ACH WOOT YAH look at yer'self Angus, you're addicted the Bitcoin laddie, yer need to get doown to the week crypto-rehab centre at Castle Craig Hospital, ye ken?
Yep, rather than just fight addictions to heroin and shortbread, the Scottish have opened up a rehab centre for people who've found themselves hooked on cryptocurrencies.
That might seem like an odd thing to get addicted to, but the trading of digital currencies has been found to trigger similar addictive behaviours as online gambling, with people becoming obsessed with the rapid and near-constant fluctuation in the value of the likes of Bitcoin and Monero.
"The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains & losses were made. It's a classic bubble situation," said Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, which also treats gambling and drug addictions.
Cryptocurrency trading addiction can be identified if a person exhibits some or all of 12 pointers noted by the hospital, including a person spending all their time and money trading, believing a big win is about to happen or even pawning their belongings to raise funds for trading.
To tackle the addiction, Castle Craig Hospital has a 12 step approach that uses cognitive behavioural therapy to help patients understand their addiction, recognise the consequences, learn to control their impulses and recognise the consequences of their actions.
While a wee flutter on cryptocurrencies may seem harmless enough, the idea of making big money has seen people bet huge amounts on Bitcoin only for the market to suddenly bottom out and cause them to lose all their money in one fell swoop. The deregulated nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies makes it a volatile betting and investment environment.
The excitement around cryptocurrencies has had some nasty results, including the UK's first armed robbery made against a cryptocurrencies trader that forced him to part with access to his digital funds. It has also caused the price of graphics cards to shoot up which has upset many PC gamers, a particularly vocal community that can quickly kick up a furore. µ
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