We've got a full roundup of this week's news — and a must-listen interview about the warning signs of crypto addiction.
The CoinMarketRecap podcast is released every Friday — bringing you all the week's crypto stories in an accessible way, along with in-depth interviews with the people who make the news and fun discussions on emerging trends.
It’s been a busy week for news. Bitcoin has been on the brink of its worst weekly close in two months, the REvil ransomware group seemingly vanished from the dark web without a trace, and Damien Hirst released an NFT collection with a cruel dilemma.
Here’s what we discussed with our guests.
Dogecoin Creator’s Angry Outburst
CoinMarketCap’s very own Molly-Jane Zuckerman joined us to discuss the stories that caught her eye this week.
One of them was the brutal Twitter thread written by Jackson Palmer, who created DOGE as a joke alongside a fellow software engineer.
This week, Palmer described the crypto sector as right-wing, bad, centralized and shady — combining the worst parts of today’s capitalist society with no regulation. Molly-Jane explained:
“I do think what Jackson Palmer said has clearly echoed what a lot of people were thinking. I've seen it in discussions on my Telegram groups, among my friends on Twitter, that people are basically saying Jackson Palmer is highlighting some of the biggest problems in the industry — but I don't agree with everything he says.”
Molly-Jane also said we need to move away from the fact that crypto is for everyone… and that investors should only put in what they are willing to lose: “I think the majority of people, you know, maybe aren't ready to invest in Bitcoin.”
As well as discussing the SEC, Molly-Jane dissected the rumors that Apple has bought $2.5 billion in Bitcoin, something that hasn’t been confirmed:
“I wanted to tell all of our listeners that you can't believe everything you see on Crypto Twitter. It's a dangerous place — I've been tricked before.”
The Dangers of Crypto Addiction
Tony Marini is a senior specialist therapist at Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland, one of the few clinics that has specifically started to treat cryptocurrency addiction.
He told the CoinMarketRecap podcast that while endless coverage is given to the people who are making money through crypto, not enough attention is given to those suffering losses.
The counsellor explained that the warning signs include people who begin to trade cryptocurrencies more frequently — and get irritable, restless and withdrawn when they’re away from their screen.
He drew parallels to gambling addiction too, with a number of studies in the U.S. also finding a link between the two. Tony said:
“I can see the similarities in all of this. We get withdrawn, we isolate, we start chasing losses. You may not get all of these, but if you experience the shame, the guilt, the hiding — just really ask yourself, honestly, is this affecting my life?”
Tony explained that crypto addiction can affect people of all ages and bank balances — and it can lead to other dependencies too. He added:
“It’s on your smartphone is it's in your bedroom, it's in your living room, it's at work, it's in your car. It's everywhere. We're finding that a lot more people are trying to stay up longer and longer and longer watching prices go up and down. So they are turning to alcohol and maybe amphetamines to stay up longer.”
The therapist urged people to ask for help if they feel they have a problem with their crypto trading habits — and stressed that they aren’t alone.
Booking Holidays with Crypto
We also spoke to Travala.com’s co-founder and CEO Juan Otero about the pros and cons of booking holidays using cryptocurrency.
Juan explained that services such as Travala allow people to use their crypto to buy something tangible, without having to convert it into fiat.
During the interview, we asked whether Bitcoin’s volatility actually makes using crypto to buy a hotel room or flight ticket less appealing. After all, a $2,000 holiday paid for in Bitcoin back in September 2020 would effectively cost $13,000 in cash terms just six months later. He replied:
“It can also go the other way — a $2,000 holiday could now be worth $500. Obviously there is volatility in the markets both ways, up and down. I think it’s more a matter of actually incentivizing people to transact with crypto.”
Otero also revealed that 70% of the payments made on his platform are now completed using cryptocurrencies — mainly Bitcoin, Ether and Travala’s native token.
With COVID continuing to weigh heavily on travelers around the world, Otero said that current booking trends indicate that most consumers are opting for trips in their own countries, rather than heading abroad. Juan added:
“As we head out of this pandemic, we are expecting growth to accelerate significantly as international travel opens up … I strongly believe that we’re going to see the biggest rebound in travel demand in history. The one thing that everybody’s going to do once borders open up completely and this pandemic is under control is travel.”