Money and excitement from the game. Even the never-ending series of crashes do not deter young people from cryptocurrencies

In November, bitcoin cost $ 69,000, now its value is half as low. At the same time, the market decline did not escape competitors either, for example, Ethernet has also written off 50 percent since the beginning of the year. Although digital currency often pretends to be an investment for young people, they often pay the most for its volatility. The “computer generation” perceives the crypto as a game that can be easily and well earned.

“All my friends were talking about cryptocurrencies, so one day I decided I could get involved too and see if I could make money on it, too,” he told pro. British news server BBC twenty-year-old Paxton See Tow. All he needed was a phone, and he was only a few clicks away from thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency purchases.

Generation Z is a group of people born around the mid-1990s until about 2010. So it grew up in an interconnected world, at a time when the Internet was practically everywhere. They are used to playing online games and meeting friends virtually, without physical contact.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, while unmistakable tokens are a way of owning the original digital file. This is a phenomenon promoted as a digital response to the collection of physical things.

Just a year ago, Paxton bought bitcoins – one of the most popular cryptocurrencies – for 1,000 Singapore dollars (roughly 17,000 crowns) and almost immediately made a profit of about 10 percent. So he decided to quadruple his portfolio. But then the price of bitcoin began to fall.

“It’s always said ‘buy when prices are low, sell when they’re high,’ but I did the exact opposite. I let emotions control me,” he admits. Paxton lost $ 1,000 – in addition to all the money he had previously invested. Then he changed his strategy.

Kelvin Kong, who is a little older and also started cryptocurrencies, has suffered much more. He first earned a six-figure sum in 2017, but lost more than half a million dollars a year later. “I lost everything,” he says. “I thought I was the king of merchants. I was very conceited and didn’t expect anything to beat me, so I kept shopping,” he recalls.

In the end, Kelvin had only a few hundred dollars left in his bank account. “I think I was almost depressed. I also thought about suicide,” he admits. He now says that the boom in cryptocurrency and NFT trade among young people worries him. “Everyone will eventually lose money,” he adds.

Making money as a game

But even the stories of people who lost a lot of money on cryptocurrencies do not seem to discourage young traders. Many of them have encountered digital assets for the first time through games that allow them to obtain NFTs or cryptocurrencies and use them within the game itself, or exchange them for cash.

“Every child wants to make money playing games,” says a 23-year-old Malaysian businessman who is nicknamed YellowPanther. “This is the dream of my generation.”

When he started trading with the NFT last August, he decided a month later to resign his position as head of marketing and start devoting himself fully to trading with the NFT. “My work took a lot of time – eight to nine hours a day – and my salary was quite low. I saw a huge opportunity at the NFT, so I risked it,” he says.

YellowPanther is now working with 29-year-old Resh Chandran, who offers classics, cryptocurrency and NFT trading lessons in Singapore. Using the popular Axie Infinity game, which allows you to win cryptocurrencies, Mr. Chandran introduces investors to mostly Filipino players, who each play for themselves for a fee. He points out, however, that this area is a plowed field.

The pandemic recorded the cryptocurrencies

The trend for young people to trade in cryptocurrencies and NFTs has intensified during the pandemic. “The market has gone through extreme price fluctuations, and when you have such fluctuations, you have an opportunity in the market,” says LSE Fang, a professor of finance at INSEAD Business School. “Young people stayed at home and trading became almost a game. All these factors created the perfect conditions for that.”

For many young wannabe marketers, advice is available on online platforms such as YouTube, Twitter or Reddit. Brian Jung, 23, boasts one million followers on YouTube, but speaks more cautiously about other cryptocurrency influencers.

“I always have to make sure I speak carefully to my listeners. I definitely don’t want those videos to hurt people,” says Brian. His family emigrated from South Korea to the United States, and Brian thinks all of these circumstances affect how he invests and how he talks about money. “Our family has never been financially well, so I always look at it more carefully.”

Twenty-two-year-old Jowella Lim is attracted to the cryptocurrencies by the vision of financial independence. As a woman, she is a minority in the world of cryptocurrency trading. Governments around the world are preparing to regulate the digital currency industry, and Jowella hopes to provide a clear legal framework for these transactions. “Regulators will eventually have to find a compromise and realize that it is a technological advance that they cannot ignore. Especially when it is constantly permeating society,” he added.

Investment or gambling?

But in addition to financial losses, addiction is also a great danger. “The cryptocurrency market never sleeps, so people really swallow it up,” Mr. Chandran points out.

His words are confirmed by Andy Leach, who specializes in addiction treatment in Singapore. According to him, the number of young people, especially men, who succumbed to the excitement of cryptocurrency and NFT trafficking, has jumped. “You can watch the bitcoin rise and fall, and the whole process, the roller coaster ride, the highs and lows – all on your phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Although they lost money due to cryptocurrencies, Paxton and Kelvin learned in the industry and returned to trading. And Kelvin even admits he might be addicted to these deals. “You can say that anyway,” he says with a smile. “But I would call it passion.”

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The fall of bitcoin makes me happy because I can buy more. I take it as a form of saving, not as an investment. I allocate part of my salary there every month. | Video: Michael Rozsypal

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