‘I lost millions through cryptocurrency addiction’

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By Jonathan Peters
BBC Scotland news

Jake lost millions of pounds trading cryptocurrencies. He does not want his identity known because he is still in treatment at one of the only hospitals in the UK that treats people who are obsessed with gambling on the value of the virtual currency.

Jake first bought Bitcoin – the most popular cryptocurrency – in 2015, but it was not until a big win a few years later that his trading spiralled out of control.

“I can pinpoint the exact moment it became a problem,” he said. “I had been eroding the sum I put aside, but I entered a trade, and I was willing to risk that last amount I had.

“I ended up making back pretty much everything I lost in a single trade. The feeling was one of absolute euphoria.”

Jake told BBC Scotland’s The Nine that this high, coupled with difficulties in his marriage and personal life, quickly led to an addictive cycle.

His job at that time meant he was in charge of millions of pounds. He said that he soon took to trading money that was not his in the hope of repeating his first success.

He said: “The first time I took it, I lost it all in about 20 minutes one night. The market moved very rapidly and I liquidated everything.

“It was about 2am. I went back to bed and had to lie down next to my wife. She had no idea what I had been up to.”

Jake had been facing criminal charges for embezzlement but was able to pay back £1.5m to his employer with the help of his family and is now in treatment for his addiction.

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