Crypto addiction: The new threat to crypto trading adoption in Africa

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  • Treatment centres worldwide are now considering cryptocurrency trading as an addiction, with some asking for as high as US$90,000 to treat the “ailment”
  • There are more than 12,000 cryptocurrencies. At the end of 2021, the market was adding about 1,000 new cryptocurrencies every month
  • According to Jan Gerber, a clinic owner, inquiries about crypto-related issues have increased by 300 per cent between 2018 and 2021

One would be tempted to ask, how is crypto trading addictive, and if it is, how much would it cost to treat a crypto addiction? Treatment centres worldwide are now considering cryptocurrency trading as an addiction, with some asking for as high as US$90,000 to treat the “ailment”.

A report by Bloomberg revealed that many people are considering crypto trading addictive and are seeking medical help for it. Crypto addicts have gone as far as comparing their addiction to drugs and gambling.

How is crypto trading addictive?

According to Dylan Kerr, an online therapist, crypto trading demands your attention. If a trader takes their eyes off their computer screen, even for a few minutes, chances are high that one could miss out on massive opportunities and incur massive losses in the case of a day trading bull run.

One self-proclaimed crypto addict, Stevie Rojas, says that he began the adventure as a casual bitcoin trader. Rojas discovered more than just bitcoin in the market in no time. The thrill of diversifying one’s portfolio for maximum gain led him to trade riskier altcoins.

Read: Warning to African crypto traders: Fraudsters exploit over US$1.6 billion worth of crypto in 2022

Before he knew it, he could not take his eyes off his screen, monitoring altcoin pumps and dumps and observing any new coin that had come up in the market. Consequently, this severely affected his personal life, and he could only quit after seeking professional help.

Crypto addiction: The new threat to crypto trading adoption in Africa. [Photo/ CompSuccess]
A point to note, there are more than 12,000 cryptocurrencies. At the end of 2021, the market was adding about 1,000 new cryptocurrencies every month.

On the contrary, cryptocurrency trading being addictive is quite controversial. Many crypto traders may define what people may call addiction and the drive to keep going. Additionally, the crypto space is still relatively new. Behavioral addictions like crypto trading and gambling are still in the early stages of acceptance as a form of addiction.

Treatment centres and crypto addictions

Even as the ongoing debate as to whether crypto trading is an addiction or not, mental health professionals are reporting an exponential increase in the number of patients coming to them for crypto trading addiction treatment.

An example of a crypto treatment centre is the Paracelsus Recovery private clinic in Switzerland which charges US$90,000 to treat crypto trading. According to Jan Gerber, the clinic owner, inquiries about crypto-related issues have increased by 300 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Anthony Marini, a special therapist at a treatment centre in Scotland, says they have treated over 100 people for crypto problems since 2016.

It is becoming challenging to combat crypto trading addiction due to a lack of regulatory measures for controlling cryptocurrency trading.

Read: The crypto uncertainty: Ethereum to surpass bitcoin in market capitalization

Crypto trading is not controlled by any country, entity, or person. It’s decentralized, meaning it can’t be corrupted or controlled.

Additionally, intense marketing has been going on to popularize the adoption of cryptocurrencies. Celebrities are using their brands to influence, with some of them creating their cryptocurrencies.

African celebrities have been very active in that direction

Are African celebrities investing in cryptos to “fleece” their fans?

African artists are following suit of their foreign celebrity counterparts in creating their cryptocurrencies. Celebrities who have created their cryptocurrencies include comedian Kevin Hart, rapper Snoop Dog and pop singer Justin Bieber.

Is crypto trading addictive? [Photo/ Bitcoin news]
African celebrities with similar advancements in creating crypto tokens are Davido (the Echoke social token) and  Akon (Akoin). Could they be using their influence to collect money from their fans? The first rule of the game; to hold the token; you will have to invest.

Are they creating cryptos to realize a viable business idea for their fans, or are they stealing from their fans?

“I know if I put it out there, they will find a way to afford it because it will motivate them,” Akon said. “Ultimately, when you create an opportunity, people grow with that opportunity, people learn with that opportunity, people are motivated.”

Davido, on the other hand, said that he was looking to eliminate the intermediaries for his content to connect with his fans directly. A clever way to increase his earnings, right?

In conclusion, Every technological advancement always has a hit back, and we await to see what will come with the adoption of web3 inventions.

Read: Cryptocurrency mining stagnating the Africa COP27 agenda.

I am a journalist who is an enthusiastic tech, business and investment news writer from across Africa. There is always something good happening in Africa but most gets lost in the stereotypes. I tell the stories that matter to the Africans for Africa. Have a tip? You can contact me at j.kangethe@theexchange.africa

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