Crypto culture can take a bit of getting used to. Fortunately, for those getting started, there’s an active community on social media and forums like Reddit. And many think these groups are part of the fun of crypto.
Indeed, cryptocurrency is a way of life for some people. Staunch Bitcoin believers see its decentralized ethos as the way of the future. Decentralizing money could cut the middleman (banks and governments) out of our finances. It could also change the lives of many people who currently can’t easily access basic financial services — known as unbanked and underbanked.
If you’re itching to join this community, you’ll need to know the difference between expressions like FUD and FOMO. Here are some phrases that will help you talk crypto with the best of them.
1. Hold On for Dear Life (HODL)
What started as a typo has become a rallying cry for crypto investors who don’t sell their assets. For example, I’m a HODLer: I don’t intend to sell my cryptocurrency for the next five or 10 years. Given the extreme volatility of crypto investments, HODLing is a good way to avoid panic-selling and focus on the long term.
2. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)
It’s hardly surprising that what some dub the wild west of investing has its own acronym for the whirlwind of nervousness and apprehension that can come with it. The fact is, this is such a new industry that we can’t be sure how it will pan out. This fuels constant rumors that the end is nigh — or that Bitcoin (BTC) is about to rebound to its all-time highs.
You’ll also see accusations that people are “spreading FUD.” The connotation here is that they are deliberately sharing false or misleading information to influence a coin’s price.
3. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
That anxiety you feel when a coin on your watchlist suddenly jumps in price and you wonder if you should buy it so you don’t miss out on any further gains? It has a name: FOMO. A lot of people who hadn’t bought crypto had a severe case of FOMO back in March when prices seemed to go nowhere but up.
FOMO was officially added to the Oxford dictionary in 2013 and applies outside the crypto world, too.
4. Going to the moon
Crypto investors hope their coins might go to the moon. It’s a stratospheric growth that sends the coin’s price off the charts — to the moon. Also known as mooning, you’ll often find the term in memes and Reddit forums.
5. Diamond hands or paper hands
Serious HODLers have diamond hands — referring to a diamond’s ability to withstand enormous pressure. People with diamond hands do not sell, no matter what. In contrast, if someone has paper hands, they sell at the first sign of trouble.
On forums, having paper hands is usually used as an insult. But the truth is that sometimes it does make sense to sell a bad investment, even if you’ve lost money. It all depends on your investment strategy and personal situation.
Cryptocurrency whales own enough of the currency to have an outsized influence on the price. Back in 2017, about 1,000 people owned 40% of all the Bitcoin in circulation. Many of these Bitcoin whales bought into crypto early. Famous whales include the Winklevoss twins, Tim Draper, and Michael Saylor.
Now you can talk the talk
Now that you’ve got the lingo down, you can venture forth on to crypto forums with your head held high. But there’s no point in talking the talk if you can’t walk the walk, which means you need to invest safely.
Cryptocurrencies are risky investments with the potential for dramatic losses as well as high rewards. As such, before you buy anything, make sure you’re covering your retirement savings and your emergency fund is topped up.
Use a reputable cryptocurrency exchange and research any coin you want to buy carefully. That will help you to avoid scams or unnecessary risks. With some practice, you’ll be HODLing with the best of them.
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Emma Newbery owns Bitcoin.
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