Ask the Orb: What are the cryptocurrency slangs we should remember?

3 min readJan 4, 2022

Bitcoin has had a turbulent ride in recent weeks, with the price falling to trade around $48,000 per coin today, down from a peak of over $69,000 last November. Everyone has spoken out about the future of cryptocurrencies.

With all of the attention, language that was once reserved for inside jokes in early bitcoin chat rooms and Reddit threads have suddenly become part of the conversation.

On Twitter, you might see bitcoin supporters say things like, “Don’t listen to FUD, just HODL your bitcoin and travel to the moon,” and you’ll hear similar jargon in CNBC’s documentary film, “Bitcoin: Boom or Bust.”

So, what does this imply? CNBC asked Peter Saddington, a serial entrepreneur and early bitcoin investor who operates a bitcoin community called The Bitcoin Pub, to break down such crypto-slang. Saddington originally bought bitcoin in November 2011, when one coin was only $2.52.

In this section, he defines HODL and six additional terms.

Also Read: How to: DYOR


“Stay strong, HODL, even if the price declines,”

In early bitcoin forums, someone spelled the term “hold” incorrectly, and users misinterpreted it as an abbreviation for “hold on for dear life,” Saddington says. “Now, it’s become a sort of meme, such that when prices are really volatile, bitcoin purchasers yell ‘HODL!’” “A long-term HODLER,” Saddington characterizes himself.

2. FUD

“If someone tells you bitcoin is a bubble, they’re just spreading FUD.”

This one is easy, says Saddington. FUD stands for “fear, uncertainty, and doubt,” and Bitcoin supporters advocate HODLing their coins despite the FUD of others outside the community.

3. Sats

“How many sats are you purchasing at this price?”

“Sats” is an abbreviation for “satoshis,” a phrase derived from Satoshi Nakamoto’s first name. It refers to the lowest amount of bitcoin that may be transmitted, which is 0.00000001 bitcoin. Instead of valuing bitcoin in terms of dollars, “professional traders look at sats, or satoshis,” according to Saddington.

4. Whale

“There must be a whale behind this coin’s movement,” for example.

“A whale is someone who has a large amount of bitcoin,” Saddington explains. “According to data and addresses available online — since bitcoin isn’t completely anonymous; you can actually discover the whales — these are the folks that hold a large amount of bitcoin.” We’re talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of bitcoin.”

He argues that if a “whale” sells a large portion of its position, it may cause the price of a cryptocurrency to fall by flooding supply.

5. Pumping and dumping

“This coin’s chart appears to be a pump and dump.”

“Pump and dumpers are people who frequently say, ‘Hey, let’s all pump this currency together,’ which means purchase the coin, generate demand in the market, and the coin will rise in value,” Saddington explains. The coin is then “dumped” and sold by everyone.

These schemes, he continues, are frequently conducted using applications like Slack or Telegram, and he warns interested chatroom users to be wary of such gimmicks. According to a Business Insider study into “pump and dump” operations, the technique is an “open secret among many bitcoin traders.”

6. Bagholders

“I believe this currency will be sold, and someone will be left as the bagholder,”

“A bagholder, in essence, is a very unhappy individual who, at the end of the day — perhaps from a pump and dump — was ‘held with the bag,’ which implies they wanted to sell at a better price, but the market moved too quickly,” Saddington explains. The individual is then left with “a coin they don’t want at a price they can’t sell it [at].”

7. Mooning

“Ripple is mooning!”

When something is “mooning,” it signifies the price of a coin is rising. “That’s what you’ll commonly see on Twitter or other social media platforms,” he explains. “That’s one phrase I don’t like.”

Crypto-watchers will frequently get enthusiastic over modest price increases and claim that their coin is on its way “to the moon,” according to Saddington, sometimes simply to inflate the price for their personal advantage.

“I think mooning is one of those expressions I’d want to see dropped from the public lexicon,” he adds.

Also Read: Cryptocurrency’s growth is unstoppable and PrivacySwap is here to foster it.

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