Cryptocurrency 'addiction'

 At three in the morning, Vu Nguyen got up and looked at his phone screen and saw the price of the tokens he was investing in. For the past month, she hasn't slept well.


"I've been playing cryptocurrencies for two years, before I only kept some coins in my wallet, rarely bought or sold. But since I switched to playing Future, I've lost sleep over it," said Vu Nguyen, 29 years old in Can Tho. , said.

Future is a feature for investors to trade futures contracts, available on many cryptocurrency exchanges today such as Binance, MEXC... Players can earn profits from placing orders to predict the increase or decrease the price of a digital currency for a certain period of time without necessarily owning the coin, with leverage values ​​and a certain amount of return if the prediction is correct. Basically, it is not much different from the previous Binary Option trading but the prediction time is longer.

Many people lose sleep because of cryptocurrency transactions. Photo: Teletype
Many people lose sleep because of cryptocurrency transactions. Photo: Teletype

Compared to keeping cryptocurrencies in her wallet before, Nguyen said she opens the app more and spends more time researching the coins she plans to bet on. After a month, she lost nearly 5 kg because of poor sleep, lack of concentration while her account was not much due to "burning" - only the liquidation of orders when reaching a certain price threshold - too much time.

Not playing Future, but Hoang Phuoc (Tay Ninh) also studies the price increase and decrease of cryptocurrencies to sell for profit. "I can get 10-20% profit each time and mostly just focus on that, nothing else," he said. "I access the app several times an hour, my mind is on it." At the end of April, he quit his job at a technology corporation in Ho Chi Minh City to spend time with cryptocurrencies.

In the context of the current volatile market, playing Future like Nguyen or "surfing" like Phuoc is chosen by many people. In various social media groups, some admitted to being addicted to cryptocurrency trading in various ways.

Hoang Viet, an expert in the field of blockchain in Ho Chi Minh City, said that forms of play like Future on cryptocurrency exchanges are no different from gambling. "Predicting the price up and down is similar to the game of fortune and failure in gambling. You can easily join, but also lose your hand very quickly," said Mr. Viet.

Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, New York-based therapist Aaron Sternlicht rated cryptocurrencies as even more addictive than traditional sports betting, gambling and financial investments. Cryptocurrencies can be traded around the clock, unlike stocks, without going to the casino.

To date, crypto addiction has not been officially recognized as a mental health disorder. Research experts, as well as scientific literature on this matter are almost non-existent. "Although more research is needed, addiction to cryptocurrencies can be viewed as a form of gambling addiction," Sternlicht said.

"Over the past five years, we've seen a huge increase in the number of people trading cryptocurrencies, along with a higher number of addicts," said Lia Nower, an expert at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "Excessive crypto-trading, risking some cash in the hope of making multiple returns, that's gambling."

Rutgers University conducted a study of 372 individuals specializing in crypto-trading and found that 38% were "problematic people", that is, overly focused on crypto despite the risks. This number is rated as "very high odds", the equivalent of gambling.

The price fluctuations of coins can quickly make the brain feel euphoric. "When the price of cryptocurrencies skyrockets, the player's brain receives a surge of dopamine that gives a feeling of euphoria. The volatility of cryptocurrencies and the ability to trade 24/7 can lead to over-intensification and often The regularity of dopamine makes it much more addictive than trading other assets like stocks, which are not as volatile and have limited trading hours," explains Sternlicht.

Besides, the "gamification" of the exchanges promotes addiction. "Many exchanges have fun game-like interfaces. Gambling on them is also different from real money investment platforms. This is especially appealing to young people who like the fun of games." , the therapist added.

As for Nguyen, she said she had "deleted the app" a week after being criticized by her manager for declining work efficiency. The rest of the money on the exchange, she bought a favorite coin and didn't care about it anymore. "I will find a new job and try to forget the past," Nguyen shared.
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