With an estimated 29 million users worldwide, “compulsive betting of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is a fast-growing, worldwide problem”, states Scottish rehab clinic Castle Craig Hospital on its website.
“We began treating cryptocurrency exchange addicts in February after receiving a number of enquiries from people claiming to either have the addiction or know somebody that does,” the clinic’s Press Officer Rupert Wolfe Murray tells Coin Rivet.
“We treated our first patient in February of this year and the patient has already been through the whole programme,” adds Murray. “We are receiving calls a every day from people asking whether we have a treatment for cryptocurrency exchange addiction.”
Bitcoin expert Michael Parsons told BBC that trading cryptocoins is “like putting money into a slot machine. I think because Bitcoin entered the mainstream last year and it went up 10 times in value, people have a fear of missing out and want to jump in.”
He further explained that people put their money into cryptocurrency purely out of speculation and not facts. Cryptocurrencies are characterised by their volatility. For example, Bitcoin has gone up 10 times last year, over the last 12 months it’s gone up 240%, in the last month it’s gone down by 23%.
Castle Craig cryptocurrency therapist Chris Burn comments: “That and the combination of potential huge gains is really attractive to a lot of people who would never dream of any other addictive activity. (Cryptocurrency trading is) an addiction and illness that causes a lot of people to end up in despair, even suicide.”