Crypto Slang: A Guide to Crypto Terms and Jargon

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Cryptocurrency is still a new technology that has quickly impacted the financial sector. For example, as of 2022, at least 21% of US adults had owned cryptocurrency.

However, as with any advancing technology, crypto has introduced many new terms and phrases, each with a nuanced meaning that can perplex the average person. For beginners, understanding the subtle phrases and acronyms that make up crypto slang can be beneficial in making wise investment decisions. 

If you’re confused about terms like NGMI, IYKYK, and BTD, don’t worry; this article will help you understand the most common and unusual crypto slang terms.

Crypto for Beginners: What to Know

New to investing in cryptocurrency? Before we can talk about slang and other necessary terms to know, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of what crypto is and how investors make money by buying and selling these digital currencies.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is secured using cryptographic techniques. It is used as a medium of exchange and can be transferred between individuals without intermediaries like banks. 

As a beginner, you should consider a few things before investing in cryptocurrency.

Firstly, educating yourself about the different types of cryptocurrencies available in the market is important. Each cryptocurrency has its unique features, benefits, and risks. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Dogecoin

Additionally, it’s essential to consider the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market. Preparing for price fluctuations and extreme ups and downs in crypto-asset values is necessary. Really, it’s important to invest only what you can afford to lose.

You can start your journey in cryptocurrency by opening an account on a cryptocurrency exchange platform like Coinbase, Kraken, or Binance. This will allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies easily. You should also secure your coins using a digital wallet.

What Is Crypto Slang?

Crypto slang refers to the unique language and jargon used by those involved in the cryptocurrency world. This includes acronyms such as HODL and FOMO and terms like “whale” and “moonshot.”

Understanding this language is important for anyone considering investing in cryptocurrency as it allows them to communicate better with others in the community and understand industry news and trends.

Beyond practical value, crypto acronyms and crypto language, in general, are also part of the culture of the cryptocurrency community. 

Knowing these terms can help an individual fit in with the community and become more immersed in its activities. It can also show others that you take the industry seriously and are invested in its future. Plus, most crypto slang is just plain fun to use.

Crypto Glossary: 15 Terms to Know

After entering the crypto world, it might seem like you need a dictionary just for investing. Yep, we know the terms can be overwhelming, even for experienced investors. However, understanding these terms is crucial to success in the market. Keep scrolling for a breakdown of 15 popular crypto slang words.

Crypto Slippage

Whew. This is a dense one. And it’s not really “slang.” Instead, it’s a hot term you need to know if you plan on investing, especially in a particularly volatile market.

If you need crypto slippage explained, we suggest first understanding what slippage is. It’s the variance between the price at which a trade is anticipated and the eventual execution price.

In the case of cryptocurrency, you can calculate the degree of slippage as a percentage relative to the initial expected price of an asset. A few things influence this percentage, including the following:

  • Market conditions
  • Trade volume and activity

This is why an effective market analysis is so important. Making timely trading decisions pays off. Basically, due to the unpredictable nature of cryptocurrencies, slippage rates can vary significantly and have substantial consequences for traders.


Vaporware is a term used to describe a project, software, or blockchain which has been announced or promoted to the public but has not yet been developed or released. Typically, such projects remain in the planning stages for long periods before release and may never be released at all in some cases.

When you use it as slang, you’re describing something hyped up but will likely never see the light of day. So, it’s another way to sort of say that something is all talk but no show. However, sometimes you might use it simply to describe a project that is still in its early stages and doesn’t have a working product just yet.


Cryptosis describes an individual who has an insatiable appetite for knowledge about cryptocurrency. They probably obsessively talk about it nonstop. The afflicted person eagerly absorbs any information related to cryptocurrency with an unquenchable thirst to learn more.

In slang terms, it’s almost like a “condition.” As in, “He has cryptosis. He just can’t stop thinking about cryptocurrency.”

Crypto Shilling

Shilling involves using exaggerated or false narratives to promote a low-quality investment, product, or service for a financial incentive. This form of propaganda is often associated with pump-and-dump schemes and carries a negative connotation. 

Shilling may also involve:

  • An influencer promoting a cryptocurrency or service in exchange for payment
  • A cryptocurrency project developer promoting their project to boost its user base
  • An investor promoting an underperforming cryptocurrency in hopes of selling it at a higher price for a profit

Any way you use the term, it’s usually negative.

Pump and Dump

Pump-and-dump is a fraudulent tactic commonly used in the digital financial market. The fraudsters involved in this scheme artificially inflate the price of a particular asset by spreading false or misleading positive information.

In short, it’s not good at all, and it’s annoying for serious investors.

This group of people will buy a large quantity of the assets at a low price, causing a surge in demand and resulting in a high price. Consequently, other unsuspecting investors will buy into the asset, and the original group will sell their shares (dump them) at a high price, making a profit. Unfortunately, those that bought in late are left with an expensive asset and a potential loss.


HODL is a crypto acronym that means “hold on for dear life.” Most people started using it in 2013 when Bitcoin was going through a period of instability. In an online Bitcoin forum, an investor expressed concerns regarding trading when the market value fluctuates sharply. 

Instead, the person suggested buying and holding the investment in their crypto wallet. So basically, his recommendation was to “hold on for dear life.” Today, HODL is a crypto meme widely used during price rallies, where investors encourage each other to stick to their investments regardless of price swings.


FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) refers to intentionally creating an atmosphere of negative emotions, such as fear, uncertainty, and doubt, around a certain digital asset. In the world of cryptocurrencies, FUD is often used as a psychological tactic to prevent people from buying or to provoke them into selling or shorting a particular asset.

The main goal of spreading FUD is to lower the price of an asset so that the person spreading the FUD can purchase it at a lower price. Some people also use the tactic to cause financial distress to those who hold certain coins as part of a competing cryptocurrency project.

You’ll see investors spreading FUD in many ways, including:

  • Spreading rumors about questionable project leadership
  • Proclaiming poor fundamentals
  • Offering unclear roadmaps
  • Stagnant or bearish price movement
  • Low adoption rates

In some cases, you might even see restrictions in certain countries preventing asset transactions.

Bag Holder

The term “bag holder” refers to individuals who persist in retaining their assets despite declining value. Even if an asset’s value plummets to almost nothing, a bag holder will usually stay put out of a desperate belief that its worth may recover one day.

In some cases, they don’t sell simply out of fear of further losses. Regardless, they’re still holding on to that proverbial bag of cash!


Flappening is a term that was created in 2018 by Charlie Lee. The term refers to a hypothetical occurrence where Litecoin (LTC) goes ahead of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in total market capitalization. Total market capitalization is the calculated value of the number of tokens available in circulation multiplied by the worth of one token.

Why use the word flappening instead of…any other word in the dictionary? It’s based on another crypto slang term, flippening. Flippening is a hypothetical future where Ethereum (ETH) takes over Bitcoin. So, they’re quite similar.


No-coiner describes someone highly skeptical about cryptocurrencies. In most cases, a no-coiner believes cryptocurrencies have little to no value. These individuals often have a negative view of crypto and refuse to invest in assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or any other digital currency. They may also believe that cryptocurrency is destined for failure.


Mooning is a term used in cryptocurrency to describe a significant upward trend in the market. It signifies that the price of a particular cryptocurrency is soaring to unprecedented heights, reaching stratospheric levels. 

The phrase “going to the moon” is often used figuratively to describe this phenomenon. Investors frequently use this event to determine the optimal time to sell their cryptocurrency to obtain the highest possible price. 

The term is also related to “moonbois” or “moonboys.” These terms are labels assigned to individuals overly enthusiastic about a specific coin’s prospects. 


The term is spelled intentionally wrong as a variation of “wrecked.” Digital investors have changed the conventional spelling to give it a unique twist.

Rekt is a term coined by the crypto community to refer to an investor’s financial downfall resulting from a poorly performing portfolio or investment. It’s a slang expression commonly used in social media posts to express the liquidation of overleveraged positions and substantial financial losses. 

Basically, it means you’ve “wrecked” your finances or investment portfolio with a big loss or another type of negative investing decision.


Satoshis, commonly known as Sats, are the elementary units of Bitcoin, named in honor of the mysterious inventor of the cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Like physical money, digital coins can be broken down into smaller denominations. Hence, it makes sense to understand Sats as parallel to cents to a dollar. For instance, while 100 cents are equivalent to 1 dollar, 100,000,000 Satoshis represent 1 Bitcoin.

People in the cryptocurrency community refer to these as Sats simply because it’s easier (and slightly cooler) to say.


BTD, a popular phrase in financial markets, refers to buying an asset during a temporary dip in its price. Literally, the acronym stands for Buy The Dip.

This approach is commonly used in bullish markets to capitalize on positive sentiment and increase prices. Still, it can also be employed during crypto bear markets when an asset reaches good historical value for a longer-term investment window. BTFD is a more enthusiastic version of BTD and is often used during extremely bullish rallies.

Whale Trader

The term “whale trader” refers to an individual or a group that possesses a significant amount of a particular cryptocurrency. These holders can impact the market by purchasing or selling their coins or tokens, although there is no specific threshold to classify a person as a crypto whale. 

Their transactions can cause temporary volatility, especially if their chosen asset has low liquidity. Therefore, traders and investors closely monitor the movements of the known crypto whales in anticipation of their next moves.

Does Crypto Slang Impact Investing?

So, does crypto lingo impact your profits? Nope. Is it nice to know? Sure.

When entering the cryptocurrency world, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the jargon and slang associated with the market. While it might be nice to understand the ins and outs of the terms, crypto slang isn’t likely to significantly impact your investing strategy. 

As with any investment opportunity, conducting thorough research and seeking credible information from reputable sources is important. This will allow you to make informed decisions based on market trends and data that are less reliant on the latest trending crypto slang terms.

Learn More About Investing

Crypto slang and other crypto terms are nice to know. However, even though it’s nice to be in the know, you should focus on solid research-backed decisions. We can help you with that.

To help you learn more about how to invest in everything from cryptocurrency to real estate and more, read through all of our helpful investing articles. 

Also read: Launching a Crypto Exchange business – a Step by Step Guide



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