June 13, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

NHS Wants Crypto Trading to Be Regulated to Curb Addiction

The growing number of cryptocurrency traders showing signs of compulsive behavior has triggered NHS head Amanda Pritchard to ask for regulatory measures

NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, has expressed concern regarding the growing number of youngsters seeking support after getting addicted to cryptocurrency trading. 

During the NHS ConfedExpo conference held in Manchester following a visit to an NHS addiction center, Pritchard said she wants to see crypto trading be regulated by the government so the harms triggered by addiction to be limited.

NHS Could Become “An Expensive Safety Net”

The head of the National Health Service spoke about the risk of the system turning into “an expensive safety net” provided the necessary prevention measures are not taken in time. 

Given the volatile nature of these fluctuating digital currencies that are not controlled by governments and central banks, traders are prone to get caught up in an endless “cycle of speculations, wins and losses,” according to experts.

Combined with the lack of intrinsic volatility of these assets and the get-rich-fast stories told by crypto gurus on social media, the addiction risks grow exponentially for traders.

This results in a growing number of addicts seeking help from the NHS. 

Described as “fool’s gold” in the past by committee chair Harriett Baldwin, cryptocoins should be regulated similarly to gambling and not a financial service, as recommended by the Treasury committee report in 2023

This would be needed to prevent the market valued at $1.2 trillion from being given more credibility. 

The report was based on a 2022 survey that proved approximately 10% of UK adults either hold or have held crypto assets, with cryptocurrencies ranked first with close to 80%

The price volatility of unbacked crypto assets — and their lack of intrinsic value — exposes consumers to significant risks of losses.

“We Can’t Solve This Alone”

The same study mentioned the fact that they were a “fun investment” as the main reason why 52% of participants held crypto assets. 

What’s even more worrying is the fact that there was anecdotal evidence suggesting schoolchildren were speculating about crypto assets.

In the meanwhile, the NHS opened its 15th specialist center that provides treatment for gambling addiction. 

However, as explained by Pritchard, while the NHS can and will help, this is a serious matter that cannot be solved unilaterally.

Addiction problems triggered by unregulated cryptocurrency markets and traders’ desire to invest their money in “something with no fixed value” should be tackled “at source.” 

In return, this would halt the growing demand for the health service in the future. 

Priory Hospital Roehampton’s consultant psychiatrist, Dr Niall Campbell, spoke about the “steady stream” of crypto trading addicts who experienced “serious difficulties” with their dealing habits over the years. 

Campbell explained gambling addiction and crypto trading addiction are very similar, as they are both fueled by the desire to chase losses. He recommended abstinence as a form of treatment. 

Young men under 35 represent around 40% of the market, and they are also at the highest risk of addiction, according to estimates.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *