Crypto has made a lot of things since it came around. It has made headlines, profits, and losses. Crypto’s golden child, Bitcoin, even gained “legal tender” status in El Salvador. But now, it seems crypto is turning people into trading addicts who can’t do without getting a hit of their favorite crypto exchanges daily. Or at least, that’s what the National Health Service of the United Kingdom thinks. 

Related: New Research Proves Bitcoin Enthusiasts Are Not Psychopaths

UK NHS boss Amanda Pritchard has cried out that hospitals and specialist clinics are seeing a rise in crypto zombies, and it’s time to take action, or we might be getting a bigger second wave. Pritchard has called on British lawmakers to help do something about the latest kind of addiction to prevent more young people from getting addicted to crypto.

At the ConfedExpp of NHS managers held in Manchester on June 12th, Pritchard mentioned that the NHS has just opened its fifteenth specialist gambling addiction clinic in response to what she called a “real and growing social need.” 

But that’s just gambling, Amanda continues, “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 this earlier year—on unregulated cryptocurrency markets.”

Pritchard also described the problem in truly enlightening terms. She 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.”

The problem stems from many young folks wanting to make money, but according to Amanda, another problem is that there’s no money to solve that first problem. She told those at the conference that we need to start asking “what we want the NHS to do with finite resources.”  

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But even if the resources were there, isn’t it better to not even need to use them in the first place? “Will we tackle the problem at source or do we accept the NHS becoming an expensive safety net?”  Amanda asked. 

Crypto regulation in the UK has been quite “topsy turvy,” as the British would say. In June 2023, King Charles passed laws that sought to regulate crypto under the same rules as other financial services. Then, in July of the same year, the UK Treasury rejected a proposal to regulate crypto retail trading the same way gambling was regulated.

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There’s no doubt that crypto trading is now one of the fastest ways to make money. From big tokens to meme coins, there’s always a coin you can make money from. These days, more and more young people are getting into crypto, even high schoolers and college kids. But in the words of Amanda Pritchard, “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?” We’ll let you think about that one.

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