The crypto world has been rapidly developing ever since the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) in 2009. Since then, thousands of altcoins have appeared and become popular, such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and others. The revolutionary blockchain technology behind these cryptos has enabled individuals and companies all over the world to facilitate transactions and conduct business in an unprecedented way, making things more easy and practical than with fiat money.

Inevitably, a sort of crypto subculture emerged on internet forums and social media, with its own crypto slang that has some highly elaborate expressions. Some of these expressions are complex abbreviations and some of them are figures of speech meant to describe a certain type of behavior related to cryptocurrencies. 

If you are new to the world of crypto assets, it is a good idea to get to know the most important and most popular expressions of this crypto lingo in order to understand what crypto enthusiasts are actually talking about.

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The Most Popular Cryptocurrency Slang

We are going to take a look at some of the most frequent crypto slang expressions that will help you understand what people are saying when using words like FOMO, FUD, HODL, and other words that don’t make sense for someone who isn’t from the crypto world.

FOMO and Bitcoin

FOMO is an abbreviation for “fear of missing out” and it’s definitely one of the most often used words in crypto slang. The word refers to the feeling of unease, tension, and anxiety people get from the idea that other people are enjoying and experiencing something special while they are missing out on it. In the context of the crypto market, this is the fear people have when they are potentially missing out on the opportunity to gain high profits by investing, buying, or selling crypto assets.

FOMO can be associated with any crypto that has volatile periods which means that someone who owns considerable amounts of that asset could make high profits if the value of that currency suddenly reaches an all-time high (or ATH as crypto buffs would say). Bitcoin is often associated with FOMO, since it is the most popular and most valuable crypto in the world, with periods of enormous volatility that enabled BTC to reach new highs. 

Crypto brokers and investors often get FOMO when they notice turmoil in the crypto market during which a certain coin starts rapidly jumping in value. Everyone wants in on the action and the fear of not participating in a potentially great deal will make crypto enthusiasts start buying the asset which is rising in price at high volumes. 

If a cryptocurrency is very popular and drives the whole market like Bitcoin does, then it isn’t rare that the FOMO syndrome engulfs the whole market. Also, FOMO can be used as a market tactic to get investors to buy some assets out of fear and thus drive up the price of certain cryptos.

FUD

FUD stands for all the key crypto market negative sentiments in one acronym: fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

On the crypto market, mood swings are unpredictable and they are happening nonstop. A certain asset may be having a steady climb of 1-2% in value for days and then fall down by 30% in a couple of hours. The market is that uncertain and unpredictable. In such an environment, FUD can be used by developer teams, companies, and individuals as a tactic to spread rumors about a particular coin in order to get the price to rise or drop, thus changing the market cap of the currency. The people who benefit from FUD are always the ones that are spreading it in the first place.

HODL

HODL is the short form for “hold on for dear life”. An even more accurate explanation would be “hold your cryptos”. It is one of the most famous expressions in crypto slang. When the word first appeared it basically meant holding on to your coins, but the expression quickly gained a new meaning in the crypto community on forums and internet discussions. Nowadays, HODL means holding on to a digital currency even if the value of the coin is crashing, in hope that one day the value will go up again and the coin will be a serious contender on the cryptocurrency market. Some HODLers keep coins that are hardly worth a couple of cents for years, hoping their value will rise one day.

Bagholder

A bagholder is the opposite of someone who is HODLing coins. This is what people who HODL hope to become one day, because a bagholder is a person who is holding on to a number of certain cryptos, like BTC, that have skyrocketed in value and they refuse to sell, exchange, or invest their funds. Bagholders are crypto hoarders whose assets have become really valuable over time but they still don’t want to use these assets in any way.

Pump And Dump

This is a multi-layered expression. Pump is when some crypto coin receives a lot of attention from different sides such as investors, crypto forums, and media coverage which leads to a rise in the value of the coin in question. Dump is the opposite, when the price of a currency crashes because of negative news and rumors regarding a certain crypto.

Finally, you have the pump and dump scheme as a market tactic used by different groups in the crypto world to manipulate the prices of assets by influencing the emotional sentiment connected to a certain crypto. For instance, spreading rumors that an asset’s blockchain is a scam or that it’s untrustworthy can lead to a fall of price, just because people are starting to panic.

Shill

Shill is a term that originated from casinos and gambling but found its way into the world of crypto assets. A shill is an act of raising enthusiasm towards a certain investment or a particular crypto coin. Shillers are people who tend to create hype around cryptos they are investing in, without revealing their true interest. The point of a shill is to get the price of a crypto asset to rise. Many developer teams hire influencers or promote their project using different communication channels as a method of shilling.

Mooning

Unlike its varied meanings in the off-screen world, mooning is just an expression for a coin that is about to blow up both in terms of price and volume. Your crypto assets are about to take you “all the way up to the moon” and that’s why it’s called mooning.

A Few Words Before You Go…

The world of cryptocurrencies is complex by itself. Learning the basics of crypto trading, where to hold coins, and how to assess changes on the market is complicated enough. When you know the most important crypto slang expressions, all of this becomes just a bit easier.