Cryptocurrency Slang: What does HODL, FOMO, BTFD or FUD mean?

Cryptocurrency Slang: What does HODL, FOMO, BTFD or FUD mean?

If you've ever browsed through crypto-related discussions on Reddit or Twitter, it's certain that you've come across – and perhaps been confused by – a complex array of acronyms, intentionally misspelled words, gaming-related memes, and other elements. Covering everything from FOMO and FUD to laser eyes and 'whale' investors, this introductory guide will help you understand eleven of the most frequently used slang terms in the crypto community.


"Fear of Missing Out", commonly known as FOMO, is a psychological state that's particularly prevalent in the world of cryptocurrency trading. This sensation often arises when you witness a dramatic increase in a cryptocurrency's value and feel a desperate urge to participate, leading to hasty decisions like selling other assets to buy into the rising coin. Emotions, rather than analytical evaluations, tend to drive crypto trading, making FOMO a significant factor in market swings.

FOMO isn't unique to cryptocurrencies; it's a familiar feeling in various aspects of life, including investing. In the crypto realm, FOMO typically emerges during a sharp bullish trend, creating anxiety among investors who fear missing out on potential gains. This concern often leads to the dilemma of whether to invest in a market that's already seen significant price increases, hoping to benefit from further upward movements.

This phenomenon is more pronounced in fast-rising markets and can lead to emotional trading and poor decision-making. Remember, no one executes every trade flawlessly, and regretting missed opportunities based on perfect hindsight is a common pitfall.

To mitigate FOMO, it's wise to adopt a consistent investment strategy. For instance, dollar-cost averaging (DCA) involves investing a fixed amount regularly, regardless of market fluctuations. This approach helps in focusing on long-term value growth rather than short-term market movements, thereby reducing the impact of FOMO on investment decisions.


HODL, a term synonymous with the cryptocurrency community, particularly Bitcoin enthusiasts, embodies the philosophy of holding onto your cryptocurrency investments despite market fluctuations. The term's origin is as unique as its usage: it stemmed from a typo in a 2013 Bitcoin forum post where the user intended to write "holding" but instead typed "HODLING" – a mistake attributed to excitement or possibly inebriation. This typo was creatively reinterpreted into the backronym "hold on for dear life", capturing the steadfast attitude of long-term crypto investors.

Originally, HODL was a simple misspelling of 'hold,' but it has since evolved into a widely recognized crypto slang. It represents an investment strategy where the individual buys cryptocurrency and holds onto it, regardless of the market's volatility, eschewing the urge to sell even in tumultuous times. This approach was famously encapsulated in the original forum post by a user named GameKyuuubi, who, despite the dramatic price drop of Bitcoin from $1242 to $480 within a month, advocated for keeping the cryptocurrency. His sentiment, though riddled with typos, was forward-looking and resonated deeply within the crypto community, sparking numerous memes and discussions.

The HODL strategy is especially relevant during turbulent market periods, often cited during price surges as a rallying cry to withstand the temptation of selling during high volatility. It highlights the mentality of weathering the ups and downs of the crypto market with a long-term perspective. This approach has been validated over time, as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have experienced various bull and bear cycles, yet have emerged as some of the top-performing assets over the past decade. As mentioned previously in the context of FOMO, one effective method of practicing HODL is through dollar-cost averaging (DCA), which involves investing a consistent amount over time, regardless of market behavior. This strategy reinforces the HODL philosophy by focusing on long-term investment rather than short-term market fluctuations.


"Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt", commonly abbreviated as FUD, is a term that originated in the field of public relations and propaganda. This strategy involves disseminating misinformation to influence public perception negatively about a product, technology, or even a political candidate. The main aim is to evoke negative emotions, thereby creating a sense of distrust or apprehension.

The term gained popularity in the 1980s, largely attributed to Gene Amdahl, a mainframe-computer architect and entrepreneur. He described how IBM salespeople at the time would use FUD tactics to cast doubt on the reliability and trustworthiness of their competitors' products.

In the realm of cryptocurrency, FUD is often seen as a tool to generate skepticism about the technology itself, whether it's from media sources or traditional finance analysts. It can also be wielded by supporters of specific tokens or protocols to counteract criticism. The spread of FUD in crypto circles is not just about creating a general sense of wariness; it can also be a calculated strategy to manipulate market prices. By fostering negative sentiment about a particular asset, the spreaders of FUD might aim to reduce its price, allowing them to accumulate at a lower cost or cause financial harm to holders of a competing cryptocurrency.

FUD can take various forms, including claims of poor fundamentals, questionable leadership within a project, stagnant or bearish price trends, unclear future plans, lack of widespread adoption, minimal network usage, or regulatory challenges in certain countries.

When encountering FUD, a common piece of advice in the crypto community is to embrace another popular acronym: DYOR, or "Do Your Own Research". This approach emphasizes the importance of independent investigation and analysis, rather than being swayed by potentially biased or unfounded claims.

Diamond hands

"Diamond hands" is a term that has gained popularity among cryptocurrency and stock traders on platforms like Reddit, symbolized by the diamond and hands emojis. This term, as highlighted by Elon Musk in a tweet using these emojis, represents a firm commitment to the HODL philosophy, which involves holding onto assets like Bitcoin even under extreme market pressures. It's particularly prevalent in online groups who unite with the aim of inflating the value of a meme coin or other asset.

Conversely, "paper hands" is a term used to describe investors who tend to sell their investments prematurely, often due to fear of risk or susceptibility to panic. This term, represented by the paper roll and hands emojis, is somewhat derogatory and contrasts sharply with the steadfastness implied by "diamond hands". While diamond hands signify resilience and a long-term investment outlook, paper hands denote a lack of conviction and a tendency to buckle under market volatility.


"The flippening" is a term used to describe a potential future event where Ethereum's market capitalization surpasses that of Bitcoin. This concept also extends to scenarios where any smaller or newer cryptocurrency or blockchain protocol might overtake a more established and larger competitor in terms of market value. The idea of the flippening not only focuses on Ethereum and Bitcoin but also symbolizes a broader shift in the crypto landscape, where new technologies or platforms could rise to prominence, challenging the dominance of current market leaders.

Laser eyes

In 2021, a trend emerged among enthusiastic Bitcoin supporters who began adding "laser eyes" to their Twitter profile pictures to show their backing for the cryptocurrency. High-profile individuals like NFL star Tom Brady, celebrity Paris Hilton, entrepreneur Elon Musk, Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor were among the notable figures participating in this trend. This meme is commonly linked with the hashtag #LaserRayUntil100K, which signifies a collective belief in Bitcoin's potential to reach or surpass a value of $100,000.


"Rekt" is a slang term in the cryptocurrency community, derived from an intentional misspelling of "wrecked". It describes the profound and often devastating feeling investors experience when their cryptocurrency investments plummet in value, leading to significant financial losses. Originally used in gaming to signify a player being completely defeated or destroyed, the term has found a fitting application in the volatile world of crypto trading. It's especially relevant in situations where investors, often overleveraged, face the harsh reality of their positions being liquidated. The term is commonly used on social media platforms to highlight these scenarios of substantial financial setbacks.


A "bagholder" in the cryptocurrency world is an investor who finds themselves holding onto a digital asset that has drastically dropped in value, sometimes to the point of being worthless. This term draws a parallel to the concept of hoarding, where a bagholder clings to their investment, hoping for a future upturn, even in the face of significant losses. Often, a bagholder is someone who entered a position at a high price, only to witness a steep decline in the value of their holdings. The phrase "holding the bag" reflects the undesirable position of being stuck with an asset that has lost its value, with little hope of recovery.


BTD, an acronym for "buy the dip", is a prevalent strategy in financial markets, particularly in cryptocurrency trading. It suggests purchasing an asset when its price experiences a temporary decline, with the expectation that the price will rebound. This approach is often employed in bull markets to reinforce the optimistic sentiment and capitalize on rising prices. However, it's also applicable in bear markets, where investors seize the opportunity to buy at historically low values for long-term investment prospects.

BTFD, which stands for "Buy the [Expletive] Dip", is a more emphatic variation of BTD. This expression is frequently used during intense bullish rallies to capture the fervor and urgency of seizing the moment to invest during a price dip.


Cryptosis describes an unquenchable desire for understanding and learning about cryptocurrencies. While it may seem akin to an ailment, rest assured, it's not harmful to your health. Those experiencing cryptosis often find themselves avidly browsing online forums, initiating conversations about cryptocurrencies with friends, and generally adopting strategies to reduce risks in their trading activities.


WAGMI, an abbreviation for "we're all gonna make it", is commonly used within the cryptocurrency community as a rallying cry to foster optimism and reassure members not to give up hope.

Conversely, NGMI stands for "not gonna make it", expressing a belief that a poor decision has been made, leading to likely unsuccessful investment outcomes.

These acronyms are particularly prevalent in the world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), especially in discussions on platforms like Twitter and Discord, where they serve as shorthand expressions of community sentiment and individual investment outlooks.


Bullish and bearish are terms that describe market trends, initially used in traditional stock markets but now widely applied in the cryptocurrency sector. In a bullish market, prices are on an upward trajectory, whereas a bearish market is characterized by declining price trends.


"All-Time High", often abbreviated as ATH, refers to the highest price ever reached by a particular cryptocurrency.


A "whale" in the cryptocurrency context refers to an individual or entity possessing a significant amount of capital. These major players are believed to have the power to influence market movements, especially for smaller alternative coins, owing to their substantial financial resources.

Pump and dump

A "pump and dump" scheme is a deliberate strategy to artificially boost the price of an asset, followed by a rapid sell-off before its value plummets. This tactic is especially prevalent in the cryptocurrency market, particularly affecting those with smaller market capitalizations. In such schemes, a collective of traders collaborate to escalate the price of a certain low-cap altcoin. As the price increases, these manipulators often hype the asset on various social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Facebook, and in YouTube comments, attracting additional investors and further inflating the price. Once the asset reaches their predetermined value, the orchestrators of the scheme sell off their holdings for substantial profits, leaving the remaining investors with devalued assets as the price collapses.


"Vaporware" is a term used to describe an enticing and appealing idea or concept that, more often than not, is unlikely to ever materialize or be realized. This term can also apply to proposed cryptocurrencies that lack any clear or practical utility.

When Lambo?

Lamborghinis, the high-end sports cars, have become a symbol within the cryptocurrency culture, primarily due to individuals earning substantial profits from crypto investments and purchasing them. Consequently, the phrase "when Lambo?" emerged as an expression linked to the success of a cryptocurrency. It essentially queries when the value of a particular crypto asset will rise sufficiently for its holder to afford a Lamborghini.


Shilling refers to the practice of employing misleading, exaggerated, or outright false information to endorse a service or investment, often of inferior quality, with the aim of gaining financial benefits.

This term carries a negative implication and is frequently associated with pump-and-dump schemes, though it can also be observed in various other scenarios. Instances of shilling include an influencer being compensated to promote a specific cryptocurrency or service, a developer of a cryptocurrency project promoting their own project to attract users and ensure its success, or an ordinary investor hyping a poorly performing crypto asset in their portfolio to offload it at a higher price for profit.

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