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12% of Spaniards have virtual currencies

12% of Spanish adults, the majority between 18 and 24 years old, have virtual currencies, which makes Spain the fifth European country with the highest number of operations in cryptocurrencies, according to the strategy director of the Cybersecurity Agency of the Government of Catalonia, Tomàs Roy.

As reported by Roy this Thursday within the framework of the XV edition of the Responsible Gaming Congress, organized by the Acencas association, specialized in social addictions, “the cryptocurrency sector in 2021 moved in Spain about 60,000 million euros, a figure which represents almost 5% of the country’s GDP”.

The cybersecurity expert has warned that this market, still unregulated, carries various risks, such as its use for illegal activities on the ‘deep web’ -known as the dark web-, cybercrime or its volatility, since its value “does not It’s not regulated, it fluctuates constantly. To exemplify this volatility, Roy recalled the time tech tycoon Elon Musk announced that he would accept bitcoin as a currency to purchase Tesla vehicles, a statement that resulted in a 25% increase in the value of bitcoin.

During the congress, which each year brings together different agents from the world of gaming and other social addictions, the president of Acencas, Francesc Perendreu, explained: “In recent years we have had to learn to do therapy by phone or video call while tripled our work.”

On gambling addiction, the doctor and psychiatrist coordinating the CSMA Benito Menni de Granollers, Blanca Navarro, and the doctor and forensic psychologist Bernat Tiffon have participated in a round table to delve into the subject. “Addiction responds to the ability of human beings to imagine new realities to face their problems,” said Navarro, who added that in Spain 5% of health spending is allocated to mental health, a percentage lower than the European average, which reaches 7%. Gambling is an addiction without substances and is more socially accepted, which is why it goes more unnoticed than substance addictions, Tiffon specified. The forensic psychologist has highlighted that Spain has 10.9 psychiatrists for every 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that in Germany, for example, climbs to 27.4.

The deputy director general of Drug Addiction of the Generalitat, Joan Colom, has also spoken about gambling addiction, detailing that changes in mood or relapse are some of the characteristics of behavioral addiction. “There are different risk factors, such as age or socioeconomic level, but the most emerging behavioral addictions today are related to technological development and social environments, such as online shopping,” Colom stressed. .

In Spain, the prevalence of gambling for money in an entire year has gone from 6.2% of the population in 2014 to 9.1% in all of 2021, according to the Deputy Director General of Drug Addiction of the Generalitat. The specialist has also delved into the addiction to video games, and has said that 90% of young people between 14 and 15 years old access them, while 54% of young people have played eSports -electronic sports-, an “ever-growing” phenomenon.

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