Addiction to Bitcoins: Gambling 3.0


In this in-depth article, you will learn what crypto-currencies and bitcoins are, and how investing in bitcoins can lead to an addiction with serious symptoms.

Table of contents

Probably everyone has heard of bitcoins, Ethereum, or altcoins. Cryptocurrencies, or digital money, make up a new financial scenario with very particular characteristics.

At the same time, a large number of people are experimenting with "virtual money" in the hope of making a big profit.

The mechanism is certainly tempting. You don't need financial knowledge to try bitcoins, just money, and internet access. The new digital money platforms allow you to act anonymously like a Wall Street broker.

The reward offered by bitcoins can be fast and very powerful. Obviously, it is not without risk since it is a very volatile market.

It can cause what is called bitcoin addiction. I call it pathological gambling 3.0 because it has many similarities to problem gambling or gambling addiction, but with its own identity.

This photo represents Bitcoins ratio to altcoins (seen in the trading chart behind).
This photo represents the Bitcoins ratio to altcoins (seen in the trading chart behind).

What are cryptocurrencies

Bitcoins, to name the dominant cryptocurrency today, were designed as a reliable alternative to physical money.

Cryptocurrencies are characterized in that they are not subject to a structure controlled by governments or states such as a Central Bank. Anonymity is the main characteristic of virtual money.

Bitcoins are alphanumeric digital currency protected by an encrypted security key.

In other words, the assets are not in the public domain and can only be operated using the password. There is a network of nodes that host and generate the computer sequence of transactions in a kind of "ledger" called blockchain or chain of blocks.

These "managers" are rewarded with new bitcoins when they make the appropriate hardware available to the system to manage and protect transactions, a procedure known as cryptocurrency mining. Mining requires powerful computer equipment and a high and constant power supply.

Some cryptocurrencies
Some cryptocurrencies

Although initially received with skepticism (2010), the truth is that large corporations such as Visa, Intel, and Microsoft have shown interest in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Companies of recognized prestige accept payment with bitcoins and firmly position the idea of ​​digital money. The stage is in the full expansion phase.

Until recently, drugs or weapons could be traded on the "deep web" using bitcoin transactions. Today you can acquire through bitcoins, among many other things, digital rights to images, files, or things. Even plots of the so-called metaverse in the so-called Internet 3.0.

The risk of investing in bitcoins

Like anonymity, the great volatility of cryptocurrencies is its main characteristic. As they are not centralized, they are exposed to a strong speculative current.

I know that investing in bitcoin can be a very emotionally intense experience. But trading bitcoins involves some risk. Precisely, a risk for which most "investors" are not prepared.

The addiction to bitcoins has points in common with the addiction to gambling but in an amplified way.

In many ways, investing in cryptocurrencies is similar to short-term stock trading or stock trading. Trading bitcoins also has points in common with sports betting but not as a matter of chance. Almost 2% of all bitcoin investors have problems or a history of pathological gambling or compulsive gambling.

In short, bitcoin addiction shares identical characteristics to problem gambling and pathological gambling.

Unlike traditional (regulated) financial markets, predicting the evolution of cryptocurrencies is frankly complex.

Until recently only experts in the financial world did, today anyone can do it from their mobile phone while waiting for the subway to arrive. In a matter of hours, you can earn thousands of euros. That is, operating with cryptocurrencies places. And everything that places an addict has hooked: hence the so-called addiction to bitcoins.

Symptoms of bitcoin addiction

People constantly consulting their mobile phones, neglecting their social relationships and essential activities, or putting their assets at risk.

A bitcoin addict is, in many ways, the closest thing to a gambler. Under the umbrella of the investment concept, thousands of people around the world "bet" in a deceitful way on a "game" that practically has no rules.

People experience sudden anxiety attacks, insomnia, or major mood swings.

You can get to neglect your diet, personal hygiene, or even your work or studies. In the most severe cases, addiction to bitcoins can cause social isolation, a pseudo-depressive picture, or even a risk of suicide hooked on sports betting.

The new financial era of cocaine, and gambling

In a way, the addiction to bitcoins could well be called " the new cocaine of the gambler 3.0 ".

It sounds outlandish, but the addiction to virtual money shares many of its traits with the addiction to cocaine, a super-powerful stimulant. And of course, with gambling. As was the case in its beginnings, cocaine use was, to a certain extent, elitist, glamorous, or shrouded in a certain halo of exclusivity.

Investing, not betting, in bitcoins is not going to bingo, the casino, or buying a scratch card.

One of the keys to avoiding addiction to bitcoins may lie in pinpointing precisely where we begin to call it a game, bet, or investment.

For many people, trading bitcoins can make them feel like they "own the world". A world of "chosen".

Let's imagine for a moment what it can mean for a young worker or a student to get 50,000 euros in just a few days. It is unlikely that he will be caught by the rewarding mechanism and will almost certainly try again. The new financial era has arrived and it seems that it intends to stay.

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