Do bitcoin traders have traits of psychopaths? That says a study, but be careful

Do bitcoin traders have traits of psychopaths? That says a study, but be careful

Key facts:
  • Psychopaths, Machiavellians, narcissists and sadists can be attracted to cryptocurrencies.
  • Some of its traits can be positive for investing in cryptocurrencies.

Researchers studied whether people interested in bitcoin (BTC), or other cryptocurrencies, have psychopathic, Machiavellian, narcissistic, and sadistic personality traits. The result was that the majority of the 566 online respondents who showed interest in this type of investment (90%) do show these characteristics, which has generated controversy in the ecosystem.

Marketing specialists Di Wang, Brett Martin and Jun Yao, who were in charge of the study, stressed that not all those interested in cryptocurrencies have a psychopathic, Machiavellian, narcissistic and sadistic attitude. But they noted that measuring them through the psychological lens of these mental disorders offers insight into why they want to buy these assets.

This decision seems somewhat biased and careless to analyze the behavior of people who do not have a mental disorder. Although the truth is that those who have these traits do not necessarily have mental problems.

Minna Lyons, the research doctor at the University of Liverpool’s school of psychology, explained that these traits, known as ‘the dark tetrad’, are part of the normal daily behavior of humans. She even maintains that in certain circumstances they can be beneficial. They are only problematic if they interfere with self-control and harm others and themselves, she explained.

Bitcoin Traders Don’t Have Mental Disorders, But They Do Possess Dark Tetrad Traits

Taking into account Lyons’ clarification, bitcoin and other cryptocurrency traders may have  psychopathic, Machiavellian, narcissistic or sadistic traits  because they are normal characteristics of the human personality. Of course, as long as they don’t affect your life or that of others. Therefore, it is vital not to confuse this with health problems.

In fact, GLM has reported that Andrés Urquiola, the CEO of the Val-U firm, commented that you have to be “half a psychopath” to trade bitcoin. The reason he said it is because you need to control your emotions to trade this asset, which is high risk due to its price fluctuations. A characteristic that is seen as a strength, not as something negative in this case and does not mean that you have a disorder.

It is worth mentioning that the world of cryptocurrencies is not an isolated case of people with dark tetrad traits. It is possible to find people like this in different fields. In fact, the psychiatrist Lola Morón estimates that this can be seen in executives, politicians and people who hold positions of high responsibility.

It was also validated by Professor Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at the University of British Columbia. This is because they have the ability to withstand pressure environments without being carried away by emotions, as well as an interest in obtaining power, prestige and money. Something that also identifies traditional investment traders, such as the stock market, according to Carnegie Mellon University.

Despite this, categorizing someone as having “psychopathic traits” for being encouraged to make risky investments, or knowing how to manage their emotions in stressful situations, can be quite inappropriate and even offensive. In addition, it could generate confusion and misunderstandings, leading to a matrix of opinion that affects an entire community and even demonizes the owners of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin analyst Will Clemente said publicly that associating the character of the dark tetrad with cryptocurrency traders appears to be FUD, which means bringing the industry into disrepute by instilling fear, uncertainty, and doubt. For this reason, it is convenient to be careful with the use of terms of mental disorders to describe characteristics of people , beyond the fact that they have similarities in certain aspects.

Samuel Edwards
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