If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is a rug pull?” or are perplexed by acronyms like NGMI, IYKYK, and BTD — you’re not alone. Keep reading as we round up some of the most common and bizarre crypto slang terms to help you keep up. WAGMI! (You’ll understand soon.)
28 Popular Crypto Slang Terms
Ape or apeing is when someone buys a token or NFT shortly after it launches without previously conducting proper research.
Bagholder describes a person who holds onto their assets despite a continuous decrease in their value. They may hold their position even when an asset’s value crashes to essentially zero, usually out of hope that its price will eventually bounce back (or simply out of fear of losing).
As the name suggests, Bitcoin Maximalists believe that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency of value and the only digital asset worth supporting.
BTD is a phrase used to encourage buying an asset at a low market price. The acronym stands for ‘buy the dip’, meaning to take advantage of the opportunity to lock in more crypto at a discounted price. The idea is that the price will eventually bounce back and more than likely increase in value.
Cryptojacking is a type of cybercrime whereby a hacker co-opts an unsuspecting victim’s computing power to secretly mine cryptocurrency on the hacker’s behalf. Also referred to as ‘malicious cryptomining’, cryptojacking became a widespread problem during the 2017 crypto boom when Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ prices skyrocketed.
Cryptosis refers to someone who strives to absorb every bit of information about crypto and won’t stop talking about it.
💎🙌 Diamond Hands/Paper Hands
Diamond hands and paper hands are terms used to describe the risk appetite of traders.
- A trader with diamond hands will hold on until the bitter end — regardless of market conditions. The term signifies a high appetite for risk. Traders with diamond hands don’t cave in and sell their tokens until the tokens have reached their full potential in the trader’s eyes
- In contrast, a trader with paper hands will sell their position at the first sign of trouble. In short, they panic sell. Traders with paper hands typically have a low-risk tolerance for high-volatility tokens and tend to exit their positions early in order to prevent losses
While diamond hands is a trading ethos commonly identified in long-term market participants, paper hands is an ethos more apparent amongst swing traders and day traders.
Diamond hands was an Easter Egg in our first film. Can you find it?
DYOR stands for ‘do your own research.’ In crypto, it’s commonly used to remind investors to vet a project before investing.
The term flippening was conceived in 2017 to describe a potential flip in the largest cryptocurrency. Specifically, it refers to a theoretical event where Ethereum (ETH) overtakes Bitcoin (BTC) as the leading cryptocurrency in terms of total market capitalisation (the total number of tokens in circulation multiplied by the value of 1 token).
The related flappening is a term coined by Charlie Lee in 2018 to describe Litecoin (LTC) surpassing Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in market capitalisation.
Short for ‘fear of missing out’, in crypto, FOMO refers to a trader’s or investor’s fear that they may be missing out on a potentially lucrative opportunity. It was a major driving force behind the rapid rise and fall of Bitcoin’s price in 2017.
This fear can drive individuals to act impulsively and make investment decisions based on emotion, rather than logic and reasoning. FOMO can strongly impact cryptocurrency prices and cause major volatility in crypto markets. It can also lead investors to incur far greater financial losses.
FUD is a marketing and communications term that stands for ‘fear, uncertainty, and doubt’. It is a psychological tactic used to influence people towards having a negative perception of something — such as a product, market, or brand — generally through spreading misinformation or inciting fear.
In crypto, FUD usually falls into two categories:
- The deliberate attempt to stoke widespread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about a particular project so as to manipulate prices downward
- General scepticism about crypto as an asset class that can result in the spreading of exaggerated negativity or ‘fake news’ on the topic
FUD — whether deliberate or not — can affect the market value of a coin, a company, or a project — and even an entire market. It can be thought of as the opposite of FOMO. When markets are rising, individuals may give into feelings of FOMO; when markets are cooling, FUD can spread more easily.
The acronym GM stands for ‘Good Morning’. In crypto, it is used to promote positivity, greet others, and build camaraderie online. Members of the Twitter community, in particular, regularly start off their day with a GM tweet, with followers often tweeting back with a GM reply.
An abbreviation for ‘hold on for dear life,’ the term HODL actually derived from a misspelling of ‘hold’, which has stuck around and now means ‘keep’. It refers to a buy-and-hold strategy. As such, a crypto trader who buys a coin and does not plan on selling it in the foreseeable future is called a ‘hodler’ of the coin.
The term originated from a 2013 online post to the Bitcointalk forum, where the typo first appeared. Essentially, the goal of a hodler is to weather the various ups and downs of the market with an eye towards long-term gains.
Short-term market movements will not sway a hodler, nor even if entire markets crash or become seriously volatile. Instead, hodlers will hold their positions regardless of price out of confidence in the long-term value of crypto.
IYKYK is short for ‘if you know, you know.’ It implies that a post or message will only make sense to a select few people. The acronym can also be used ironically to mock someone sharing commonly known information.
LFG is short for ‘let’s f–ing go!’ and is used to express excitement about a project.
Used to describe a cryptocurrency that is projected as having a strong upward market trend; when a cryptocurrency is mooning, it means its price is skyrocketing so high that it’s figuratively going to the moon. This event can be used by investors attempting to determine the best time to sell their cryptocurrency in order to get the best possible price for it.
Examples of phrases you might stumble across include:
- ‘Ethereum is going to the moon’ (the price of Ethereum is soaring)
- ‘When moon?’ (when is the best time to sell before prices start to fall?)
- ‘Prices are mooning’ (prices are going through the roof)
People who are overly enthusiastic about a coin’s prospects are labelled as moonbois or moonboys.
NGMI stands for ‘not gonna make it.’ In crypto, it is often used as a prediction of future failure as the result of a poor decision (such as selling the bottom despite all market indications that a token’s value is on an upward trend). It can also be used as a label to ridicule people who have taken a stance against crypto or who fail to understand basic crypto concepts.
WAGMI, on the other hand, stands for ‘we’re all gonna make it.’ The acronym is widely used by the crypto community to inspire both positivity and confidence in a project. It is also used to encourage the community to support each other and not to lose hope.
No-coiner is a derogatory term for someone who is highly critical of crypto and believes that cryptocurrencies have little to no value. No-coiners feel that crypto is guaranteed to fail, and consequently do not hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or any other digital currency in their portfolio.
A person with a traditional mindset and little or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies.
Pump and Dump
A type of scam, pump-and-dump schemes involve artificially inflating the price of an asset through false or misleading positive information. Typically, a group of people will buy large quantities of a particular asset at a low price all at once, driving up the demand and price of the respective asset.
This sudden rise in price will then prompt others to jump in and buy too, and the original group will then sell (dump) the assets to turn a quick profit, leaving those who bought late often incurring heavy losses.
Crypto slang for wrecked, rekt is what happens when a trader experiences severe financial loss due to a bad trade or investment.
A type of crypto scam, a rug pull is when a development team abandons a project before it is completed — draining all assets and leaving investors with a worthless currency. It gets its name from the expression ‘pulling the rug out from under someone.’ Victims who were scammed will say they ‘got rugged.’
Sats is short for Satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin (BTC), named after the elusive creator of the coin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Just like fiat currency, cryptocurrencies can also be divided into smaller units. As such, it’s helpful to think of Sats as you would cents to a dollar. Whereas 1 dollar equals 100 cents, 1 Bitcoin equals 100 million Satoshis.
Shilling is when someone with a vested interest promotes a particular cryptocurrency in order to create excitement and entice potential investors to buy. Individuals who are paid to promote a certain coin or token may also be considered shillers.
Vaporware refers to a blockchain or software project that is still a concept and does not yet have a working product. A vaporware project may be promoted for months or even years before being made available to the public. In some cases, it may never even be developed.
Weak hands describe someone who sells their cryptocurrency at the first sign of falling prices. Those with weak hands usually lack conviction in their strategies and are easily spooked by negative news or price action of an asset.
A whale refers to a person or entity owning large amounts of a certain cryptocurrency. While there is no official threshold to be considered a whale, the number of coins or tokens held needs to be significant enough to have an impact on market prices should holders buy or sell. Essentially, they have enough funds to manipulate the market.
Due to the size of their orders, a whale’s transactions may create a temporary increase in volatility, especially in assets with low liquidity. Consequently, investors like to keep track of known whales in the industry to prepare for when they make a move.
The related term bear whale describes a whale trader who is bearish on the market and believes prices will fall.
‘When Lambo?,’ also often spelled as ‘Wen Lambo?’, translates to ‘When will you buy a Lamborghini?’ It’s used ironically to mock people who are focusing only on a coin’s price.
In the early days of crypto, many wealthy cryptocurrency investors purchased Lamborghinis as a status symbol to prove their success in the market. Following that, Lamborghinis became synonymous with a crypto’s success, with many people in the community using the crypto slang phrase ‘When Lambo?’ to ask when a crypto investment will be worth enough to buy a Lamborghini.
Due Diligence and Do Your Own Research
All examples listed in this article are for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by Crypto.com to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Returns on the buying and selling of crypto assets may be subject to tax, including capital gains tax, in your jurisdiction.
Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a crypto asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility.