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10 crypto terms you need to know

crypto terms

Like any subculture, crypto has its own language and in-jokes. Here are ten you’ll need to know to make sense of the cryptosphere.

  1. HODL. A mis-spelling of ‘HOLD’. HODL does not stand for ‘Hold On for Dear Life’, as occasionally reported in the mainstream media. It dates back to a frustrated trader who kept making bad calls, and wrote that he would be ‘HODLING’, the error being due to the fact he was too drunk to type straight. The term has since passed into crypto legend as a description for those who never sell their coins, no matter what the market is doing. 
  2. (To the) Moon. The desired or expected destination of a favoured coin’s price: ‘This coin is mooning’. Also used pejoratively, especially of one who claims a huge price increase is coming without understanding anything about the tech, development timeline, overall market conditions, etc. ‘You’re such a moonboy.’ 
  3. Shill. One who spreads propaganda with the hope of getting others to buy a coin, and possibly the shill’s coins, in order to avoid him becoming a bagholder. 
  4. Bagholder. One who holds a significant amount of crypto at a lower price than that for which it was purchased. Such a person may describe themselves as being ‘underwater’. 
  5. Pump/dump, P&D. A sudden rise/fall in the price of a coin, often attributed to whales manipulating the price. A pump may be followed by a dump – a pump-and-dump or P&D – as a way for manipulators to make money by convincing smaller traders to pile in, before they sell at the top and leave the bagholders crying. 
  6. Whale. A very large crypto holder. Whales are often blamed for price crashes, since they are able to manipulate the market for personal gain due to their disproportionate resources. 2014’s bear market was marked by the activity of ‘bearwhale’, a legendary figure in the crypto world who sold a colossal amount of coins at $300. 
  7. FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The practice of spreading negative propaganda or disinformation, generally to impact price. The term is common in the public relations industry, though in crypto it is frequently used to mean any negative publicity, accurate or otherwise, or simply something the reader doesn’t want to hear about. 
  8. Goxxed. To be separated from one’s crypto by the deception or incompetence of an exchange, typically through hacking or insider theft. It dates back to the fall of MtGox, the first crypto exchange, which imploded with the loss of 650,000 BTC in February 2014. 
  9. Flippening. When one major crypto overtakes another in market cap (the total value of all coins). Often used of ETH taking the crown from BTC, which has as yet failed to happen, the short-lived XRP/ETH flippening took many by surprise. 
  10. Halvening. The four-yearly 50% reduction in Bitcoin block rewards. The Halvening is a much-anticipated event, since the reduction in new supply is generally accepted to spur market rallies.
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