Home / Money / Personal Finance /  Ten terms to know if you plan to invest in crypto markets

Before entering the cryptosphere, it is important to understand the common terminologies and abbreviations. If you don’t, the complex world of cryptocurrencies may be even more difficult to understand. Here are some terms that are popularly used in the cryptosphere.

HODL: No, I have not misspelt HOLD as HODL, but GameKyuubi, a cryptocurrency forum member, did. In 2013, at the Bitcoin Talk Forum, GameKyuubi misspelt, “I AM HODLING" instead of “I AM HOLDING". HODL now stands for “Hold on for Dear Life", which suggests that one is holding onto their cryptocurrencies despite the price dips.

Bitcoiner/altcoiner/nocoiner: These are basically tags for various types of cryptocurrency investors. A bitcoiner is someone who only invests in bitcoin, with little to no interest in other cryptocurrencies. An altcoiner is someone who loves exploring cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin and invests heavily in altcoins. As the name suggests, a nocoiner doesn’t hold any cryptocurrencies.

FUD: This stands for “fear, uncertainty and doubt". It is a market situation where a group of individuals spread misleading information about a specific crypto to evoke feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of others. They do so to pull down the value of a cryptocurrency and then benefit from it by buying it at a relatively low price.

ATH: Keeping track of ATH or “all-time high" will help you keep an eye on the price movement and performance of cryptocurrencies, which are very volatile in nature.

Private and public key: A private key is a code with a series of numbers and letters that acts like a password for you to access your digital assets. A public key is also a similar code, but it is a unique address where you get your cryptocurrencies. A public key and address is the same thing. A private key is not to be shared with anyone, while the public key must be shared with others.

Whales: This term refers to individuals with a significant share of specific cryptocurrencies. Just like how the ocean whale has the potential to make waves in the ocean, “whales" in the crypto market have the power to manipulate market prices because of the significant shares they hold.

Rekt: This is a short form for wrecked. Rekt means that a trader or investor has lost a substantial sum of money.

Fork: Cryptocurrencies are updated frequently, and with every update, we see a change in the protocol of a cryptocurrency, which is what you call a fork. Generally, there are two types of fork: hardfork and softfork. Hardforks are updates where newly introduced rules conflict with existing ones and thus aren’t compatible to operate together. This often leads to a blockchain split and the creation of two different coins. A softfork is when the update is aligned with the old rules, and the two can communicate with each other.

Airdrop: It is a marketing gimmick where a newly-launched cryptocurrency distributes its tokens for free or in exchange for a small fee. The purpose is to popularize the cryptocurrency.

Mooning: This is an expression to tell that cryptocurrency prices are skyrocketing.

As told to Neil Borate by Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO, Coinswitch Kuber


Neil Borate

Neil heads the personal finance team at Mint. A former colleague called them 'money nerds' and that's what they are. They cover topics like mutual funds, taxation and retirement, all to improve your chances of building wealth. Neil graduated with a degree in law and economics. He passed the CFA Level I exam and began his writing career at Value Research, a mutual fund research firm in 2016. He joined the personal finance team Mint in 2019. Everyday, the Mint Money Team tackles personal finance questions such as where to invest and where to borrow, through articles, charts and reader queries. They also have a daily podcast - 'Why Not Mint Money' and an annual ranking of mutual funds - the Mint 20.
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