Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Risk-Taking Behaviors and Cryptocurrency Trading (REACT) in Young Adults

Young adults are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Yet, cryptocurrency trading, or investing in high-risk digital assets, has skyrocketed among young adults. However, despite the increasing prevalence of cryptocurrency trading, the effects of trading on health and well-being are unknown. Cryptocurrency trading may have positive impacts on young adults including building community ties, increasing empowerment in their financial decisions, and generating wealth—which may extend to addressing racial wealth gaps. On the other hand, cryptocurrency trading is a high-risk activity, similar to gambling, which could have negative impacts on mental health, sleep, and lead to engaging in other risk-taking behaviors, such binge drinking and substance use disorders. The Risk-taking behaviors and Cryptocurrency Trading (REACT) among young adults study addresses this gap. Through a combination observational research in online communities and synthesizing literature to draw connections, we will examine how cryptocurrency trading among young adults affects their health, including both positive and negative effects. 


Caislin Firth, PhD, MPH

Fund Information

UW Population Health Initiative
Start: May 1, 2022
End: December 31, 2022
Status: current