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Cryptocurrency trading also attracts gamblers

Published on 16.11.2022
Tampere University
A gametable in the casino, colorful lights arounds.
Photo: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University
A study in the field of social psychology conducted at Tampere University shows that people who frequently trade cryptocurrencies often suffer from gambling problems. Many trading platforms have introduced attractive gaming features familiar from online casinos.

An 18-month follow-up study showed that active trading in cryptocurrency was associated with the growth of problematic gambling. According to the research articles published in Public Health, people who frequently trade cryptocurrencies are more likely to have gambling problems, digital gaming problems, excessive internet use, and a range of psychological problems.

The longitudinal analysis found that trading cryptocurrencies increased gambling problems. Gambling problems were particularly high for those who gambled at foreign online casinos at the same time. According to the researchers, it seems that gambling in foreign online casinos and cryptocurrency trading form a mutually reinforcing negative spiral.

“According to our results, the biggest problems are for people who play at foreign online casinos and at the same time actively exchange cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are currently being actively marketed to consumers and gamblers, and they may be seen as a quick way to make a profit. Cryptocurrency trading platforms have taken on the characteristics of online casinos. At the national level, the phenomenon should be addressed as a new form of gambling and risky behaviour,” says Atte Oksanen, professor of social psychology.

The findings are presented in two research articles, both published in Public Health, a scientific journal in print uninterrupted since 1888.

The data for the first article were gathered with a nationally representative survey of 1,530 18–75-old Finnish respondents. The follow-up surveys were sent to the same people. Altogether 1,022 people participated in all three rounds of the survey. The longitudinal study will continue at least until the end of 2023.

Research articles

Oksanen, A., Hagfors, H., Vuorinen, I., & Savolainen. I. (2022). Longitudinal perspective on cryptocurrency trading and increased gambling problems: A 3–wave national survey study. Public Health,

Oksanen, A., Mantere, E., Vuorinen, I., & Savolainen, I. (2022). Gambling and online trading: Emerging risks of real-time stock and cryptocurrency trading platforms. Public Health, 205(April), 72–78,