Crypto Lingo: A Quick Guide of Terms You Need to Know to Sound Cool
Have you ever HODLed while watching all the Weakhands sweat over FOMO due to a bear market run by dealers?
If the above was completely alien to you, this is why you need to read this guide!
If you’re starting in crypto investing, you’re going to want to do some research to make sure you come to the right decisions, at least as best as possible. However, scrolling through the text of a crypto-journalist can lead you to run for a crypto dictionary and thesaurus so you can make sense of it all. For example, in the subtitle, I used the term FOMO with which you might be familiar, fear of missing out. But did you know there’s a FOBO? Are you experiencing it now? Am I?
No one likes to feel dumb, and in any conversation where all you can do is wear a smile and a blank stare, it’s never comfortable. Because, sooner or later, the conversation could shift to you. Would you be ready to contribute to a discussion where you have no clue what the group is talking about? However, knowing crypto slang is more than saving face at parties. It’s education. Financial education is at an all-time low in America, and I don’t particularly care for that status. A tree grows better when it’s growing around other trees.
In this article, I’m going to teach you some fundamental crypto lingo, so you never find yourself at a loss in a group setting or sitting at your laptop dumbfounded by what you hear or see. When you are through reading, you will have a firm grasp of common crypto terminology used when discussing buying, selling, and trading. Also remember to check out our Crypto Glossary section.
Right let’s get going.
What does HODL mean?
Have you ever typed the word “hold” so fast you typed “hodl” instead? No? Just me? Well, anyway. The misspelling phenomenon also happens when you’re drunk. Ask GameKyuubi, who wrote a famous forum post about Bitcoin while snockered. He was debating making a move with his BTC and, along with many other words in his post, misspelled hold quite a bit. So naturally, everyone else who responded to the thread spelled it the same way because it’s the internet, and likewise, the misspelled word became an OG term used to this day in crypto trading.
To HODL, your crypto is to wait for it, hold it. HODLing is used for long-term investing. For example, HODLs might be waiting until BTC is worth over one million dollars, while other HODLers are waiting for Bitcoin to become the next mainstream currency globally recognized. Not all HODLers need to play the game so long, though. A HODLer could make a one, five, or ten years plan to HODL their investment or possibly prepare for a market event or political or socio-economic change.
However, it seems I’ve spoken about HODLers as if they’re some pariah when the fact is, everyone HODLs. It’s an intelligent strategy. No one with a modicum of sense puts all their cards on risky bets. You’ve got to have a source of stability in your portfolio, or you won’t sleep. I mean it. And you won’t want to eat either. So save yourself from all that misery and HODL to some degree, at least. After all, you don’t want your financial colleagues calling you a Weakhand, do you?
What is a Weakhand?
Investors use the term “Weakhand” to describe a trader who lacks the resources or is fear-driven to make buys and sells. At the first sign of bad news, they sell off everything wringing their hands with worry, and at the first sign of an upswing, they buy. They are called Weakhands because they lack the fortitude to remain calm during fluctuations that traders typically weather.
You can also describe Weakhands as a trader who approaches the market from the viewpoint of a speculator. Speculators attempt to use short-term strategies to outperform their long-term (HODLer) counterparts. Weakhands that continue to make emotional short-term positional moves tend not to last long in the crypto space or any investment space, and while there are outliers that succeed, they are outliers. You don’t want to play that game unless it’s the only game you play all day, every day.
Weakhands exhibit predictable behavior. Behaviors include changing positions on an upswing on the technical charts to a market break. It’s as if they suffer from anxiety and are acutely aware of the slightest sound that makes them jump through the rough. Like a cat that realizes there’s a cucumber behind them. Some traders use Weakhand behavior to change positions opposite of them to benefit. Those changes can prune away or shake off the Weakhands while providing a benefit. All said, resist being a Weakhand. Oh, Weakhands suffer from one more affliction you need to know: FOMO.
What is FOMO?
FOMO stands for fear of missing out. In the context of crypto trading, FOMO is what you feel when you see a coin that is performing well, but you don’t own any. FOMO is technically social anxiety and is closely linked to feelings of inadequacy. First identified over 25 years ago by marketing strategist Dr. Dan Herman, FOMO as we use it in crypto wasn’t coined (no pun intended) until 2004 when venture capitalist and author Alec J. McGuiness popularized it in an op-ed he published at Harvard Business School.
FOMO marketing is messaging that coerces a buyer to purchase a product or service before it slips through their fingers or its price goes back up to unaffordable levels. However, according to McGuiness, the only thing worse than FOMO is FOBO or fear of a better option. Have you ever found yourself standing in front of several options and cannot decide which one you should buy? Of course, your brain wants you to make the best decision, but research studies have proven that if too many options are set before us, we freeze and make no decisions at all. A consumer who can’t decide on a purchase isn’t effective, and as a seller, you wouldn’t like that. Hence, great sales and service options typically have three choices: beginner, professional, advanced, respectively.
You are going to make poor decisions suffering from FOMO or FOBO. Although FOMO could push you to take action and decide, it usually isn’t the best. And FOBO will have you making no decisions at all. FOMO and FOBO spread like wildfire through the minds of Weakhands. However, there is a type of investor (besides HODLers) who isn’t affected by FOMO or FOBO in the context of crypto?: No-coiners.
What is a no-coiner?
A no-coiner is someone who believes that cryptocurrency is doomed to fail. Subsequently, no-coiners hold no cryptocurrency in their investment portfolios and have no plans ever to touch it. Yet, it isn’t 100% fair to say that an investor that happens to have no crypto investments is a no-coiner. It’s more about their philosophy against crypto than the material fact they don’t invest in it. Some dictionaries place a lot of emphasis on the philosophy to the degree that they describe no-coiners as those who missed the boat when it came to the early days of Bitcoin. Having missed out on the success, they became bitter and proclaim that crypto is a bubble and doomed to fail at any moment.
Crypto traders and no-coiners do share a common trait: their enthusiasm for their belief. But, unfortunately, this enthusiasm can lead to tribalism and extreme behavior toward one another. We can see this in proponents of crypto traders’ responses to no-coiners like Warren Buffett, etc.
Some say no-coiners suffer from ressentiment. Ressentiment is an unresolvable sense of failure projected on an external source. By giving the unresolved feeling of loss to an external target, the ego absolves itself of culpability. It’s not the no-coiner’s fault crypto hasn’t made them rich. It’s dumb luck that some people got rich off of a fad that will pass, and when the trend dies, the no-coiner will stand above the fallen crypto trader in victory and finally be able to process their unresolved loss.
Wait a minute! In all the excitement, I forget to lead into another term from FOMO and FOBO: FUD, of course.
What is FUD?
FUD is fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Let’s use it in a sentence. Crypto nerds advise HODL despite the FUD of Weakhands. Did you understand that? Congrats! There’s not much else to say here. FUD is pretty simple. Heck, even HODlers feel FUD on occasion. With that said, let’s talk about hopium.
What is Hopium?
You should always back up your belief in a cryptocurrency from research and analysis; otherwise, you might become a hopium addict. Hopium is an irrational hope or unwarranted optimism about something. For example, if one thinks that the SEC will accept cryptocurrency with open and loving arms, they suffer from hopium. The term hopium is a relative of the term copium, which is what someone does when they cannot accept the truth and instead continue believing a lie. Speaking of hopium, some investors can’t let go of a dream they have of their favorite new coin that’s going to be the next Bitcoin. However, it turns out that they suffered from hopium and their prized investment was a shitcoin.
According to podcaster Ruben Somsen,
“a shitcoin is a coin that can be predicted to go to zero because of its flawed fundamentals. Its creators and early adopters deny all criticism and focus heavily on misleading marketing to extract maximum value from investors and saddling them with the inevitable losses.”
Shitcoin creators use their offering to scam investors at a low price, then with a low market cap, spike the coin price suddenly, only to pull a pump and dump, leaving investors holding the bag. The presence of shitcoins might cause FUD, but some signs mark a shitcoin.
- An incomplete or shoddy whitepaper.
- Low market cap at launch.
- Low price offering at launch with dramatic activity spikes.
A coin offering should have a detailed and wholly expressed vision of its goals in the whitepaper. You’re going to want to see clearly stated plans, implementation strategies, and algorithm specifications, among other details. In addition, creators should deploy a well-funded launch with a decent market cap and starting price.
There are well over 1500 different cryptocurrencies on the market, and new coins come and go every day. It’s not a horrible idea to take a chance every so often on a new coin, but you don’t have to be in the dark when you do. Identifying and avoiding shitcoins will help you build confidence while exploring the crypto marketplace. Don’t let the scammers keep you from your dreams.
This article is a taste of the buffet of terms used in crypto trading, but it should be enough to give you the confidence you need to understand a little bit more of what’s being said when it comes to crypto markets, buying, selling, and trading. Now, you can HODL when needed and not worry about falling prey to the mistakes of Weakhands while they experience FUD, FOMO, and FOBO. In the meantime, let the no-coiners say what they want about the future of crypto. Let them cling to their hopium of a crypto-pocolypse. You’ll be right here keeping a sharp eye out for shitcoins and making money to secure your future in crypto. – Stefan Bolzan