The American news platform The New York Post cited a study by the Queensland University of Technology in which all bitcoiners are attributed negative character traits. In the title they are even called psychopaths who don’t care about anyone.
Clickbait has no nuances
The article is nothing more than a clickbait (just like the title of this article) and has already been removed by the lead researcher himself. The article previously appeared in The Sun under a slightly more nuanced headline. See the difference here:
- New York Post: Bitcoin Fanatics Are Psychopaths Who Don’t Care About Anyone, Study Shows
- The Sun: Are you a dark tetrad? New ‘Bitcoin Evil Personality Type’ Revealed By Scientists
Argument itself undermined
The researchers asked 566 people to complete personality surveys and answer questions about their attitudes toward cryptocurrencies. Of the participants, one in four reported owning cryptocurrencies and two-thirds expressed interest in cryptocurrency investments.
Dr. Di Wang is the lead researcher, saying, “We have only studied a subset of people who are interested in cryptocurrencies and who have these properties. If you have bitcoin or other crypto, you may or may not have these properties.”
Firstly, the research group is very small, and secondly, it is very easy for The New York Post to call all bitcoiners psychopaths if they have apparently only investigated bitcoin psychopaths.
Bitcoiners have four negative traits
The research bears the illustrious name Dark Personalities and Bitcoin: The Influence of the Dark Tetrad on Cryptocurrency Attitude and Purchase Intention. In other words: dark personalities and bitcoin, the influence of the dark tetrad on attitudes towards cryptocurrencies and purchase intention. By tetrad, the researchers refer to a group of four unpleasant traits consisting of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.
They are called dark because of their bad qualities. dr Wang wrote about it on TheConversation. He says that these dark tetrads lead to extreme selfishness and abuse of others, without showing empathy. Dark tetrads are also often associated with risky behavior.
Gambling and mistrust
According to research, there are two reasons why ‘psychopaths’ are attracted to bitcoin:
- The high risk of investing in bitcoin and crypto attracts many bettors
- Bitcoin is not issued by a central authority, this is attractive to people who are very suspicious of the government.
Wang says that Machiavellians are good at cheating and take a calculated approach to achieving goals. “They love crypto primarily because they are wary of politicians and government agencies,” said Dr. Mejilla.
“Many cryptocurrency supporters believe that governments are corrupt and cryptocurrencies prevent government corruption.”
One bitcoiner is not the other
The researcher is right about this, but it’s not so black and white. Trust (or mistrust) in core parties is different for one bitcoiner than for another bitcoiner. This depends entirely on the context of the individual.
It seems that the New York Post article confuses a few things. He says that bitcoiners are psychopaths who do not take anyone into account. There will probably be Norman Bates-style types of cryptocurrency trading, but at the same time there are so many bitcoiners who want to make the world better.
They invest every euro or dollar of their hard earned money to make the bitcoin network stronger again. And that bitcoin network offers a lifeline for so many unpleasant situations.