A Beginner's Guide to Cryptocurrency Slang

Every industry has its lingo - words and slang used by people familiar with how things work. They come from different sources, eventually catch on, and become part of the culture.

A Beginner's Guide to Cryptocurrency Slang

In the world of cryptocurrencies, several words and phrases are being tossed around and taking root. If you're a beginner, understanding crypto slang on Twitter threads and Reddit forums can prove a valuable skill.

Let's examine some of the most popular crypto jargon:


HODL is one term you'll hear a lot as a crypto beginner. Crypto enthusiasts use it to explain their stance on a cryptocurrency and that they won't be selling anytime soon.

Most times, HODL comes into play when the market is experiencing a downturn. People use social media to remind their friends to HODL and not sell the coin in a price drop.

You can remember HODL as an acronym for "Hold On for Dear Life," though the origin is debatable.

Many claim HODL came from a misspelling of "HOLD." Apparently, it originated on a Reddit post a few years back. At the time, Bitcoin was down and had dragged most altcoins with it. A Bitcointalk forum user named GameKyuubi shared a drunken, typo-laden post titled "I AM HODLING," saying he'd quit trading and was holding Bitcoin for the long term. The term went viral.

Whichever way you slice it, the meaning remains the same.


This is a popular one. It means "Fear Of Missing Out" and generally describes one reason people will jump on a trend while it's hot.

When the market rises and prices are surging, people tend to get FOMO around cryptocurrencies. If they don't get in, they might miss a windfall. Sometimes FOMO is a good thing. Sometimes it's not.

Most investors and traders are best off avoiding FOMO. It's a sort of panic response and doesn't always lead to good decision-making. Instead, it's recommended to build a portfolio of high-value coins you know will rise over time.

That said, FOMO can undoubtedly lead to good things. But only make decisions based on FOMO with money you're comfortable losing.


NFA is an acronym for "Not Financial Advice." Analysts and crypto enthusiasts put it as a disclaimer when promoting a cryptocurrency or sharing their views.

This way, they can't be held accountable if their advice doesn't pan out.


This stands for "Fear, Uncertainty, and Death." In crypto, FUD happens when we get some monumentally bad news about cryptocurrencies - like a country is banning cryptocurrencies or a famous person criticizes cryptocurrencies.

FUD is a tactic aimed at stoking fear and uncertainty about an asset, causing investors to sell. - i.e., death.

Diamond Hands

When the market is sliding and everyone is selling coins, some people decide to hold on.

These people call themselves "diamond hands" for encouragement. They're still firm believers in the coin and want to stick around for more gains. As for those who got scared and ran? These people are "paper hands."

The Flippening

The "flippening" describes the possibility that Ether will pass Bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency based on market cap.

Both coins have held 2nd and 1st positions in the rankings and are the only two coins to have never held any other positions in the market.

If the flippening does happen, it will be earthshaking.


When a cryptocurrency's price sees a dramatic jump, it is described as "mooning" - basically, rocketing to the moon.

Pump and Dump

This term refers to a coordinated, deliberate effort to increase the price of an asset (pump), so you can cash out (dump).

Small-cap cryptocurrencies are particularly susceptible to pump and dump. A group of traders band together and buy up units of the coin over a specific period (maybe a few days). As the coin's price starts to jump, they promote it on social media and get other people to invest as well.

The party ends when the original group of traders cash out. Since their holdings are so large, their selling action causes the coin's price to crater.


Getting rekt is the other side of the crypto coin. If you've been swept up by FOMO and invested in a coin, only for its value to drop significantly, you've been rekt.

As expected, "rekt" is a truncated version of "wrecked."

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