Having blown their efforts to leverage the ESG 'movement' to attack cryptocurrencies ('mining is killing the climate') and failed to find any actual evidence that cryptocurrencies are a major source of illicit finance (especially relative to dollar dollar bills and the banking system) it appears the skeptics have found a new FUD angle to attack the 'freedom' of decentralized currency.
The last few years have seen cryptos soar to record highs with a multi-trillion-dollar 'market cap' and an accelerating rate of adoption, despite the extreme volatility of the 'young' asset-class.
So, five 'scientists' set about to find out what kind of person is attracted to this kind of volatility, fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
What they found is perfect for headline-writers - there is a link between "dark tetrad" personality traits and attitudes towards cryptocurrency.
The "dark tetrad" - a term used in psychology - refers to a group of four personality traits - Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy (together known as the "dark triad"), plus sadism.
All four dark tetrad traits correlated with an affinity for investing, each for their own reasons.
According to the researchers, dark tetrads are partly drawn to crypto because they are prepared to take risks.
Based on a pre-registered survey of the main research question rather than hypotheses (N = 566), it was found that:
Narcissism was positively associated with crypto attitude which was mediated by positivity.
Machiavellianism was associated with buying intention which was mediated by conspiracy beliefs. Machiavellians were more distrustful of government which was associated with a greater desire to buy crypto.
Psychopathy affected crypto judgments through FoMO and a negative effect on positivity.
Sadism is associated with FoMO and a lack of positivity which affects crypto judgments.
So there you have it folks - if you're a conspiracy theorist, distrust government, are overly positive or over-confident, and/or have a fear of missing out (in other words, if you're a psychopath, narcissist, or a sadist); you're highly likely to be a fan of crypto...
Crucially, as TheConversation notes - deep in their report - the 'scientists' admit this is not a two-way causal relationship - i.e. while many 'reporters' would like to claim this study shows that crypto-enthusiasts are all psychos, the study in fact only suggests the causality runs from being a pyscho narcissist to liking crypto (and not necessarily the other way around)...
"We are not suggesting that everyone interested in crypto displays dark tetrad traits."
So if you find yourself inexplicably drawn to the 'escape hatch from tyranny' that is the crypto-world, have no fear - it doesn't make you a crazy person, as Dr. Wang said: “If you happen to be a Bitcoin or other crypto holder, you may or may not exhibit [these traits].”