Top Crypto Slangs That You Should Know

First published
February 4, 2022
Last updated
February 4, 2022

Cryptocurrency has been creating much buzz, with banks and other traditional financial institutions exploring ways to integrate and support crypto assets. While many crypto enthusiasts and investors alike have begun parking their funds in crypto assets, engaging with a community that has invented a dictionary’s worth of crypto slangs may be a tough feat. Besides, no one wants the FOMO, right? 

So if crypto acronyms and phrases have been challenging to comprehend, here’s a crypto dictionary for you to decipher the slang, and help you get rid of that FOMO!


Altcoin aka alternative coins refers to any other cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. Some of the most popular Altcoins include Ethereum, Tether, Litecoin, and more.


Bagholder refers to investors who retain their assets despite the continuous decline in prices of cryptocurrencies. This is till the point when they are left with a bag full of worthless coins.


Defi aka Decentralised Finance refers to the blockchain-based form of finance that does not require a centralized platform to facilitate transactions but instead, utilizes smart contracts. 

Diamond Hands

Diamond hands are used to describe an investor who has high-risk tolerance and someone who never caves under pressure despite the high volatility of price movements.


Gas refers to the fee required to successfully perform a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain network.


ICO aka Initial Coin Offering is similar to IPO, which refers to the initial release of a new cryptocurrency. Essentially, it is a crowdfunding event to raise money for the new digital asset where the new cryptocurrency can be distributed through the blockchain. 


KYC aka Know Your Customer refers to the compliance process that requires users to submit personal information in order for the organization to verify users’ identity. 


Mooning refers to the increase in the price of the cryptocurrency till it reaches the moon. In simpler terms, when prices skyrocket.


NFTs aka Non-Fungible Tokens refers to collectible digital assets that carry a value that is unique and cannot be replaced. NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain where they have additional information stored, allowing the NFTs to come in the form of GIF, MP3, and JPG. It is also a digital certificate of ownership of the authentic collectibles ranging from artwork to digital sneakers.

Paper Hands

Paper hands is a term used to describe one who sells under pressure. In other words, this person would panic sell and exit the market in times of volatility. Paper is used as a word to describe such investors as they easily fold with the slightest pressure. 

Pump and Dump 

Pump and Dump is an illegal scheme where investors attempt to inflate the price of cryptocurrency through misleading information and false recommendations. 


Sats aka Satoshis refers to the smallest unit of Bitcoin available. It is named after Satoshi Nakamoto - a name used by the presumed pseudonymous person/persons who developed Bitcoin. One sat is equivalent to 0.00000001 BTC.


Shill refers to an act of a person who is enthusiastically promoting a cryptocurrency or crypto platform for personal gain. The motive is that when interest grows, people tend to hop onto the bandwagon. Thus, this increases the price of the coin. Some individuals promote crypto platforms for their own benefit through earning affiliate payouts. 


Shitcoin/Memecoin is a cryptocurrency that has little to no value. The price of such coins fluctuate based on speculations. Popular shitcoins include Dogecoin, Shiba Inu coin, and more

The Flippening

The Flippening refers to the future turning point when Altcoins become more valuable than Bitcoin and thus, replaces it - though this is yet to happen.


Whale is used to describe an individual or institution who holds large amounts of cryptocurrency such that they are powerful enough to manipulate the movement of cryptocurrency prices. 

Now that we’ve got some of the basic key slangs sorted, let’s look into these popular acronyms that are commonly used in the crypto space. 


ATH - All Time High refers to the highest value an investment product has ever reached in its history.

BTD - Buy The Dip refers to the purchase of coins when prices drop.

DYOR - Do Your Own Research refers to the need to perform your own due diligence as to which cryptocurrency or crypto platform is suited for you according to your risk appetite.

FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out refers to individuals who purchase cryptocurrency with the fear of losing out on the upsides when prices surge.

FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt is a strategy to induce negative perceptions of a certain cryptocurrency or crypto platform in the marketspace.

HODL - Hold On for Dear Life is used to encourage investors to hold onto their cryptocurrencies and not to sell them due to volatility in the market. 


These crypto slangs are commonly used terms in the crypto community and we hope this guide has helped you decrypt some of the more recurrent ones. From terms such as mooning to acronyms like FUD, there is a ton to familiarize yourself with, especially if you are just getting started in the crypto space.

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