Over the last few months, the world of cryptocurrency has heated up significantly: The volatile price of bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital tokens has created and wiped out millionaires and billionaires from all over the world.
Still, even for seasoned investors, there’s a lot of slang you have to know if you want to sound like an expert. There’s a lot of jargon and some acronyms that are very particular to cryptocurrency enthusiasts and their communities.
We’ve scrounged together all the cryptocurency slang we could find into digestable explanations, with the help of Urban Dictionary and other sources, so that the next time you see or hear someone say “DYOR and hodl lest you get rekt,” you might actually know what they’re talking about. Or at least, you won’t come off like such a nocoiner.
HODL, sometimes spelled out hodl or Hodl, started as a joke at a bitcoin fan’s expense.
In December 2013, a member of the official bitcoin message board made an apparently inebriated post with a typo in the subject line: “I AM HODLING.” He was trying to say that he’s “holding,” as in, hanging on to his coins for the long term, regardless of any short-term price changes.
The post became a meme, as bitcoin fans retroactively made it so HODL stands for “hold on for dear life.” The term is used to discourage selling when bitcoin prices fall, and to ride it out until they return to growth.. It’s viewed as a faux pas in the cryptocurrency community to sell instead of holding on for dear life.
To the Moon
“To the Moon” is an exclamation used when cryptocurrency prices are rising off the charts. By the same token, when a coin’s price is “mooning,” that means that the price has hit a peak. You might ask the grammatically-incorrect question “when moon?” if you wanted to know the opportune time to sell your cryptocurrency, before prices go back down.
Many Bitcoiners are all about making money quickly. “When Lambo” translates to “when will you buy a Lamborghini?” Which is to say, when will you get ridiculously rich off of bitcoin?
Hyperbitcoinization is the word used by some bitcoiners to describe their ideal outcome: When regular currencies are devalued, and replaced by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Obsessive Cryptocurrency Disorder (OCD)
According to The Merkle, Obsessive Cryptocurrency Disorder, or OCD, is a condition developed over time by those who own any amount of bitcoin. They become obsessive about watching bitcoin prices rise and fall, all day and night.
“Fear, uncertainty and doubt,” shortened to “FUD,” isn’t a term exclusive to the bitcoin community.
Among bitcoiners, however, FUD is generally used to refer to anything, like negative press coverage or blog posts, that might dissuade people from joining the cause of cryptocurrency.
Otherwise, FUD can mean a number of other things, including the practice of hyping up a cryptocurrency you own to drive its price higher, or sowing discord among owners of another coin so you can drive the price down and buy it cheap. Sometimes, it just means “Facts U Dislike.”
When a bitcoin holder (or HODLer) is mocked for not being rich yet, they’re being bitshamed. The case of bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos is a great example of this. An avid bitcoin lecturer for years, he revealed in December that he’s actually not a bitcoin millionaire, and sold his coins early to cover rent and bills. He was bitshamed by Roger Ver, known in the bitcoin community as “Bitcoin Jesus,” for his failure to hodl.