What to know about the crypto-craze before it implodes.
Online traders of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin tend to speak in impenetrable jargon, heavy on acronyms, slang terms, and hashtags. Some of it is borrowed from traditional finance, but the digitally native generation of self-taught traders has additional vocabulary all its own. Some useful terms to get you through a conversation — or message-board fight — include:
Bags: Cryptoassets being held, generally as longer-term plays; sometimes used self-deprecatingly for soft or losing positions one should close, but can’t for whatever reason. “Too bad none of my alt bags saw the moon that I did today. #cryptoeclipse”
Bitcoin Maximalists: The truest believers in bitcoin’s original mission and design, often paired with a disdain for altcoins.
#BTFD: “Buy the Fucking Dip.” Advice to other traders to pick up a coin that’s presumably hit its bottom. “$GNT Golem making moves. Underpriced @ 7.5K If U are buying GNT under 10K still a good price 3 X LETS GO $ETH #CRYPTO #trading #BTFD”
#DYOR: “Do Your Own Research.” The trader’s caveat that advice shouldn’t be taken at face value. “$BCY has an appealing risk/reward here. Could take a few months to play out, however, and will require patience. #DYOR”
Exit Scam: Traditionally a term for darknet markets and vendors that, after building up a good reputation, accumulate bitcoins and disappear; exit scams are also feared by ICO participants who worry that, once they’ve raised hundreds of millions in hard-to-trace money, the developers will take the money and run.
Fiat: Government-issued money.
#FOMO: “Fear of Missing Out.” When a coin starts to moon, dumb money rushes in. “$LGD on a TEAR right now!!! It has major highs right now! Some major #FOMO going on!!! Sell while it’s high. It WILL drop before fight!!!”
FUD: “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.” Another non-crypto term that describes attempts to scare weak-handed coin-holders into selling their positions, often with rumors of exit scams or hacks; the cheap, dumped coins are then picked up by the FUD-ers.
Hodl: The intentionally misspelled word hodl has its roots in a December 2013 post on the Bitcoin Talk forum, “I AM HODLING”; when the author, GameKyuubi, couldn’t be bothered to fix his typo, the community instantly turned it into a verb: to hodl. Along
with other terms, hodl is an effective litmus test for sussing out newcomers, carpetbaggers, and tourists.
#Lambo: A running joke among traders, you’re cryptorich when you can buy a Lamborghini; though absurd, it’s not unheard of — when Alexandre Cazes, the suspected founder of a major darknet marketplace, was found hanged in his Bangkok jail cell, Thai media reported that he owned four Lamborghinis.
#Moon: A rapid price increase.
Pump: A rapid price increase believed to be the result of market manipulation, a.k.a. pump and dump.
#Rekt: Wrecked. “I never sell because of #FUD, and I never buy because of #FOMO. That’s the easiest way to get #Rekt”
Shitcoins: Pejorative term for altcoins, especially low-cap coins, often affectionately used by shitcoin hodlers.
Sats: Satoshis, currently the smallest unit of a single bitcoin, useful for tracking coin prices. “At the rate $XRP’s moving, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 10K sats by the end of the day.”
Whale: Anyone who owns 5 percent of any given coin, often used as a boogeyman to explain unwanted price movements. “Nice support $NEO. Clear whale manipulation.”