Crypto abbreviations and acronyms 1/3

Discover cryptocurrency slang terms & abbrs. you need to know

First things first

When reading about cryptos, even if you’re a no-coiner, it’s essential to know the most common abbreviations and what they stand for to avoid missing context.

Truncated words are called abbreviations; an acronym is made of beginning letters from the phrase it stands for, so it becomes pronounced as a word; an acronym pronounced by its individual letters is called initialism. For brevity’s sake, “abbreviation” will heretofore refer to all of these.

‘Cryptospeak’ terms

Jargon and slang are part of every online community, including the cryptocurrency world. Members experience both FOMO and JOMO while they try to BUIDL their future through HODLing. Be aware of the important conversational crypto slang terms and vocabulary when talking with experienced chat room users:


Hold On for Dear Life (purposeful misspelling of “HOLD” usually pronounced “hoddle”: hold on to your investments instead of reacting to short-term volatility).

Origin of HODL

The word “hold” has been used in finance for a very long time as part of the buy-and-hold strategy. This method of investing entails buying a particular financial asset for an indefinite length of time and holding it. Investors should not be swayed by short-term market movements because they are looking for a long-term view.

A post with the term HODL was made in 2013 on a crypto forum (BitcoinTalk) after China’s government caused Bitcoin price to fall within one day. An intoxicated member typed out a post entitled “I AM HODLING” in response, detailing his general lousy luck with investing and his desire to keep holding onto his assets in the future.

After that incident, the term “hodling” became commonplace in communication among crypto enthusiasts, and it went into memes and social media. It became such a way of signaling that the token owner’s desire to hang onto their assets. “HODL” is generally only used to refer to cryptocurrencies and not other assets.


Fear of Missing Out (on an opportunity or investment).

Origin of FOMO

The concept was first described in 2000 by Dr. Dan Herman in an academic paper entitled “The Journal of Brand Management”. However, the acronym FOMO was coined a couple of years later by Patrick McGinnis in an opinion piece published in 2004 in the American magazine “The Harbus”.

The concept refers to the feeling of anxiety or the idea that other people are sharing a positive experience while you are missing out. In the context of financial markets and crypto trading, FOMO refers to the fear that a trader or investor feels by missing out on a potentially lucrative investment or trading opportunity. Main risk: using emotion (the fear of missing out) instead of logic and reasoning to make market decisions.


Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt: a strategy of spreading misinformation about an asset or competitor.

MOON (or Mooning)

When a cryptocurrency sees solid momentum upward, enthusiast traders describe it as going “to the moon” or “mooning”.

Don’t confuse it with crypto tokens like Moontoken, Mooncoin, Moonstar, Moonlight, etc.


By 2021, Bitcoin fans began adding laser eyes to their Twitter photos to show their support for the cryptocurrency. Some famous people have taken part. These names include NFL superstar Tom Brady, Paris Hilton, Elon Musk, Wyoming senator Cynthia Lummis, and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. The meme is often associated with the hashtag #LaserRayUntil100K — indicating support for the cryptocurrency’s potential to break the $100,000 mark.


Elon Musk’s tweet: 💎🙌 - A meme that has become popular among crypto and stock traders on Reddit. The phrase is typically used to express serious, devout adherence to HODL philosophy (see higher up). It is often used by online groups that have banded together to drive up the price of a memecoin (a cryptocurrency based on a meme that was popular around the time it was invented, like DOGE, SHIB...) or any other asset.


Do Your Own Research, encouraging investors to complete due diligence into a project before investing. It is regarded as one of the most relevant aspects for cryptocurrency investors to not blindly trust somebody else’s opinion about what they are investing in.

Between 2016 and 2018, a wave of ICO projects flooded into the cryptocurrency space, and the term became popular. Many scams were entering the market as potential crowdfunding get-rich-quick schemes which duped investors, leaving them deceived or out of pocket. People were urged to ‘DYOR’ and investigate any potential investment thoroughly before committing money to any project as a way of combating fraud. The phrase is now widely used to encourage amateur investors in any arena. Some cryptocurrency figures often post it as a disclaimer about projects or analyses on social media platforms.


Know Your Customer (but it could also mean “know your client”). It refers to a mandatory verification of a customer’s identity, typically by financial institutions and financial service businesses, including banks, stockbrokers, and now cryptocurrency exchanges. It includes information that can be used to verify your identity, like a valid identification card, utility bills with your house address, social security number, etc.

Verifying your identity is essential for crypto traders to start trading. The point of KYC is to confirm that a customer is who they claim to be and to prevent illegal activities, such as money laundering, funding terrorism, and tax evasion. If an exchange does not perform KYC, then they could be liable for illegal activities. It is easier and less risky to buy crypto with know-your-customer regulations and requirements that are just one part of a broader umbrella term commonly called anti-money laundering (AML).

For users concerned with the anonymity and decentralization of blockchain, it’s a high price to pay. Especially when submitting their identity information to centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.


Dollar-Cost Averaging: a long-term saving strategy that implies periodically investing the same amount of money in one or multiple assets.


Short for Lamborghini (the term symbolizes the get-rich-quick culture that is still prevalent in the crypto trading sphere)


An effort to ignite the value of an asset and cash in before dropping back down. Cryptocurrencies with smaller market caps are easy prey to pump and dump schemes. A group of traders will work together to cause the price increase in some specific small-cap altcoin. Prices rise, leading to schemers going viral with an opportunity on Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms, attracting more investors and driving the price up further. When the token hits their target value, the original group will cash out - taking big profits and leaving everyone else “holding the bag” as the asset collapses.


  • BUIDL - “Build” (purposeful misspelling for ironic meaning)

  • JOMO - Joy of Missing Out

  • BTD or BTFD - Buy The Dip or Buy the F****** Dip (a trading strategy aimed at benefiting from a price increase after a recent downturn or dip)

  • STR or STFR - Sell The Rip or Sell The F****** Rip (the counter strategy to BTD/BTFD, aimed at benefiting from selling an asset after an upward movement and before a decline)

  • FUDster - A person who spreads FUD

  • ELI5 - Explain It Like I’m 5

  • TLT - Think Long Term

  • OCO - One Cancels the Other

  • AMA - Ask Me Anything

  • TOR - The Onion Router (the TOR network is a secure, encrypted protocol to ensure the privacy of data and communications on the web)

  • REKT - “Wrecked” (meaning major losses)

  • WHALE - Someone who owns a lot of coins and can deliberately sell holdings to push down prices to buy again more cheaply. For Bitcoin, anyone with more than 1000 BTC is generally considered a whale. Top 100 Bitcoin addresses (out of 800,000 active) held more than 20% of all BTC in mid-May 2021.

Do you know others?

Experts are still learning cryptos abbreviations because there are so many of them. In fact, we’re starting a series with this post.

Maybe you use some abbreviations that we don’t list here? Let us know and share them in the comments!