obscured was already a keen sports bettor when he was introduced to Bitcoin through the dark web in 2015.
The trader had enormous success shorting the top of the bull market in 2017. However, this success didn’t last long and after a series of losses, he checked himself into the Castle Craig Rehab Center in Scotland, UK. You can watch the full mini-documentary below:
Anthony Marini, Senior Specialist Therapist at Castle Craig stated the following of cryptocurrency addiction:
“If you are predisposed to addiction, it will just grasp you and it won’t let you go. And, it will destroy your life.”
Related Reading: Scottish Hospital Launches Treatment for Bitcoin Trading Addicts