Crypto trading addiction has become a public health concern in the UK: NHS

Specialist clinics are seeing a rapid rise in cases as unregulated cryptomarkets lure young investors.

dramatic depiction of a crypto trading addict

Share this article

The UK’s National Health Service recently claimed that addiction to crypto trading has become a public health concern in the country.

According to a statement from NHS chief Amanda Pritchard, there is a growing social need for “intervention” as younger people are increasingly exposed to and addicted to crypto trading. Pritchard spoke at the ConfedExpo in Manchester, attended by NHS managers, urging British lawmakers to take action in response to this trend.

Pritchard emphasized the importance of addressing the issue at its source, questioning whether society is content with the NHS simply “picking up the pieces” while the methods used to keep people hooked become increasingly sophisticated. She specifically pointed to the rise of unregulated crypto markets as a new avenue for younger people to develop addictive habits.

“Evermore opportunities spring up for younger people to get addicted to gambling, including — as I heard from staff when I visited the national problem gambling clinic earlier this year — on unregulated cryptocurrency markets,” Pritchard stated.

Pritchard later elaborated on the issue, claiming that the addictive habit of investing “in something with no fixed value,” has become a public health concern, resulting to an increased demand for their institution’s health services.

“Will we tackle problems at source, or do we accept the NHS becomes an expensive safety net?” asks Pritchard.

The UK government has taken steps to regulate the crypto industry, with King Charles passing laws in June last year to bring crypto under the same rules as other financial services. However, the Treasury rejected a proposal from lawmakers in July 2023 to regulate crypto retail trading in the same manner as gambling, instead opting to regulate it as a financial service.

In recent news, Crypto Briefing reports that crypto executives are lobbying in the UK to influence lawmakers to bring clarity to the industry’s regulatory standing.

Economic Secretary Bim Afolami announced in April that additional laws are in the works to bring various aspects of the crypto industry, such as operating an exchange and taking custody of customer assets, within the regulatory perimeter for the first time.

The appeal of high-risk tokens and the potential for significant gains may be driving many crypto users, particularly young men, to engage in risky trading behaviors. The rise of memecoins, decentralized exchanges offering highly leveraged bets, and the always-on nature of the crypto space have contributed to the growing concern over crypto trading addiction.

Share this article