You Might Be Addicted to Cryptocurrencies—Here’s Why.
Earlier this year, a Scottish company opened up a “crypto addiction clinic,” sparking the interest of major media outlets and creating a spirited debate within the addiction healthcare community. Although it might initially seem to be yet another exaggeration and a funny anecdote, professionals are clear in their conviction that cryptocurrency trading can be classified as an addiction—and a dangerous one at that.
Investing in cryptocurrency is a volatile practice. The markets move fast, and there is the constant threat that an Initial Coin Offering coin could crash to a price of zero. As a result, experts say that cryptocurrency investment is as much of a gamble as playing the slot machines at a local casino. Because of this, cryptocurrency investment has the heavy possibility of causing addiction in some market participants. Just like winning at a slot machine, making a quick profit off of cryptocurrency can trigger the release of dopamine in an investor’s brain, eventually urging them to compulsively pour money into the venture, often with dangerous and unfortunate results.
Luckily, cryptocurrency addiction is relatively easy to spot. In many ways, the signs of a cryptocurrency trading addiction closely mirror existing metrics for a gambling addiction.
Lying About Investment Amounts
One telltale sign that someone might have an addiction to cryptocurrency is when they constantly hide or conceal the amount of money they have invested in the industry. Much like a gambler who lost too much money at the tables or in the machines, cryptocurrency investors who compulsively participate in the markets might feel ashamed about how much they have spent or lost.
This might not be a major issue if someone simply wants to avoid a lengthy crypto discussion. But for investors that have large amounts of money tied up in cryptocurrency investments, constantly lying about the value of their portfolio could be a clear sign that they might have a cryptocurrency investment or gambling problem.
Only Caring About Crypto
This is another major way to identify that someone might have a problem with investing in the cryptocurrency markets. It is clearly not an issue for someone to have a hobby or a vested interest in something, especially something as new and exciting as cryptocurrency trading market.
This becomes an issue and potentially a symptom of addiction, however, when the investor is only interested in having conversations revolving around the cryptocurrencies that might be dominating the market. Experts say that a verbal and social fixation on one element of gambling is a good way to tell that someone might have an addiction.
Waiting for the Next Big Sign
For cryptocurrency addicts, nearly any small bit of news might be a sign of the “next big bull run.” Because of the compulsive nature of addiction and the money they invariably have tied into the market, sometimes these hopes can border on outright delusional. If someone finds themselves constantly scouring the internet and cryptocurrency communities in an attempt to find news about the next big bull run, they might have an addiction to cryptocurrencies.
Losing Hold of Time
This is another sign that closely mirrors a symptom of traditional gambling addiction. For gambling addicts, their obsession with their game of choice often means that they completely lose track of time and the things that might be going on around them. For cryptocurrency investors, this can be a similar phenomenon. Some cryptocurrency addicts might continue to tell themselves “one more trade” before they go to bed. Before they know it, the sun is up, and they spent all night wagering money on the markets.
This can be a particularly debilitating problem for a cryptocurrency addict. Losing track of time can adversely affect relationships with loved ones, job performance, and a myriad of other things that are essential to a functional personal life.
Constantly Checking the Portfolio
Cryptocurrency addicts might also have a problem with constantly checking their portfolio, even at odd hours and inappropriate times. This is a clear indicator of a problem because, in many cases, this behavior is not conducive to maximizing profits, and might represent near-pure compulsive tendencies. Though the cryptocurrency markets move very quickly, there is no functional need for someone to check their portfolio for potential profits five times in the same ten-minute span.
Only Caring About Crypto News
The world is a place increasingly dominated by news and media. And while it may become easy to get lost in the flood of information combatting internet users on a daily basis, psychologists warn that fixating on any specific type of news can be a behavioral sign of a bigger problem. For owners of cryptocurrency, only being interested in news relating to cryptocurrency could be a sign of a larger addiction.
While it is perfectly healthy to keep up-to-date on the latest events in the important cryptocurrency community and changing markets, someone who is only interested in constantly checking for more cryptocurrency news is likely a bit too entrenched in the rat-race of the market. And yet again, this compulsive behavior often has little effect on the profits experienced by the investor.
Daily Life Suffers for Cryptocurrency
This is a wider topic, but it is an important one when assessing whether someone has a cryptocurrency addiction problem. The general metric here holds that someone has a problem when participating in the markets is negatively affecting some major aspect of their daily life. For example, a man who continues to show up late to work because he was busy trading cryptocurrency falls into this category.
Extreme Financial Losses Do Not Deter
For a gambling addict in the midst of a binge, it can be unsettling to see how much money they are willing to throw away for a shot at the big win. For cryptocurrency gamblers, this can be similarly obvious and startling. Someone who is addicted to trading cryptocurrencies might either not realize how much they have lost, or the might not care at all.
While some risk is important in any investment portfolio, investors should always be aware of their financial situation and should not invest money that they cannot afford to lose. If someone continues to invest in cryptocurrencies after sustaining heavy losses, or if someone spends more money than they can afford to spend, this might be a sign of serious addiction.
Why Crypto Addiction Matters
The memes and jokes surrounding the emerging cryptocurrency markets may make the concept of a serious crypto addict a bit of a joke, but experts emphasize that addiction to “playing the market” could be very serious and have massively debilitating results for the addict. Cryptocurrency trading is, in many ways, a form of gambling.
Cryptocurrency addicts could easily lose large sums of money, ruin relationships with those around them, and even experience depressive and negative mental health symptoms. Investors in the volatile cryptocurrency market should always be on the lookout for signs of investment addiction, both in themselves and in others.