Children as young as 14 are gambling sums of up to £10,000 on volatile digital currencies without their parents' knowledge.
With a craze for cryptocurrencies sweeping through schools, tech-savvy pupils are using smartphones to get involved in trading - despite it being illegal for anyone under 18.
The trend is being driven by platforms such as YouTube and , where unqualified influencers dispense financial advice to amateur investors drawn in by the promise of easy money.
Pupils as young as 14 are gambling sums of up to £10,000 on digital currencies, despite it being illegal for anyone under 18 (stock image)
Experts are concerned that youngsters could fall prey to scams which have seen some traders lose millions.
Cryptocurrencies are decentralised and unregulated meaning they aren't controlled by a bank or government, as with traditional currencies.
Some pupils have persuaded parents to set up and finance trading accounts for them, before reinvesting the profits, while others buy digital 'coins', such as Bitcoin, at special ATMs.
Peter Jerrom, a maths teacher and former trader, said talk of digital currencies is 'rife' among pupils as young as 14 who view it as 'easy money or free money'.
Some pupils have persuaded parents to finance trading accounts for them, before reinvesting the profits, while others buy digital 'coins', such as Bitcoin, at special ATMs (stock image)
While it has proved useful for lennysdelilosangeles maths lessons, he has had to warn some pupils at his comprehensive school in Croydon, South London, that trading is illegal for under-18s.
He said: 'Year 11 students are buying up to £500 worth of digital currency using an app, and the Year 13 students are trading £5,000 to £10,000.It's a high-deprivation area so £5,000 is a very significant amount.
'There are some students doing it without their parents' knowledge. However, there are a considerable number doing it with their parents.'
Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said: 'The rise in young people investing in cryptocurrencies is very worrying, especially as fraudsters have flooded social media with scam investment adverts that prey on victims who may have little or no experience of investing.'