I Am Addicted to the Bitcoin Price and It’s Hurting My Brain

The tremendous downsides of a successful investment

Tim Denning
Jan 11 · 8 min read
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Me sitting in bed checking the Bitcoin price (Picture supplied by author)

I check the bitcoin price more than 30 times a day. Clearly, I have a problem.

A self-help writer shouldn’t admit this fact. It destroys the bulletproof mindset readers think we have (we don’t, by the way). The bitcoin price exploding is supposed to be good for us.

There are tremendous downsides. Financially, bitcoin’s performance is great. Mentally, bitcoin’s performance is terrible for you.

Analyzing the downsides of your financial psychology makes you stronger with your personal finances in the long-term. Let’s dissect what’s going on so you can avoid being taken over by the euphoria.

Euphoria Is Coming

We haven’t seen euphoria yet with bitcoin. We’re about to. Right now most of the bitcoin purchases are coming from large scale institutions. Retail investors are about to join the euphoria.

How do I know? Google Trends is your friend. In 2017 euphoria went berserk. A quick search on the word “bitcoin” shows people are beginning to search google again for bitcoin information.

Once retail investors jump on board the bitcoin train again, things are going to go crazy. The reason: herd psychology plays havoc on financial gains that can cause a person to never work a normal 9–5 job again if they choose.

When euphoria hits the bitcoin market our collective psychology will take a hit. The people who have bitcoin (like me) will wish they bought more. The people who don’t own bitcoin are going to experience enormous FOMO and buy at ridiculous prices (like $100,000 USD per bitcoin).

When You Realize Something Is Fundamentally Wrong

The bitcoin price is exploding. I’ve lost my discipline. I’m checking the price all the time. While watching a movie, I’m checking the price. While in the supermarket, I’m checking the price. While in the shower, and at risk of getting my phone drenched in water, I’m checking the price.

Bitcoin has become an addiction for those who invested early.

If you’re checking the price more than once per day then you have a problem. I have a problem and it has become a reality over the last seven days.

Your Friends Asking You About Bitcoin Makes the Problem Worse

Every man and woman with a phone is contacting me right now. The most common question is this: I can’t afford a whole bitcoin. What do I do? I try not to be a smart ass.

The answer, of course, is simple: you don’t need to own a whole bitcoin just like you don’t need to have $1 million to use US dollars. Daily questions like this are making my problem worse.

The temptation is for me to write long responses to bitcoin questions because I’m excited by it. I genuinely believe blockchain technology has changed our way of life forever. Bitcoin has one use case which is a store of value. There are other coins, like ethereum, that have a lot more than one use case. When you understand this you start to see the opportunity is huge.

Soon, everything will be tokenized — your blog posts will be a token, your photograph you took on your phone will be a token, your savings will be a token, your car will be a token. When everything is tokenized it becomes much easier for people to buy, sell and trade things with each other.

The future of the web is permissionless, decentralized, and free of racism and discrimination when it comes to the choice of how you trade the value you create for products and services.

Despite the great optimism blockchain as a technology gives us, constantly talking about it is exhausting for me. A pandemic that won’t go away easily is adding enormous mental load. Australia, where I live, is back in lockdown again.

It’s nice that bitcoin’s price is rising. But what will continued lockdowns do to the economy I love which creates jobs for me, my friends, family, and people I love? Bitcoin’s price can explode, but if your country is rotting around you, it’s hard not to feel mentally overwhelmed.

Thinking “Is This a Giant Bubble?”

I spend a lot of time thinking am I an idiot?

This is an intentional exercise. The biggest problem with investors is they become delusional. Any asset you buy can become a religion. The asset can feel like a cult, where everyone around you is saying it’s the savior.

Maybe it’s not. At the start of the internet, everyone thought Pets dot com was unstoppable. Now brands from the early internet are gone. The same could happen with blockchain.

I lived through the 2017 cryptocurrency bubble. I, too, became a little crazy. I started buying coins that weren’t bitcoin. I looked at those coins the other day for fun. You know what? All of them, except one, have decreased a lot in value. An investment bubble can often lead you away from the obvious investments.

To me, buying bitcoin and ethereum is a no-brainer.

The problem is many of my friends are getting sucked into other coins that are unproven. This is like taking your money and throwing it at the casino — the odds are stacked against you when you gamble.

Trying to save people from financial ruin is adding to the mental toll of bitcoin’s price going sky high.

My addiction isn’t just with the price; it’s with saving people and I’m definitely not an investing superman ready to save the planet from bad information.

Meaningful Thoughts Replaced with Shiny Gold Coins

Your brain is capable of deep thinking. I’ve had some bizarre thoughts over the last two years that people have enjoyed. One was about the reality we could speed up and slow down our perception of time.

It takes me hours to come across and process these weird concepts for simplified consumption by readers who are willing to look beyond the veil of reality.

Bitcoin’s price has made me Mario. My mind is chasing stupid gold coins instead of thinking about the meaning of life. This realization has hurt me. Making money is nice. But when it screws with your ability to think deeply it can be an unhealthy addiction.

I Could Buy a Lambo…or Do This

I could buy a Lambo for the amount of money I’ve made from investing. Bitcoin and ethereum having huge gains has been good for my bank account.

My girlfriend said something interesting:

“It would be more fun to use money to help other people. Imagine paying for a few people’s education out of your own pocket. That would be a life-changing decision that would have ripple effects for many generations.”

She is spot on. The temptation when the bitcoin price (or any asset price) goes sky-high is to get lost in material dreams. You can start thinking too much about buying your dream house or quitting your job.

The answer to life isn’t to skyrocket your net-worth. Your net worth doesn’t make you happier.

I don’t feel any happier this year than I did seven years ago when I was dirt poor. In fact money can be a burden. You can spend too much of your time protecting your bitcoin gains, instead of searching for ways to add meaning and fulfillment to your life.

Bitcoin won’t make you happy.

Ethereum Is the Double Whammy to Your Financial Psychology

I wish the problem stopped there. It doesn’t.

Bitcoin’s price has exploded. Ethereum’s price (the second biggest cryptocurrency/blockchain project) is about to have its run. Ethereum is the digital oil of Web 3.0. It has a lot more use cases than bitcoin.

It has been around for a long time. The network is upgrading to Ethereum 2.0, bringing more scale and even more functionality. Bitcoin’s biggest feature — scarcity — is coming to Ethereum. All this means for you is you’re about to be hit with another blockchain FOMO mind fuck.

The gains on ethereum will be much bigger than bitcoins due to the wider number of use cases.

Buying ethereum right now is currently like buying google or apple in their early years of operation, according to Wall Street billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. Wall Street and institutional investors are all over the opportunity. Everyday people will follow as the data and price go up.

This is a rare time in history where two technology companies have enormous gains. What’s even weirder is that bitcoin and ethereum don’t have billionaire CEOs or owners. They are the first companies owned by their users, not a corporation. Despite the mental exhaustion from prices going up, this is a truly liberating idea.

Solution

It’s likely you will become addicted to the bitcoin price if you’re not already. Bitcoin is continuously trending on social media platforms like Twitter and the news channels like CNBC are covering it daily.

You can’t escape the thought “did I miss out?

This time in history is similar to the mainstream adoption of the internet. You wouldn’t run a business in the 2020s and not be connected to the internet. In the next few years, you won’t run a business and not use blockchain technology either.

So the solution to bitcoin’s price hurting your brain is this:

Take a break from bitcoin.

I’ve found leaving my phone in places I can’t get to it, helpful. I’ve also found holidays to places that don’t have 4G/5G to be liberating. (Side note: watch how your brain reacts when you can’t check the price. It’s not a pretty sight in the beginning.)

Count the number of times you check your investments.

When I found out I was checking the bitcoin price 30 times a day, the problem became obvious.

If you don’t measure the problem then you won’t think you have a problem.

Question your investment religion.

This doesn’t mean you boycott bitcoin. It just means you follow people who disagree with the assets you invest in. I religiously follow Peter Schiff and Warren Buffett who think bitcoin is rat poison. You can follow anti-bitcoiners, too, for a healthy sense of perspective.

Think about meaning over material assets.

No amount of money will make you fulfilled. Once you get $1 million you’ll want more. The psychological trick is to find things in your life that give you meaning. The thing I get meaning from is being helpful to others. It’s why I write and teach online courses. The same opportunity exists for you.

I’m willing to bet that meaning from doing something which helps others will be part of your success blueprint too.

Final Thought

Bitcoin is taking over the internet. Ethereum is next to do so. Notice how your psychology is affected by the need to profit off Web 3.0. It’s an important skill to master so you don’t become addicted to profits and the material junk you can buy with the cash.

Take a break from bitcoin if you’re checking the price more than once per day.

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship — timdenning.com/wc

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship — timdenning.com/wc

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

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