It’s almost impossible to read anything about bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without running into crypto slang. While a lot of this jargon can be pretty obscure, we’ve collected some of the most common terms here:
Altcoin – not an actual cryptocurrency, altcoin refers to all of the currencies that are NOT bitcoin.
ATH – not strictly a cryptocurrency acronym, ATH stands for “All-Time-High” and refers to the highest trading price of a certain equity, stock, cryptocurrency, etc.
Bag Holder – this is someone you don’t want to be. It refers to someone who tried to sell at a higher price but the market moved too fast and they got left with a coin that is now a significantly lower value than they paid for it.
Blockchain – a group of digital records of cryptographically secure transactions. Once recorded, transactions in the blockchain cannot be altered without the alteration of subsequent transactions and have to be agreed to by the network majority. The security of the blockchain lies in its decentralized design.
DYOR – my number one rule, Do Your Own Research! In crypto, as in anything, don’t just take someone’s word for something. This should be true of every decision in life, but especially those involving spending money.
Exchange – a crypto exchange is a website where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies online.
Fiat Money – paper money or coins that is considered legal tender by a government declaration. In the U.S., dollars are fiat money.
FOMO – this overwhelming sensation isn’t confined to the world of cryptocurrency. It means “Fear Of Missing Out” and it’s that anxious feeling you get when it looks like the price of something is going through the roof and you think you should jump on it.
FUD – this term has been around forever and still means “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt”. In crypto, FUD refers to someone spreading negativity in order to cause the price of something to drop. A FUDster.
HODL – this started out as a misspelling of the word “hold”. People thought it meant “Hold On for Dear Life”, but it simply means holding on to your cryptocurrency when prices are highly volatile. People who do this are called HODLERs.
Lambo – when your little nest egg of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency reaches a value high enough to buy yourself a Lamborghini, you’ve reached Lambo wealth.
Mining – the process of using computer power to secure and verify bitcoin transactions on a decentralized network. The transaction data is added to the public ledger, and each 1 MB group of transactions is called a block. Blocks build on one another to form the above-described blockchain.
Rekt – borrowed from the gaming world, rekt is a good description of a bag holder. It’s an “urban” spelling of wrecked.
Satoshi – the pseudonym of the inventor/creator of bitcoin is Satoshi Nakamoto. And a satoshi is the smallest fraction of a bitcoin, worth one hundred millionths of a bitcoin.
Shill – every industry has shills. In the crypto world, this is someone who promotes an altcoin so they can personally benefit.
To the Moon, or Mooning – not showing your butt, in the crypto-slang, mooning means a price that has skyrocketed to the top, maybe even its ATH.
Wallet – a cryptocurrency wallet doesn’t contain actual currency, like the trusty leather bifold in your back pocket. A crypto wallet holds the transactions records of your buys and sells. It can be a hard wallet (an actual device like a USB stick); or a soft wallet which can be stored on your desktop computer, on your mobile device, or online in the cloud. A paper wallet is simply a printout of your public and private keys.
Whale – whales own so much bitcoin that their buy/sell activity has the power to move the market. Picture a whale swimming through a school of fish.