Cryptocurrency investment: A safe venture or a new type of gambling?

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Sonkurt H. O., ALTINÖZ A. E.

Journal of Gambling Issues, vol.47, pp.199-216, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4309/jgi.2021.47.8
  • Journal Name: Journal of Gambling Issues
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.199-216
  • Keywords: addictive behaviour, cryptocurrency, trading, investment, gambling, RISK, INVESTORS, GAMBLERS
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. All rights reserved.Investment behaviour and gambling overlap from time to time. It is stated that there is a spectrum between gambling and investment behaviour, and there are ‘‘speculative” investment tools in the middle of the spectrum. Considering that it presents a higher risk because of its high volatility compared to traditional investment instruments, trading cryptocurrencies can become pathological and gambling-like. This study aims to investigate the pathological trading behaviour and frequency among cryptocurrency investors, to investigate additional gambling disorders, and to investigate the relationship between cryptocurrency investment behaviour and impulsivity. An online questionnaire was created to investigate these issues. In the questionnaire, the Pathological Trading Scale, the South Oaks Gambling Screen Test and the Barratt Impulsivity Scale were all used. A total of three hundred persons were evaluated. We found that total pathological traders were 48.7% of all traders, impulsivity in 18-25 age group was higher, high- frequency traders were more pathological, and their impulsivity was higher; also margin traders and day traders show more pathological behaviour. It seems that an important part of cryptocurrency traders may be pathological, and certain of them may have cryptocurrency addiction, which can be evaluated as a subtype of gambling disorder.