The rise of cryptocurrency birthed its own culture along with the creation of new slang words. Some of these terms were borrowed from the vocabulary of stock traders, while others were invented purely to describe the trials and tribulations associated with cryptocurrency trading.
Interdax created this guide to cryptocurrency slang so you can become wise to what experienced cryptocurrency traders are talking about:
ANN: announcement, mostly used as a flair on BitcoinTalk to announce new coins or projects.
Arbitrage: Buying and selling assets simultaneously in different markets or using different instruments to profit from price differences.
Ask: An order to sell bitcoin is known as an ask. The ask tells us that a trader wants to sell bitcoin at a particular price.
ATH: all-time high, refers to the maximum price reached for a cryptocurrency. It can be useful comparing how far away a cryptocurrency is from their ATH in percentage terms.
ATL: all-time low, refers to the lowest price reached for a cryptocurrency. It can be useful comparing how far away a cryptocurrency is from their ATL in percentage terms.
ASIC: Application Specific Integrated Circuit. In cryptocurrency, ASICs refer to mining machines that are more efficient and powerful than GPUs and CPUs.
Bagholder: Don’t get caught holding the bag. The bag in this case is a cryptocurrency and you’re a bagholder if you bought an altcoin in hopes of making a profit but the price has fallen instead of pumped and you’re now left with less fiat/bitcoin than you started with. You’re a bagholder until you can exit at (or better than) your entry price.
BB: Bollinger Bands, a technical indicator invented by John Bollinger.
Bearish: If a trader is bearish on a cryptocurrency, they believe the price will fall over time.
Breakout: When the price of an asset moves outside of a defined support or resistance with volume.
Bid: An order to buy bitcoin is known as a bid. The bid tells us that a trader wants to buy bitcoin at a particular price.
BTFD: Buy The Fucking Dip. Rallying motto amongst bitcoiners when the price falls to encourage people to buy bitcoin.
Bullish: If a trader is bullish on a cryptocurrency, they believe the price will rise over time.
Buy Wall/Sell Wall: A buy (or sell) wall may be genuine, but it is often faked to manipulate the market. For instance, a fake buy wall is an attempt to push the price up, forcing other buyers to push their orders higher as well.
Coin: another word for cryptocurrency, digital asset or crypto-coin.
C&H: Cup and Handle, a technical chart pattern.
Darth Maul: a candlestick with long upper and lower wicks, named after its similarity to Darth Maul's lightsaber in The Phantom Menace.
Derivative: A tradeable contract that tracks the price of the underlying asset. For example, Interdax's BTC-PERP bitcoin perpetual contract is a derivative.
DCA: Dollar Cost Averaging refers to using a fixed amount every week/month/etc. to buy an asset, e.g. bitcoin. As the price changes every week/month, your entry price will be averaged for each individual purchase.
Dildo: candlestick with a large body. A green Dildo refers to a large green candlestick.
DYOR: Do Your Own Research, as a cryptocurrency trader you should never base your decisions on what other people say or think. Most cryptocurrency traders or analysts on social media aren’t financial advisors and is why they may tell you to ‘DYOR’.
Eiffel Tower: Used to deescribe a chart usually associated with Pump 'n' Dumps. A large price increase followed but a similarly large price decrease.
EW: Elliot Wave, a technical analysis tool that is used to trade the markets based on waves.
Exit Scam: Where a cryptocurrency service (such as an exchange, P2P market, etc.) stops operation and exits the market with other people’s money.
FA: Fundamental analysis refers to analysis of an asset’s intrinsic value and looking at the factors of supply and demand.
Fib: refers to Fibonacci, mainly used to describe Fibonacci retracement or extension levels.
FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out, refers to when traders buy near highs or sell near lows and ultimately let their emotions get the better of them.
FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Rumours, false accusations and fake news that are meant to discredit someone or manipulate the market are all examples of ‘FUD’.
Halving: The block reward halving happens roughly every four years in bitcoin and is known as the halving or the halvening.
H&S: a technical chart pattern known as the Head & Shoulders (also the inverse Head & Shoulders).
HODL: A meme in the Bitcoin world. Hodl is a misspelling of hold and means to keep bitcoin for the long-term instead of actively trading bitcoin.
ICO: Initial Coin Offering, a bit like an initial public offering but for the creation of a new cryptocurrency.
IEO: Initial Exchange Offering, like an ICO but the fundraising and token distribution is done by a cryptocurrency exchange.
KYC: Know Your Customer refers to the identity verification procedure that some cryptocurrency exchanges implement.
OTC: Over The Counter, refers to the Over The Counter market where bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are traded off exchanges and do not move the market price, allowing investors to buy large amounts without slippage.
PnD: Pump and Dump, when an asset is manipulated higher before traders dump it and take their profits. PnDs are often executed in trading groups on Telegram and Discord.
Large-caps: The largest cryptocurrencies by network value are referred to as ‘large-caps’.
Liquidity: a term usde to describe an asset that can be bought or sold in large quantitives without affecting its price. Volume, the bid-ask spread and order book depth are the main metrics that measure liquidity.
Low-caps: The smallest cryptocurrencies by network value are referred to as ‘low-caps’.
MA: Moving average. Traders may also refer to the SMA (simple moving average) or EMA (exponential moving average).
MCap: Market cap or market capitalisation, which is the number of coins circulating times by the price of one unit. Also known as market value or network value.
Mid-caps: cryptocurrencies that have a modest market capitalisation but are not amongst the largest (or the smallest) coins in terms of network value.
Moon: Refers to the price of a cryptocurrency going parabolic. ‘To the moon’ is uttered by traders who think a particular cryptocurrency will display strength and be very profitable.
NoCoiner: Someone who doesn’t believe in cryptocurrency and/or holds no cryptocurrency assets.
PA: price action, refers to how the price of a cryptocurrency has behaved.
Rekt: slang version of ‘wrecked’, someone who is in a losing trade and their position gets liquidated.
ROI: Return on Investment, refers to the profits made from a trade as a percentage of the capital used to make the trade.
Rich List: Block explorers provide data on the top 100 addresses in terms of the amount of cryptocurrency held and is known as a rich list.
Satoshis (or 'sats'): the smallest unit of bitcoin. There are 100 million satoshis in 1 bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are priced in sats as well as US Dollars, Japanese Yen, etc.
Scalper: a trader that enters and exits positions quickly, usually within the same day or hour.
Shill: someone who lies or defrauds people because they have a financial incentive. For example, people often ‘shill their bags’ and give a positive assessment of a cryptocurrency because they hold a substantial position in it.
Spot: Buying an asset through spot markets means you are taking physical ownership of the underlying asset (unlike derivatives) and trades are completed immediately.
Spread: The difference between the ask and the bid. A high spread means it is more costly to trade while lower spreads are more efficient for traders. It is often used as a measure of liquidity in the market.
SL: Stop loss, a stop order that determines the amount of risk a trader takes on. When entering a position, you should have a stop loss set in case the market changes direction and your trade doesn't go to plan.
TA: Technical analysis, the study of price action and historical price behaviour to uncover trends and predict the future path of prices.
Token: a utility or asset that is usually issued on an existing blockchain.
TP: Take profit, an order that determines the amount of profit a trader anticipates to make. When entering a position, you should have an order set up to act as a take profit level so you automatically close the trade once the TP level is hit. Setting a TP level also reduces the level monitoring needed for your position.
Tx: short for transaction.
Whale: someone with a very large holding of cryptocurrency and can potentially influence the price due to the large quantity of a coin at their disposal. 'BearWhale' refers to a whale who is pushing prices lower while a 'BullWhale' is a whale that is pushing prices higher.