You might have recently read the news about Betkurus, an online gaming platform raising funds close to $670,000 while partnering with CoinMatrix. This has made Betkurus the first online bitcoin based platform that allows real-time conversion of bitcoin to any fiat currency that can be used at various online casino games and to place bets on a long list of sporting events. This partnership has received a huge cheer from the bitcoin community. Even though, t is a good sign for bitcoin, serving as a sign of progress, another aspect related to its impact on the society has been completely overlooked.
Many of these digital sports/games include some form of gambling or other, where the player wagers bitcoin to play. Until now the options to bet with bitcoin have been limited, as most online casinos don’t accept digital currency. Also, many people used to bet with fiat currency prefer to do it with their respective currency. But, now it is possible to convert digital currency to fiat currency in real-time and play any game available on the internet/platform.
I am not a psychologist, but on observation, digital currency (bitcoin for example) doesn’t seem to hold the same weightage as fiat currency in the minds of people for various reasons. Maybe because one dollar appears to be a small fraction in BTC ($1=0.0041 BTC) or maybe because bitcoin is still not considered as real money by many people. So people are a bit more generous while gambling with bitcoins than with real money. Oblivious of the fact that they had paid for or earned the bitcoins in their account, they tend to wager higher amounts than they usually do with fiat currency. While doing so, most of them end up losing more than they can afford to. In addition, bitcoin and gambling can turn out to be a toxic combination for people with a chronic gambling problem.
Just to err on the side of caution, if you love gambling, with digital currency or otherwise, here are a few signs to keep an eye out for -
- Spending more money on gambling while leaving the bills unpaid
- Trying unsuccessfully to stop gambling on multiple occasions
- Chasing losses with the hope of winning back the lost money
- Not accepting the losses and arguing about gambling behavior with family and friends
- Depression and suicidal thoughts due to gambling losses
If you have any of these signs, there are chances that you might have a gambling problem or addiction. It is time to seek help.
Gambling problems bear a very high social cost in terms of billions of dollars across the world. It also leads to depression, suicide, and loss of productivity at work, dysfunctional relationships or complete breakdown of relationships, bankruptcy and even crime.
Tech has both good and bad sides. It is the cost of development. We just have to be sure that we make the right choices and decisions to benefit from it. It is the same with regard to bitcoin and other digital currencies too.