Britain’s public healthcare chief flags rise in crypto trading addiction

The NFT Unicorn a8e6a858-7cb8-443f-bbcd-6fc3e05e87bd Britain’s public healthcare chief flags rise in crypto trading addiction Crypto News

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service chief executive Amanda Pritchard is calling on British lawmakers to take action to prevent young people from becoming addicted to crypto trading.

Speaking at the ConfedExpo of NHS managers in Manchester on June 12, Pritchard said earlier this year, the NHS opened its fifteenth specialist gambling addiction clinic in response to “a real and growing social need.”

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

“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.”

The Times reported Pritchard later said, “The addictive habit sees people investing their own money in something with no fixed value, with the NHS left to pick up the pieces — this growing problem could create further demand for the health service.”

She told conferencegoers that questions need to be asked about “what we want the NHS to do with finite resources.”

Amanda Pritchard on stage at the NHS ConfedExpo. Source: YouTube

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

In June last year, King Charles passed laws to regulate crypto under the same rules as other financial services.

The U.K. Treasury in July 2023 rejected a May proposal from lawmakers to regulate crypto retail trading the same as gambling, with the Treasury instead wanting to regulate it as a financial service.

Economic Secretary Bim Afolami said in April that more laws are coming which will bring “operating an exchange, taking custody of customer assets and other things, will come within the regulator perimeter for the first time.”

Related: Gambling is on the rise — So why is investing still restricted?

Many crypto users may be drawn to high-risk tokens in the hopes of big gains. Memecoins have recently become popular again despite many marketing themselves as having no backing value.

Decentralized crypto exchanges offer users the ability to place highly leveraged bets on the price direction of tokens, which often sees millions in liquidations when bets go wrong, and the online, decentralized and always-on crypto space has also seen a rise in crypto gambling platforms.

One platform, Polymarket, has seen its value locked reach nearly $29 million, according to DefiLlama. It offers bets on a host of events, including sports and election outcomes but also niche bets, including a market for whether Elon Musk will ban Apple devices at his companies.

On June 11, Australia banned crypto and credit card use for online gambling platforms, bringing the rules level with offline gambling platforms.

Magazine: Cryptocurrency trading addiction — What to look out for and how it is treated

Source: Cointelegraph