Quoted from nwpinball:
I don't buy the analogy. When I play poker, I usually win, because I've spent years reading people and learning the game. When I play craps, it's more random and not a game of skill, but more luck. With stocks, I don't feel it's gambling at all, I invest in companies that make money or have potential for growth, if you invest in the stock market long term it's always profitable, very much unlike gambling. With crypto, it more like investing in start up companies, you are investing based on potential for growth, realizing some will fail, that still seems far more of a successful plan than a game of chance, especially if you do your homework and follow the trends.
That would be true if people were buying into cryptos that seek to solve a problem in a fresh way, i.e. like a start-up company / Kickstarter might.
I think though in the main, with cryptos at least, there is a significant amount of money being put into “whatever combination of letters is showing the mad gains”, whether that be BTC, ADA, MATIC, WIBBLE, ZYZZY or whatever. If you asked those people what drew them to those coins (e.g. a reasonable question with stocks and shares, and startups), “why X over Y”, what the purpose of that coin is, they probably couldn’t tell you. It would be “omg got in at $1.11, up double digits pc today, WIBBLE to the moon boys! HODL rocket-ship.jpg”.
I mean, just doing it to make money isn’t “wrong”, persay, but it’s not investing either, it’s gambling. Unfortunately (?) buying and selling cryptos is so frictionless that it’s never been easier to lose money you can’t afford to lose, for a lot of people. It also tends to be more emotional too, because people don’t like to lose and in an almost entirely sentiment driven market that can happen quickly, without warning and without you having any control over it (e.g. Musk tweeting, China crackdown announcements, regulation threats, etc)
I’ve got the bulk of my money in regular investments that I don’t really have to think about. Like the poster remarked above I check them so often just to confirm they still exist and are on track. With cryptos I’m playing with money that I don’t mind losing. I am more interested in the underlying technology and the prospects for it than just straight up betting on it, as many people do.
I do think regulation is coming on this stuff, in some shape or form, simply because the more it captures retail “investor” money the more people are going to lose big to the random sentiment swings and whale manipulation. For every person buying the dip there must be however many people nursing considerable losses due to buying in at the wrong time on FOMO gold rushes and straight up pump and dump scams, etc.