The word “cryptocurrency” is gradually becoming very popular all around the world, and most times a crypto newbie decides to join a cryptocurrency-related social media group, chat room or forum in order to learn more about cryptocurrencies or stay up to date with current happenings in the cryptocurrency space. However, you notice almost immediately that you are not able to understand any of the conversations because the people inside these chat groups are using terminologies and jargons that you haven’t heard anywhere else in your life. Even on cryptocurrency Telegram groups, Reddit threads, WhatsApp messages, and Slack channels, you must have noticed that despite having an auto-correct feature on their phones or computers, people misspell “HOLD” as “HODL”
The thing is, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, a new breed of lingo has also developed within these crypto communities, and if you join a crypto conversation without knowing these jargons, you might feel quite puzzled and left out.
So, here are a few of the popular jargons used in the cryptocurrency space and what they mean.
HODL: I’d like to kick off with the popular “HODL” because this one really got me as a crypto newbie. Before understanding how the word came about, I kept wondering why everyone in the cryptocurrency community seemed not to know the real spelling of HOLD.
So, the very first time the term HODL appeared on the Bitcoin talk forum was in 2013 and came from a member named GameKyuubi under the thread “I AM HODLING”.
Looking at the post, it seems he was drunk and wished to convey the message that he was still holding his BTC despite the intense fall in market price that just happened.
Ever since, this misspelled term has become quite popular within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world.
Whenever someone says in a conversation that they are hodling or suggests to hodl, it means that they believe their coin will be profitable someday, if not today.
So primarily, “HODL” was originally a typo error which has now popularly earned the status of a humorous backronym HODL: “Hold on for dear life”
FOMO: Fear of missing out. It means being afraid of missing out on the profit which could result from making a decision or an investment. The Wiki definition – A pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.
ATH: All-time high. This is the value of a particular cryptocurrency or coin which has broken all of its past records and currently trading at the topmost price it has ever achieved. Used to describe the best historical value of a coin.
BEAR: A term borrowed from Wall Street. It means a trader/investor that believes the value of a specific cryptocurrency or market will decline and intends to benefit from that fall.
BEARISH: A term used in describing market pessimism or the assumption that prices will decline.
BULL: A term borrowed from Wall Street. It means a trader/investor that believes the value of a specific cryptocurrency or market will appreciate and intends to benefit from that rise.
BULLISH: A term used to describe market optimism or the assumption that prices will go higher.
WHALE: A term borrowed from gamblers. It refers to an investor or trader with a fat account (and who is mostly bullish) expecting the market or value of any specific cryptocurrency to rise. Also, a person holding large amounts of a particular cryptocurrency, generally an amount considered enough to influence the price of that cryptocurrency if they sold all their holdings at once.
BULLWHALE/ BULLISH WHALE: Refers to an investor or trader with a fat account who is bullish on the price of a cryptocurrency.
BEARWHALE/ BEARISH WHALE: Refers to an investor or trader with a fat account who is bearish on the price of a cryptocurrency.
DOLPHIN: A person who has graduated from the ranks of minnows and now has some influence on the price movement of a cryptocurrency, but has not yet reached the status of whale.
MINNOW: A person in possession of a small amount of cryptocurrency and is therefore considered a “small fish”.
ALTCOIN: This refers to any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.
SHITCOIN: Refers to altcoins that are considered valueless due to lack of a working product or useful features incorporated into the development of its blockchain. However, being considered worthless does not necessarily stop shitcoins from going “to the moon”.
BAGS: Holdings of unprofitable altcoins, with each altcoin being held as a different “bag”.
BAGHODLER: This is an investor or a trader who has been holding (or hodling) onto a particular cryptocurrency for too long and now has to face the consequences of that decision.
REKT: A misspelling of “wrecked”. This term refers to an investor or trader who is totally ruined and destroyed by losses from the downfall in price of a cryptocurrency he is largely invested in. To have the worth of one’s account go nearly to zero because of a collapse in the value of the altcoins in your bags.
TO THE MOON/MOONING: A sharp increase in price of a cryptocurrency (generally in way over 100%) in a short amount of time. “This coin’s price can someday go to the moon!”
ADDY: A cryptocurrency’s public address (or key). For example: “What’s your ADDY?”
FUD: Fear, uncertainty, and doubt. This is a term used to describe negative news concerning cryptocurrencies which sometimes sends prices down, in some cases significantly.
BLOCKCHAIN: The distributed ledgers which are used in creating and storing cryptocurrency transactions. These distributed ledgers are actually public databases which can be read by anyone, and are run/stored on several thousands of computers and servers across the world.
COLD STORAGE: An offline method of securing the private keys of a cryptocurrency in order to avoid theft or hacking.
FIAT: A term used in describing the centralized currencies/money issued by the world’s central banks and governments.
FORK: A term for what happens when a blockchain is split into two separate chains, which both contain all the past history of the chain, but future blocks being completely separate and different. An example of this is Bitcoin, which has been split into Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, United Bitcoin, Bitcoin X, and Super Bitcoin, and so on. Forks are not desirable because most of the time they split the cryptocurrency community, diluting its strength. The advantage however is that those holding Bitcoins at the time of split receive equal amounts of the new coins, thereby creating wealth from thin air.
ICO: This is the Acronym for Initial Coin Offering. Similar to Initial Public Offering (IPO) in equities.
LAMBO: Shortened word for Lamborghini (an Italian sports car) often the most popular method of transportation for cryptocurrency enthusiasts as soon as they make their fortune.
MARKET CAP: A cryptocurrency’s value. The price of a cryptocurrency multiplied by its circulating supply.
MINERS: Computers/Servers used in solving cryptographic problems connected to blockchain transactions. Miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency for providing and validating blockchain transactions.
NODES: The computers or servers that run the program required to store the public databases (the blockchain) of a cryptocurrency.
PRIVATE KEY: This is the encryption key linked to a person’s cryptocurrency, allowing him/her to transfer or sell them. Private keys should be kept secret, and only known to the creator of the private key.
PUBLIC KEY: This is an encryption/decryption key that may be utilized by anyone to send cryptocurrencies to a specified cryptocurrency wallet address.
ROI: Return on Investment. The total amount made (or lost) on a cryptocurrency since buying.
WALLET: A software used in storing the private keys linked to a given cryptocurrency. They provide a medium for the cryptocurrency owner to store or transfer his/her cryptocurrency. Wallets can either be software, hardware and even paper based.
NOOB: Someone who is new to cryptocurrency.
Disclaimer: These terms are mostly used in fun and humor. They have been collected from the internet and chat rooms via numerous resources. Moreover, as they’re subjective terms, I am not responsible for the correctness of exact meanings.
Know some additional common crypto jargons that can be added to this list? Tell me about them in the comments below!