A UK rehab clinic is shining the spotlight on cryptocurrency addiction as an “area of concern” and is now offering treatment for people addicted to online Bitcoin trading, reports The Independent.
The Castle Craig residential rehab clinic in Scotland says addicts will be able to join its intensive gambling program, describing cryptocurrency addiction as a behavioural addiction, like a gambling addiction or compulsive online stock market day trading.
Digital cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have been gaining increasing prominence and growing in number in recent years, generating controversy in equal measures amid ongoing debate about their viability.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has been a high-profile and vocal critic, recently saying “cryptocurrencies will come to bad endings”.
Addressing the problem of addiction, Castle Craig has outlined the potential for users to “get hooked by the volatile fluctuation of prices online, which creates a ‘high’ when they buy or trade a winning currency”.
“This can be exciting but also addictive and, like gambling addiction, can be financially disastrous,” the clinic said in a statement.
Castle Craig gambling therapist Chris Burn, meanwhile, said “the high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler”.
“It provides excitement and an escape from reality,” he said.
“Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”