Why people are so obsessed with bitcoin: The psychology of crypto explained – CNBC

Why people are so obsessed with bitcoin: The psychology of crypto explained – CNBC

Bitcoin fever is back.

Bitcoin hit a new high in early January, reaching a price of nearly $42,000. On Friday morning, the price of the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency was about 32,500, according to CoinDesk.

Even mainstream financial institutions are warming up: JP Morgan said, in the long-term, if the market cap gets high enough that it competes with gold, the price of bitcoin could reach $146,000, in a note published in January. (Bitcoin currently has a market value of over $600 billion.)

But more than just a cryptocurrency, bitcoin has become an obsession for many. Here are some of the behavioral and psychological reasons why.

Bitcoin becomes part of your identity

Bitcoin is more religion than solution to any problem,” billionaire Mark Cuban told Forbes in December.

In fact, bitcoin aficionados have their own jargon full of acronyms and phrases from “HODL” to “whale,” and (pre-Covid) bitcoin conferences would attract thousands of attendees. The crypto crow even has a preferred car to buy with their bitcoin: the Lambo (aka Lamborghini).

“The culture around bitcoin is part of the appeal,” says Finn Breton, professor of science and technology at the University of California Davis and author of “Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency.”

“When you buy bitcoin, you’re actually buying into a whole scene,” Breton says. “And it’s a scene that can be a part of your identity.”

Though bitcoin is getting
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