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Endowment Effect

Tendency of people to overvalue items they own.

The endowment effect is a cognitive bias that describes a circumstance in which an individual places a higher value on an object they own than the value they would assign to the same object if not their property. This can be particularly evident in cryptocurrency trading where holders may overvalue their assets.

This effect is named after the behavior often observed where people view something as more valuable just because they own it.

This concept is derived from behavioral economics and it illustrates how people's subjective valuations of goods can be influenced by their emotional attachments or perceived sense of ownership.

The endowment effect can be seen in a variety of settings. For example, homeowners might insist that their house is worth more than the market price, or employees might value their own ideas more highly than those of their colleagues.

Some theories suggest that the endowment effect arises due to loss aversion, which is the idea that losses have a larger psychological impact than equivalent gains. In this context, people are averse to the loss of objects they own, even if they stand to gain something of equal value.


A crypto holder refusing to sell their tokens even when the market price is objectively high because they overvalue their possessions.

The endowment effect can indeed manifest in the world of cryptocurrencies as well.

For example, let's say an individual owns a certain amount of a specific cryptocurrency (let's call it Coin A). Over time, they become emotionally attached to this investment, and start to overvalue it, perhaps because they've spent a lot of time studying the currency, investing in it, and following its news. This attachment could potentially cause them to perceive the value of Coin A to be higher than what the market dictates, and miss the opportunity to realize gains.

This kind of bias can make it hard for individuals to make rational investment decisions, and may cause them to miss out on potentially profitable opportunities, or hold onto investments even when the evidence suggests they should sell.

In the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the endowment effect can be even stronger. NFTs often have unique characteristics and can carry personal value beyond their market price, making owners less willing to part with them even when it might be financially beneficial to do so.


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