This article was published on May 28, 2018

A Scottish addiction facility wants to help ‘cryptocurrency addicts’

but cryptocurrency traders are refusing to admit that they have any addiction

A Scottish addiction facility wants to help ‘cryptocurrency addicts’
Neer Varshney
Story by

Neer Varshney

Former TNW writer

Are you one of those people whose eyes are fixed all day long at Coinmarketcap waiting for the right moment to buy or sell cryptocurrencies? Do you have a trading account on tens if not hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges? Do you scoff at people who don’t know what HODL, bull, bear, whale, ATH, FUD, and FOMO mean?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then — I hate to tell you, but — you might have a problem: cryptocurrency addiction. Even though I couldn’t find any mention of this particular addiction in scientific literature, Castle Craig Hospital, Scotland’s largest addiction treatment facility, now has a centre dedicated to cryptocurrency addicts, Sky News reports.

The professionals at the facility believe that cryptocurrency addicts show the same behavior as problem gamblers, i.e., they show an urge to continually trade cryptocurrencies in spite of suffering constant losses.

“The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler,” Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, told Sky News. “It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”

As per the therapists, cryptocurrency addicts can be treated using the same techniques used with other gambling addicts — starting with group therapy where the addicts share their life experiences with each other.

Since the affliction doesn’t seem to be based on science, we decided to do our own research.

We asked a few cryptocurrency traders we know whether they thought they have a problem and would consider signing up for the rehabilitation program.

Niko da Costa Gomez is a frequent cryptocurrency trader but has so far been making profits on his investments. He won’t consider signing up for a rehabilitation program. “It’s not a very good idea,” he told us. “I don’t think anyone is really addicted to trading cryptocurrency unless they are very rich.”

Manav Singhal, CEO of a blockchain startup Velix.ID, keeps trading cryptocurrencies in spite of making continuous losses. He also refused to admit he had a problem, instead giving a rather philosophical answer:

“I think profits and losses are just a part of the trading, and it is no different than trading any other kinds of securities,” he said. “Gambling addicts are just that — gambling addicts. They can choose any addiction they want, and it can be cryptocurrencies, but that doesn’t mean that a majority of cryptocurrency traders are addicts. There’re many reasons that make you trade cryptocurrencies frequently, given how fast things are changing in the industry. I am not signing up for any rehabilitation any time soon.”

I asked five additional cryptocurrency traders; they all laughed off the notion without offering any insights.

The responses at least lead to one conclusion — no one wants to admit the problem in the first place.

Disclaimer: The author is associated with Velix.ID, and holds some investments in its VXD tokens.

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