Start as a Crypto Bro, finish as a sad pokie player

28 October 2022

Ben Johnson from UQ’s National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research spoke with The Oz about links between cryptocurrency, problem gambling and adverse mental health outcomes.

The research found cryptocurrency traders shared similar behaviours of problem gamblers such as obsession with recouping their losses.

"There does seem to be a relationship between the intensity of gambling activities and engagement in and intensity of cryptocurrency trading," Johnson said.

"I think the enormous growth of cryptocurrency attracted a lot of people into the space and I think problem gamblers ... would have been attracted to it because of the potential to make lots of money."

The study also found early evidence to suggest cryptocurrency trading was linked to mental health issues like anxiety, depression and loneliness.

"The cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile. It fluctuates wildly, and these fluctuations can make people quite rich but it can also make people lose a lot of money very quickly. So it's intuitive to think that there would be a mental health link there," Johnson said. 

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