Do you have to be a psychopath to invest in cryptos?


People interested in cryptocurrencies share common characteristics with psychopaths, narcissists and Machiavellian personalities, according to an Australian study. These three traits, also known as the “dark triad,” are often linked to risky behaviors.

Investing in cryptocurrencies is often a highly speculative investment, which can take high risks, but which can also pay off big. The risk-taking and high potential returns make virtual currencies very attractive to people who share commonalities with “the dark triad”, namely psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism, and to a lesser extent sadism.

To come to this conclusion, Dr Di Wang and Brett Martin, from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, surveyed more than 500 people interested in cryptocurrencies. In this panel, a quarter owns cryptocurrencies and a third wishes to invest. Using a personality test and individual interviews, the specialists were able to measure, in each individual, the traits that linked them to the “dark triad”. Their result is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

For example, people with traits in common with Machiavellian people (good at deception and manipulation) are calculating. To achieve their goals, they will avoid all impulsive decisions, as explained by specialists in an article written for the site The Conversation. Furthermore, some of this category tends to adhere to conspiracy theories and are suspicious of governments. However, many supporters of cryptocurrencies believe that virtual currencies make it possible to free themselves from politicians because they are not issued or guaranteed by governments unlike traditional currencies.

Narcissists are also prone to getting into cryptocurrencies. They are “overconfident and more likely to do things like make risky investments in the stock market and gamble,” the researchers explain.

For their part, psychopaths are attracted by the desire to earn more than others. This personality trait is characterized by antisocial, insensitive, and impulsive behavior. Psychopaths are also very resistant to stress and anxiety.

What about sadism? On this character trait, the experts are mixed. “Buying crypto is unlikely to harm others,” the researchers acknowledge. “For them, perhaps the pleasure of seeing the pain of others and the fear of missing out are linked to selfishness”, speculate the professionals.

So, are all investors psychopaths? Specialists qualify. “We are not suggesting that all crypto buyers exhibit dark triad traits.” To deepen this research, other studies must be carried out, in particular to widen the sample of people interested in cryptocurrencies.

Do you have to be a psychopath to invest in cryptos?