Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009 the worldwide cryptocurrency market has grown from nothing to a worth of round US$2 trillion.
From a value of US$1 in 2011, Bitcoin rose to an all-time excessive of greater than US$63,000 in April 2021, and now hovers across the US$42,000 mark.
Large fluctuations in cryptocurrency costs are widespread, which makes them a extremely speculative funding. What type of persons are keen to take the danger, and what motivates them?
We performed a survey to seek out out. In specific, we wished to know in regards to the relationship between the so-called “dark tetrad” persona traits and attitudes in the direction of cryptocurrency.
The darkish tetrad
They are known as “dark” due to their “evil” qualities: excessive selfishness and making the most of others with out empathy. The darkish tetrad are additionally typically associated to risk-taking behaviours.
The enchantment of cryptocurrency
We recognized two principal areas of enchantment. First, the excessive dangers and excessive potential returns of crypto buying and selling make it enticing to the type of people that like playing.
Second, cryptocurrencies should not issued or backed by governments like conventional or “fiat” currencies. This makes them enticing to individuals who mistrust authorities.
What are the personalities of crypto consumers?
We requested 566 individuals to finish on-line persona surveys in addition to reply questions on their attitudes to crypto and whether or not or not they deliberate to put money into it. Of our members, 26% reported they personal crypto and 64% confirmed curiosity in crypto investing.
We measured their darkish tetrad traits utilizing normal psychological checks. We additionally measured traits which may join the darkish tetrad to judgements about crypto: concern of lacking out (FOMO; the sensation that others are experiencing higher issues than you might be), positivity (the tendency to be constructive or optimistic in life), and perception in conspiracy theories.
Why do individuals need to purchase crypto? It’s not nearly earning profits
A standard motive to put money into crypto is the hope of incomes excessive returns. Beyond the will to construct wealth, our analysis exhibits darkish persona traits additionally drive crypto shopping for.
Machiavellians take a calculated strategy to attaining targets, and keep away from impulsive selections. They are much less more likely to interact in downside playing.
Machiavellians additionally are inclined to imagine strongly in authorities conspiracies. For instance, they typically imagine politicians often don’t reveal their true motives, and that authorities businesses carefully monitor all residents.
We discovered Machiavellians like crypto primarily as a result of they mistrust politicians and authorities businesses. Many crypto supporters imagine governments are corrupt, and crypto avoids authorities corruption.
Overconfidence and positivity
Narcissism is a self-centred persona trait, characterised by emotions of privilege and predominance over others. Narcissists are overconfident and are extra keen to do issues like make dangerous investments within the inventory market and gamble.
Narcissists are inclined to give attention to the constructive facet of life. We discovered narcissists like crypto due to their nice religion sooner or later, and due to their confidence their very own lives will enhance.
Impulsive psychopaths like crypto
Psychopathy is a callous, impulsive delinquent persona trait. Psychopathic individuals typically discover it troublesome to understand, perceive, or tackle feelings as a consequence of an absence of emotional intelligence and empathy.
The reckless nature of psychopaths makes them extra immune to stress and anxiousness. As a consequence, psychopaths like stimulation-seeking and risk-taking. They are vulnerable to playing and playing dependancy.
We discovered that impulsive psychopaths like crypto, as a result of they concern lacking out on investing rewards that others are experiencing.
How is sadism concerned?
Everyday sadism pertains to a persona having fun with one other’s struggling. Sadists typically show aggression and merciless behaviours. For instance, sadists troll others on the Internet for enjoyment.
At first look, shopping for crypto is unlikely to hurt others. However, we discovered sadists like crypto as a result of they don’t need to miss out on funding rewards both. To them, maybe each the pleasure from seeing one other’s ache and the concern of lacking out are associated to selfishness.
Unlike narcissists, we discovered each psychopaths and sadists lack positivity about their prospects, which cancels out their liking of crypto.
A psychological lens
Studying cryptocurrency by means of the psychological lens of the darkish tetrad presents perception into why individuals need to purchase crypto. We should not suggesting that everybody inquisitive about crypto shows darkish tetrad traits.
We studied solely a subset of individuals inquisitive about crypto who do have these traits. If you occur to be a Bitcoin or different crypto holder, chances are you’ll or might not exhibit them.