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UK’s NHS Sees Sharp Rise in Bitcoin Trading Addiction Among Young Men

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
Bitcoin Addiction

The UK’s National Health Service chief, Amanda Pritchard, raised concerns Wednesday about the rising number of young men seeking treatment for addiction to Bitcoin trading. She has urged action to regulate crypto platforms to prevent further harm.

Pritchard laid out her concerns about crypto markets during a speech on June 12. Unregulated crypto platforms, she said, are acting as a gateway for young people to develop gambling addictions.

Staff across the NHS’ network of 15 gambling clinics are encountering young men in crisis due to crypto losses, she added. These cases are emerging alongside those struggling with online sports betting addiction. Flashy crypto ads on social media are seen as a trigger for young male addicts.

“Are we okay to just continue picking up the pieces while the methods employed to keep people hooked get ever more sophisticated,” she said.

Bitcoin Trading Addiction A Strain on NHS Resources?

Pritchard also highlighted the addictive nature of crypto investment, warning of risky bets on unfixed assets. She warned that this trend could strain the NHS as it deals with more individuals needing treatment due to losses.

She emphasized the need to consider how the NHS can best allocate its limited resources in light of this emerging issue.

Will UK Tighten Grip on Crypto Market?

Echoing long-standing concerns, critics have equated cryptocurrency investment to gambling. In 2023, the UK Parliament’s Treasury Committee recommended stricter regulations for unbacked cryptocurrencies. They argued that speculation in these assets functions more like gambling than a legitimate financial service.

Despite calls for stricter regulation, the UK Treasury pushed back on comparisons between cryptocurrencies and gambling. Andrew Griffith, the then-Financial Services Minister, firmly rejected the proposal from lawmakers to treat cryptoassets as a form of gambling.

“[Treating cryptos as a form of gambling] would run completely counter to globally agreed recommendations from international organizations and standard-setting bodies, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the G20 Financial Stability Board,” he said.