Young Koreans hooked on Bitcoin trading sparks “crypto addiction” fears

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An article today from the leading South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo detailed the phenomenon of obsessive Bitcoin tracking and mentioned the impact of price fixation on the lives of young Koreans, even to the point of interfering with their work commitments.

Psychological experts warn that compulsive price tracking may be part of a wider problem with cryptocurrency addiction, which shares similarities with gambling addiction. Is now the time for crypto holders to check themselves?

Bitcoin mania is impacting the jobs market

Since the start of Q4 2020 to its all-time high, the price of Bitcoin has increased by over 500%. When it comes to top-performing alts such as Dogecoin, Polygon, and VeChain, the percentage gains are magnitudes greater.

The lure of easy and fast money is a distraction for most. So much so, that even employers in South Korea are beginning to notice the effects. Not only do they complain about distractions over price obsession during work hours, but some even report that workers are quitting jobs to become full-time traders.

Han Jung-soo is one such former worker. He quit his credit card company job last month off the back of making ₩3 billion ($2.7 million) from cryptocurrency investing. He said crypto provides a better return compared to working a normal job.

“I enjoyed working, but I realized it made more financial sense to focus on my investments considering the returns I can gain for the amount of time I put in.”

The IT industry, which has a high correlation of employees who invest in cryptocurrency, is experiencing high staff turnover rates. One team leader at an IT startup based in Seoul said this is partly why IT companies are giving out big pay rises to staff.

Crypto trading addiction

With Bitcoin and cryptocurrency only gaining traction in recent years, cryptocurrency addiction is a relatively uncharted phenomenon.

However, psychologists classify it under the same taxonomy as a behavioral addiction, which includes established sub-types such as gambling addiction and stock market trading addiction.

Personal accounts of Bitcoin trading recount becoming hooked on the easy gains. What’s more, the issue gets compounded by 24/7 365 markets, which is described as a never-ending horse race.

Taking the leap, I took some money out of my measly savings and bought myself some Bitcoin…In three days, I had made 6 percent. I was hooked… I’ve noticed that the whole cryptocurrency trading trend is like placing bets on a never-ending horse race, where new horses are introduced to the race almost daily”

While it’s fun and games when making a profit, the sad reality is that 80%-90% of traders lose money. With that in mind, the relation to gambling is evident for all to see.

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