A man watches prices changes of cryptocurrencies, May 3. Yonhap
By Yoon Ja-young
Amid the cryptocurrency craze, many college students in the country bet their hard-earned money from their part-time jobs on cryptocurrency and have experienced losses with some even suffering from a range of related psychological issues.
According to a survey on 1,750 college students by Alba Heaven, a part-time job information provider, 23.6 percent were investing in cryptocurrencies. The survey was held from May 17 to 19.
The ratio was higher at 34.4 percent among male students while 14.4 percent of female students were investing in digital coins.
Asked why they started investing in crypto, 25.2 percent said because they can start investment with a relatively small sum. Regardless of whether they are investing in cryptocurrency or not, 52.9 percent said they feel positively toward cryptocurrency. When asked why, 33 percent cited high investment return, 31 percent picked low barriers to entry and 15.1 percent said it seems to be their last chance to overcome the hierarchy of class.
They have invested 1.41 million won on average, and two out of three got the seed money from their part-time work, while 15.7 percent said the money came from their parents. One out of 10 students even dipped into their savings accounts to join in the crypto craze.
Despite the high expectations, only 40.5 percent of them gained from their investments, making 1.67 million won on average. One out of three, meanwhile, were in the loss zone, with an average of 740,000 won gone from their accounts. Their loss is likely to be bigger when considering the recent market tumble since the survey was done. They have invested in cryptocurrency for 3.7 months on average, which means most of them jumped into the crypto scene when the market was nearing its peak.
As a result, 68.3 percent of the young coin investors suffered from a range of psychological side effects. A third said they had dramatic emotional ups and downs depending on the coin prices. They also had problems concentrating on daily tasks such as study and work, and thought they have an addiction to cryptocurrency investment. They said maintaining previous daily routines has become difficult, and some complained they are getting too much stress and even suffering from insomnia.
According to a report by IGA Works, a mobile big data platform company, those in their 20s accounted for 32.1 percent of cryptocurrency app users in Korea.