If you’ve researched cryptocurrency, you’ve encountered the word “hodler.” Initially, you may have even laughed at the dummy who misspelled “holder” before realizing the unusual spelling was intentional.
So how did “hodler” become a common cryptocurrency term? Read on to find out.
What does “hodl” mean?
To hodl is to hold onto cryptocurrency, especially if the famously volatile currency plunges in price. This is also referred to as “holding on for dear life,” though the acronym came after the word was coined.
Where does the word “hodl” come from?
The term originated on a Bitcoin forum in December 2013 when forum member GameKyuubi drunkenly declared: “I AM HODLING.”
At the time, Bitcoin had plunged 39%, from $716 to $438, and many Bitcoin owners were selling out of fear it would continue to plummet. GameKyuubi laid out his semi-coherent reasons for the opposite strategy.
In that same post, he acknowledged the “hodling” typo and also admitted to drinking whiskey beforehand–before debating if the word should be spelled “whisky.”
Why is the word “hodl” still around?
Probably because of memes.
The term quickly went viral with Braveheart and 300 memes. Then a Matrix meme appeared and countless others. But the general favorite is perhaps Game of Thrones’ Hodor holding the door–and hodling his Bitcoin.
What’s a good example of hodling?
The Winklevoss twins, known for being pro-Bitcoin and anti-Mark Zuckerberg, announced in August 2013 they owned $11 million in Bitcoin. Although they didn’t specify how much Bitcoin they originally purchased, they mentioned their first purchase was in the summer of 2012 when its value was in the single digits.
In August 2013, a single Bitcoin was worth about $265. If the twins had $11 million BTC, that means they owned 41,509 bitcoins at that time. Let’s guesstimate that their summer of 2012 Bitcoin purchase was in July of 2012 when one bitcoin was worth $7. Buying 41,509 bitcoins at $7 equals $290,566.
Days after the Winklevosses announced they owned $11 million in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency dropped from $265 to $120 a coin, reducing their $11 million to about $5 million.
But like true hodlers they not only held (or hedl?) steady but bought more. Now that initial investment is worth around $2 billion.
Are you a cryptocurrency hodler? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments!