At the end of 2017 we have seen Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies skyrocketing in value. Coupled with the attention from mass/traditional media, the situation has even prompted some people to get a loan or use their savings to “get into the game.”
This kind of trading with promise of quick returns can be addictive, and apparently some folks have managed to get themselves into that situation. And so, the first “crypto clinic” opened its doors in Scotland.
It’s actually a regular hospital…
Ok, it’s not really a “crypto clinic” but a regular Scottish hospital which has created a course of residential treatment for those it deems to be crypto addicts.
Experts from the Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire, the Scottish Borders told The Evening Standard that crypto trading can become a form of behavioural addiction, with traders obsessively watching for “minute-by-minute” market fluctuations. The devised treatment program therefore resembles existing methods for treating gambling addictions, rather than substance abuse programs.
“The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality,” Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, told the Evening Standard. “Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made.”
Another person quoted in the story, Tony Marini, is a former gambling and cocaine addict, and now a lead of the center’s new treatments. According to him, people look at cryptocurrency trading as a way “to escape from themselves, into another world, because they don’t like the world they’re in.”
And so in the first stage of treatment, patients are joined with other addicts in a group therapy to share their life stories. This, Marini says, helps them “identify with each other and realise that they’re not alone.”
It is estimated that there are around 13 million crypto addicts around the world.
Treating crypto trading as gambling could be good for taxes?
Somewhat related, there has been some discussion in the UK as to whether declaring crypto trading activities to be gambling could help to avoid taxes with the British tax authority. Otherwise, any crypto profits are a subject either to income or capital gains tax laws.
We must add here that we do not advise nor suggest anyone to avoid paying his/her dues. Taxes pay for schools, hospitals, roads and many other things that make modern life possible…