New Money Review podcast

New Money Review podcast

The growing problem of cryptocurrency addiction

December 16, 2021

In the latest New Money Review podcast, psychotherapist Tony Marini talks about the growing problem of addiction to cryptocurrency.

Marini, a specialist in gambling addiction, works at the Castle Craig hospital in Scotland.

In the podcast, he says he’s seen a sharp rise in cryptocurrency-related self-destructive behaviour since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic—a period during which many of us have been stuck at home in front of a computer screen.

Marini explains how addiction to gambling often goes hand in hand with other addictions, such as to drugs or alcohol.

He says that only increased awareness of the risks resulting from gambling can help combat the problem. In the podcast, Marini calls for better society-wide education on the risks of trading highly volatile crypto assets.

During the recording, Marini and New Money Review editor Paul Amery discuss:

  • How gamblers are often hooked by an initial big win
  • Confusing skill with chance
  • Chasing losses, obsession and self-destructive behaviour
  • Dependency, the desperation phase and cross-addiction
  • Gambling and suicide risk
  • Accepting there’s a problem
  • Building healthier relationships and behaviours
  • Risk-taking and human nature

Tony Marini on addiction, gambling and cryptocurrency

“Addiction could be an escape from reality, grief or trauma. But once you cross the line into addiction you cannot go back—whether that’s alcohol, drugs or gambling.”

“Over the last eighteen months a lot more people have been working from home with two screens: one for their crypto and gambling, the other for work. And many are crossing over into other addictions, such as drugs and alcohol. You’re alone a lot and you think you’re going to perk up with an escape from reality. There’s a tenfold increase in people investing in cryptocurrency.”

“People are getting all this information on the internet from others who are saying, ‘I’m the expert, I can make you lots of money’. It’s absolutely ludicrous—this is gambling, pure and simple.”

“Those addicted to gambling are three times more likely to commit suicide than those suffering from any other addiction. I’ve seen so many people lose their lives to this. It’s just heart-breaking. There really should be a lot more done about this.”

“Education is the way forward. In schools, colleges and universities young people are told a lot about the risks in drugs and alcohol, but not about gambling, and especially not about cryptocurrency and where it can take them.”

“When we are buying or trading in cryptocurrency, we are gambling straight away. This is not regulated. There are lots and lots of people out there who want to take your money.”