A South Korean man aged in his twenties has committed suicide – and police claim that a crypto investment gone wrong likely drove him to take his own life.
Police in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, said the man was found dead in the area on the afternoon of April 24. No suicide note was discovered, but officers told the media that crypto investment was thought to have driven the man to take his own life – although their investigation is still ongoing.
Per Hanguk Kyungjae and Money S, the man had told his parents that he had been “mentally distressed” by an investment “failure” involving at least one unnamed cryptoasset.
The police claim that the man incurred losses of over USD 180,000 in a crypto investment.
A large number of tokens have been delisted from South Korea’s biggest trading platforms in recent months as crypto exchanges begin to show evidence of “self-regulation” – with deposit caps also imposed.
“Korean traders seem to be active at all hours of the day, indicating that trading may be an all-consuming activity for many of them,” according to a recent report.
However, for many, the news will be an unwelcome reminder of the start of the crypto winter in 2018, when dropping crypto prices and the decline of the initial coin offering (ICO) movement sent South Korean investors into a funk, with a number of crypto-related suicides reported. Most of the cases reported back in 2018, worryingly, were also young men in their twenties.
The so-called “2030” demographic – South Korean people in their twenties and thirties – has embraced crypto like never before in the recent bull market, and the majority of investors are thought to be male.
This is the group that has been most incensed by recent talk from government and regulators about further regulating the crypto industry – with many complaining in online forums that crypto has become their only money-making option. Many claim that with the stock market sluggish, real estate prices spiraling, and youth unemployment on the rise, crypto represents their only escape.
The government and regulators, meanwhile, appear to have worked themselves into a tangle with their own approach to regulating the sector.
Police advised people suffering from investment-related stress to call a dedicated helpline.