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Altcoin Trading Addiction Is A Problem: UK’s National Health Service

2 mins
Updated by Daria Krasnova
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In Brief

  • NHS reports rising altcoin trading addiction among young men, calling for medical intervention.
  • Amanda Pritchard warns unregulated crypto trading drives gambling-like addictions.
  • Castle Craig Clinic in Scotland sees increasing cases of crypto-dependency treatment.
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The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has highlighted that an increasing number of young men are succumbing to addictions related to trading altcoins. This addiction has led to a rising demand for medical intervention.

The NHS blames this escalation on “unregulated cryptocurrency sites.”

NHS Chief Expresses Concerns About Altcoin Trading Addiction

Since Bitcoin’s introduction in 2008, crypto trading has surged in popularity. Now valued at nearly $2.5 trillion, the market’s potential for rapid wealth draws many. However, this allure often leads to significant personal and financial consequences.

At a recent NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, addressed these issues. She noted the broader challenge of gambling addiction, which has evolved to include digital currencies. According to Pritchard, gambling addiction is a devastating affliction that can destroy lives, and the digital currency wave is introducing new addiction pathways.

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“The addictive habit sees people investing their own money in something with no fixed value, with the NHS left to pick up the pieces; this growing problem could create further demand for the health service,” Pritchard said.

Historically, the NHS has adapted to meet public health challenges, but crypto trading presents a novel and complex problem. Pritchard cautioned that without governmental intervention, the NHS risks becoming “an expensive safety net” for this and other issues like obesity.

Clinicians at the NHS’s 15 gambling clinics report an alarming trend – individuals are increasingly experiencing crises due to losses in highly volatile altcoin markets. These are mostly young men, often enticed by sophisticated social media campaigns promising huge returns.

A Treasury select committee report underscored the seriousness of the situation last year. It suggested regulating crypto trading as gambling, noting that even schoolchildren were engaging in trading.

According to Statista data, there are over 20 million crypto users in the UK. This perspective masks the potential dangers, particularly the addictive nature of crypto trading. Such activities can trigger dopamine-driven cycles of risky bets and high stakes, similar to traditional gambling.

UK Crypto Users
UK Crypto Users. Source: Statista

Castle Craig Clinic in Scotland is one institution recognizing the rising tide of crypto addiction. One of the first to offer specific treatment for crypto-dependency, the clinic has seen an increase in patients with this condition year after year, according to Anthony Marini, a senior therapist.

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The symptoms of this addiction include excessive investment of time and money, financial instability, pursuit of losses, and deteriorating mental health. Moreover, crypto trading’s digital nature allows for constant access, intensifying the potential for addiction.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...
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