What Do FOMO, HODL, FUD, and Other Popular Crypto Slangs Mean?


“My friend Dave used to be a bagholder, but he FOMO’ed and bought trillions of Sats, so now he’s a big whale HODL-ing for that moon.”

Whoa, slow down. Did you just blank out reading that sentence? Don’t worry—we did too.

All jokes aside, it’s one thing to bring yourself to trust and start buying and selling a young asset such as Bitcoin, but quite another to engage with a community that has invented a dictionary’s-worth of crypto slang. If you want to dive deep into crypto discussions on forums and blogs, there are quite a few acronyms and phrases that you need to know. After all, no one wants the FOMO, right?

Okay, we promise we’ll get to explaining now…

1. FOMO 

Fear of missing out.

You can use this term in your everyday life.  However, if someone says FOMO for a crypto-related topic, they’re probably feeling an urgent need to get in on what everyone else is doing: buying a certain cryptocurrency when they think its price is about to hike!

2. Shill

Someone purposely promoting something for their own benefit.

The word “shill” didn’t originate in the crypto world, but there are many reasons why this term became popular in this space. Who would shill, you ask? Most likely, someone who has invested in a particular coin that isn’t doing so hot, and is hoping other people would buy it and bump the price up. It’s all for personal gains. 🤷

3. FUD

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

The crypto community’s sentiments swing like a yo-yo from time to time, causing prices to rise or drop. FUD is a psychology trick used to spread doubt and fear about a cryptocurrency, which would cause that certain coin to drop in price. Who does it benefit? Clearly, the people that spread FUD!  

4. HODL

Hold on to dear life (or “hold your coins” for a straightforward meaning).

HODL” is probably the most famous typo among the crypto community. Originally intended to simply mean “hold” on a Bitcoin forum, “HODL” now means to hold onto a coin even if it’s crashing, hoping for a bullish market in the future. 

5. Rekt

To suffer losses from coins that have dropped in value.

Yes, “rekt” comes from the word “wrecked” in gaming and is used when a player gets completely destroyed in a game. So when someone loses a great deal of money from their collapsed coins, they get #rekt

6. Mooning

When a cryptocurrency is about to soar in both price and volume.

Your coins can get you #rekt when they fail or take you to the moon when their prices skyrocket. Famous example? When Bitcoin’s price sprang up from 900 to 20,000 USD in 2017! 🌝

7. Whale

An investor who owns five percent or more of any cryptocurrency coin.

For instance, in the case of Bitcoin, a whale would be someone who owns as much as 8 billion USD worth of Bitcoin (assuming the total value of all Bitcoins in the world is 160.4 billion USD). That’s the same amount of money as giving 24.38 USD to every single person living in the US! 

8. Pump and dump

Pump happens when a great ton of attention leads to a coin’s price increase; dump happens when the coin’s price crashes after an associated spread of negative emotions.

Pump and dump is yet another tactic used by groups to manipulate the sentiments of the crypto market. Beware of what the whales do—if they pump and dump, you may see big waves in the crypto’s value! 

9. Bagholder

Someone holding onto a coin that has plummeted in price.

A bagholder is honestly a synonym for a typical hoarder hoping that one day, just one day, a sturdy plastic bag or big cookie tin would come in handy. Unlike a hoarder, however, the value of a bagholder’s possessions has unfortunately tanked. *sobs* 

10. Sats

Short for Satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

One Satoshi is equivalent to 0.00000001 BTC, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but hey, if Bitcoin’s price ever goes to the moon, then every Sat you own matters! 😉

11. When Lambo?

“When are we going to get rich?” 

You’ve got to be rich to own a Lamborghini and many people believe that investing in crypto is one way to get rich (fast). When you find yourself hoping for a spike in BTC’s price, ask yourself, “When Lambo?

12. Flippening

When Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin as the biggest cryptocurrency.

At one point in 2017, Bitcoin accounted for more than 80 percent of the total crypto market share. Fast-forwarding to July 2020, the flippening is already 53% complete. That said, stay calm and believe in BTC because Ethereum is only at less than 15% of Bitcoin’s market cap! 

13. No coiner

A reference to people who don’t own any Bitcoin.

There’s more to it, though. No-coiners are basically nay-sayers who thought Bitcoin was a scam and missed their opportunity to buy in at a low price. Don’t be surprised if they are spreading FUD that Bitcoin will crash. 🤷

14. Vaporware

Something (most likely a software) that everyone is hyped about but never actually exists.

Think vapor: it’s there, but not really. “Vaporware” is used to describe software that’s been marketed but never completed. In the crypto world, it refers to coins that never became a reality. Not every coin gets to live the Bitcoin dream, you know?

15. Cryptosis

A desire to engulf every bit of information about cryptocurrency. 

Wow, this slang actually sounds like a legit name for a disease. If you find yourself spending all day reading up on and buying crypto, you may have cryptosis. Don’t be too concerned, though, because this “disease” is non-life-threatening!

Feel like a wiz of cryptocurrency slang now?

New slang finds its way onto the Internet every day. For the crypto sphere that is so young and lively, you can only expect slang to flourish even more! There’s no need for FOMO though, because even the greatest trader started from zero. And the best part? We’ll be learning together!

What’s your favorite crypto slang? Let us know in the comments below!

Cara Lam

Before winding up in NYC, Cara spent slices of her life in Hong Kong, Sydney, California, and Japan. She loves to chat with the humans of bitcoin and craft stories about them (you’re probably reading one right now). Outside of work, she blogs about her journey between continents and tells her diary little secrets every night before she goes to bed.

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