A self-confessed crypto-trading addict and father of two is facing the dire prospect of losing his family forever after secretly racking up $180,000 in debt from his crypto-trading habits.
Sending his story on the r/relationship board subreddit on February 21, Reddit user “Leather_Opposite2135” said he started dabbling in cryptocurrency trading around 2021.
Fast forward two years to the present and his wife has dumped him and he is at least $180,000 in debt.
“It just started fumbling,” Leather said. “It’s a technical space, so I found it very interesting. I joined a lot of online spaces (discord) and ended up watching a few people trading btc and I was instantly hooked.”
Within a year, he had already “burned” $50,000 from cryptocurrency trading, with the lost funds mainly coming from his software business.
“Skip another year and it was really bad,” Leather said, noting that his addiction began to take hold when he began financing his dealings through other means, such as personal loans and credit cards.
“I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I found different ways to finance it, including getting personal loans, credit cards, lying about it all.
“I gambled on my phone when I went to the bathroom, when the kids were sleeping, on the computer when I wasn’t busy with work.”
Leather noted that about three weeks ago, he finally came clean about the debt to his wife, who did not take the news well and threatened to leave him and take ownership of their home.
He has since banned cryptocurrencies, handed over control of his trading accounts to his wife and has been seeing a gambling counselor weekly, but admitted that hard to get rid of the addiction at first.
“Emotionally, I was all over the place for the first 2 weeks. Cold turkey from something I spent 10 hours a day on (minimum) […] All the while the little voice telling me to go is looking at the charts on my shoulder.”
The original post has since been deleted by Leather_Opposite2135 on Reddit, but it’s neither the first nor the last story to shed light on the possible the dangers of cryptocurrency trading addiction.
Rehabilitation centers around the world they started adding addiction to cryptocurrency trading to their list of services for compulsive addiction treatment, in addition to alcohol, drug and behavioral health.
“Clinically, we’ve certainly seen an increase in people coming into therapy reporting difficulty managing cryptocurrency trading behavior,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Anastasia Hronisova to Cointelegraph in an email.
“Like gambling, many will report that it interferes with their daily lives, they spend a lot of time thinking and may also experience financial difficulties as a result.”
Dr. Hronis noted that similar to online gambling addiction, there is an “easy availability” of cryptocurrency trading “that can be quite dangerous for individuals.”
Related: How to build a crypto portfolio without spending money or time on trading
“A person can be seen engaging in their normal daily life, such as going to work, spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, etc., while doing business alongside it. This means that the addiction can actually become quite serious before anyone else in the person’s life notices.”
“Given the newness of cryptocurrency trading, I think treatment is still catching up to some extent. While the general principles of addiction treatment can certainly be applied here, there are nuances in cryptocurrency trading that would benefit from better understanding to better inform clinical treatment,” added Dr. Hronis.