A Highly Volatile Market
Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland now treats crypto addiction. They have concluded that obsessively tracking crypto volatility is akin to a gambling addiction, so prepared a similar treatment course for it.
We don’t know how many people are glued to their screens tracking crypto market volatility. However, we know that the crypto market has about 13 million traders worldwide, so the potential for addicts is high. The frequent ups and downs of markets highly excite them. They follow them keenly, to the point that crypto trading is now an addiction.
The volatility is rooted in structural issues in addition to the newness of the blockchain-crypto space. Most local issues assume global importance, like how South Korea’s recent positive view of crypto improved sentiments. On the other hand, any news of crypto exchange hacks creates negative sentiments. The market is much smaller than traditional stock markets, therefore such occurrences magnify the price.
Regulatory uncertainties also cause fluctuations. For example, the blockchain logistics start-up ShipChain received a cease and desist order. Regulators later vacated the order, creating doubt. In the US, the federal government views crypto suspiciously, but some state governments encourage it. Consistency in regulatory matters is important, and its absence creates market fluctuations.
Crypto communities also need to make up their mind: are cryptos assets, or are they currencies? This ambiguity is another obstacle to crypto adoption. Frequent fluctuations also make traders wary; however, they need to realize that some cases of crypto volatility are simply market corrections.
Needed: A Big Picture Solution
The Scottish hospital will offer a comprehensive residential treatment program to crypto addicts. As a first step, they will connect people to others with their same problem. This will put them at ease since they’ll see that they’re not alone.
However, the crypto market also needs a big picture solution to address market fluctuations. This solution has to develop in an organic manner, since the crypto ecosystem is decentralized and a top-down solution may not work. The solution also needs to be multi-faceted, since it must tackle several problems. A sustainable solution must address regulations, crypto storage security, government stance, and the lack of stablecoins.
Such a big picture solution is emerging at multiple levels. Take for example the issue of ICOs operating outside regulations. A blockchain start-up DESICO is working on an investment and trading platform which will comply with regulations. The crowdfunding platform Indiegogo has recently launched a securitized offering.
Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the US, has a proposal to securely store crypto, making crypto exchange hacks things of the past. Among governments, the European nation Malta is taking a lead in formulating pragmatic regulations, therefore, the blockchain-crypto ecosystem could benefit.
There is also important work in progress to introduce stablecoins so that price fluctuations can be stabilized. The blockchain start-up STASIS has launched its Euro-backed stablecoin, while Kowala is working on their USD-pegged stablecoin. MakerDAO and Wyre have also joined hands to bring stability to the crypto market. Castle Craig Hospital has taken important steps to help crypto addicts, and emerging big picture solutions could help address crypto volatility.