If you are interested in investing in cryptocurrency, you may have some slang and industry jargon to contend with. Do you know what it means to be a Bitcoin maximalist? How a “fork” works? You may have to contend with FOMO and learn how to calculate gas fees. If none of that made any sense at all (or some of it), keep reading–you need to be up to speed on certain terms and acronyms to make informed choices about some aspects of investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other virtual currencies.
Learn common NFT and crypto slang, terms, acronyms and definitions before investing or navigating the Crypto Twitter (CT) space.
Cryptocurrency Slang, Jargon & Definition List
51% Attack is the event in which a single entity is able to obtain control of the majority of a network’s hash rate.
Addy is a shortened version of “address” usually meaning a public key or address of a crypto wallet.
Air Drop refers to the distribution of cryptocurrency or NFTs to the public typically holding a certain other token, specified action or simply by holding an active wallet address on a particular blockchain.
Alpha is early investment advice or information that puts you ahead of the game.
Altcoin is used by some to refer to any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.
AMA (Ask Me Anything) refers to a type of informal interview in which the interviewee opens the floor to a community, allowing the audience to ask them whatever they want to know. AMAs are usually conducted online on various social media sites, where questions can be submitted easily via comments.
AML (Anti-Money Laundering) are rules and regulations aimed at ending market manipulation and other ways of obtaining funds illegally. KYC (see below) is often required due to AML laws.
Automated Market Maker (AMM) is an autonomous trading mechanisms that eliminate the need for centralized exchanges and related market-making techniques. It facilitates the process required to provide liquidity for trading pairs on centralized exchanges.
Anon is short for anonymous and means an unknown person or people. In crypto this can mean a person or people who are anonymous within their their online social community. The term is often used to address everybody in a community or to discredit a person, without any social media credentials, who makes claims or predictions, issues opinions or criticizes people with social media credentials.
Apeing is when a person buys an NFT or token soon after launch without much research.
ATH (All-Time High) is highest price (or market cap) that an asset has reached since its listing or inception.
ATL (All-Time Low) conversely is the lowest price (or market cap) that an asset has reached since its listing or inception.
Bagholder is used to describe someone who has been left “holding the bag” with crypto that has lost value.
Bear is crypto pessimism or skepticism that can describe an individual or a market. Someone who believes a market is about to drop. A Bear Market is a market which is experiencing falling prices.
Bear Trap is when an asset’s performance inaccurately indicates a decline in price. But instead of declining, the asset typically stays flat or begins to recover.
BearWhale is a derivative term of Whale (see below). A BearWhale is a giant trader who believes that prices will fall. Because of this, they try to unload many bitcoins at the same time.
Bitcoin Maximalist is used to refer to those who are essentially Bitcoin loyalists–some descriptions of this slang include the notion that a Bitcoin Maximalist doesn’t view other digital currencies as having the same, or any value at all.
Bitcoin Pizza is the first known Bitcoin purchase ever. At the time this pizza was bought for 10.000 bitcoins, which would be worth a fortune today.
Bitshaming is when a HODLer is mocked by another HODLer for not having a massive value in Bitcoin yet.
Blockchain is described by some sources as a “digital ledger” of verified crypto transactions.
Blocks are part of a larger blockchain. The individual blocks carry transaction data.
Bounty/Bug Bounty is a reward offered to anyone that can find security vulnerabilities report to the owner of the software before they can be exploited by a nefarious actor. In crypto, bug bounties are often offered by cryptocurrency businesses such as protocols, exchanges, and wallet operators.
BTD (Buy the Dip) is a basic investment strategy that can mean to average in as a token goes down and/or buy after it settles in anticipation of a temporary dip and future price increase.
BTFD (Buy The (effing) Dip) a more emphatic Buy the Dip and is commonly heard on crypto Twitter when someone is enthusiastic about the opportunity when the volatile crypto market (or a coin) dips in value. The second U.S.-listed fund linked to a digital asset even changed their #Bitcoin futures ETF ticker symbol to $BTFD from $BTF.
BUIDL is to build useful stuff, when crypto is dipping, building useful stuff proves that it’s still valuable.
Bull can describe a market (a Bull Market) or a type of investor (a Bull Investor) in crypto slang. A Bull Investor is someone who predicts a market’s upswing and reacts accordingly. A Bull Market is one in which investors are acting in this manner.
CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) is the fully digital form of fiat money. This type of currency would be created by a centralized authority like a central bank or a monetary authority.
Circulating Supply is the total number of freely tradable coins of a cryptocurrency or token.
Corn is a loving nickname for Bitcoin.
Cold Wallet/Cold Storage is a secure method of storing your cryptocurrency completely offline. Many cold wallets (also called hardware wallets) are physical devices that look similar to a USB drive.
Crabbing or Crab Market is when the market is choppy, moves sideways or just crabbing along. It is similar to a bull or bear market except that instead of going up or down it goes sideways in price action.
Cryptosis or OCD (Obsessive Crypto Disorder) refers to a need to absorb as much information about crypto and trading it as possible.
Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone’s computer to mine cryptocurrency.
CT (Crypto Twitter) is the crypto community on Twitter for those looking to keep abreast of crypto news. There are many popular crypto Twitter accounts that the community as a whole commonly follows.
Cypherpunk is someone who is very invested in crypto, and are often activists who advocate for cryptocurrency.
DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is a decentralized organization that operates via the autonomous (self-governing) execution of smart contracts.
dApps or “decentralized app” is slang for anything that can be used as an application for crypto including games, social media, etc.
Dead Cat Bounce is a term used in finance and now also in the crypto markets. It refers to a brief price recovery before a major crash.
Decentralization is the elimination of dependence from a centralized authority.
Decentralized Application (Dapp) is peer-to-peer (P2P) decentralized network application that operates on open-sourced code.
Decoupling is when the price of one asset ‘decouples’ and no longer moves in lock-step or heavily correlated with another asset. The pattern has been broken. This effect can either be short term or long. For example, cryptocurrency typically moves in lock-step with the stock market but there are times when it ‘decouples’ or follows a different pattern.
DeFi or Decentralized Finance. The concept that the trading process itself is decentralized and not just the currency. This type of trading ideally cuts out third parties and goes from seller to buyer.
Degen/Degen Trader (aka degenerate/gambler) is someone who gambles and/or takes extreme risks and scraps through projects for quick profits.
Diamond Hands refers to HODLers who are not deterred by swings in price or any other signs of trouble for their investment.
Digital Gold compares specific cryptocurrencies to real gold based on the way it can store and increase in value. Bitcoin is commonly referred to as digital gold.
Double Spend is when someone keeps digital currency while giving a copy of it someone else. Transaction confirmations, stored on the blockchain, keep people from double spending crypto.
Dox (also Doxxed) is usually defined as publicizing someone’s private information without consent. In crypto, this can mean the same but it can also mean people who choose to dox themselves often to add legitimacy to a project someone is involved in. Doxxing someone in crypto is controversial because there are valid reasons to stay anonymous e.g. hacker targets, even if there is nothing to hide. The premise of crypto is also that people should be able to remain anonymous.
DYOR (Do Your Own Research) is advice to do research studying websites, Reddit, forums, and more before making an investment. Usually this is stated right after someone gives their opinion on a token or project.
Dust is a small amount of cryptocurrency that effectively gets stuck in a wallet. This happens if you don’t have enough to meet minimum requirements to trade it on a crypto exchange. Or, the dust might be worth less than you’d have to pay in fees to transfer or use it.
Exit Scam is when the creators/promoters of a cryptocurrency disappear with investors’ money after an ICO/IDO.
Fanboy or Fanboi is a term to describe an obsessive (male) fan of something, like cryptocurrency for example. In the crypto space, most coins have chat groups on Telegram or Discord, where this term is often used.
Farming-as-a-Service (FaaS) is yield farming done for you. By owning a FaaS token or NFT you own part of the treasury that a team uses to gain yield in various cross-chain DeFi protocols and to pay dividends based on farming profits.
Farming (aka Yield Farming) is staking your coins for a particular period of time while you receive rewards or interest for doing so, usually on DEFI.
Faucet is an app or a website that distributes small amounts of cryptocurrencies as a reward for completing easy tasks. Some faucets are free and gives users a small amount of cryptocurrency in order to transact once they bridge over to a new blockchain but didn’t bridge with the native currency.
Fiat or fiat currency is the term for currency with actual value behind it. Cryptocurrency is NOT fiat currency as it has no inherent value.
Flippening is a reference to “the day when” or the process of Ethereum rising above Bitcoin in marketplace dominance. This has not happened at press time and is a speculative term.
Floor is the lowest price available for an NFT in a collection, the minimum amount to buy one.
FOMO or “fear of missing out”. An emotional state that drives some to make crypto investments or divestments based on emotion rather than pragmatic thinking.
Fork is a term used in a similar way as it is used in the video gaming industry–a fork is used to describe a situation where cryptocurrency (or a blockchain-based network) divides into separate concerns or projects. A hard fork may result in two new projects from a former single project. A soft fork may not result in both entities surviving the split.
FREN is crypto slang for friend.
FTW (For The Win) is used especially to express approval or support.
FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) is related to FOMO, and stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
Fudders are bitcoin traders who believe bitcoin prices will fall. In other words, they will buy bitcoin, so its value decreases.
Fully Diluted refers to fully diluted market cap. This is the market cap of a coin based on its total supply instead of the circulating supply. This is an important metric for investors to compare coins and help with the decision if it’s overvalued or undervalued.
FWIW (For What It’s Worth) is enough of an explanation.
Gas is shorthand for how to measure the level of computing power needed to perform a cryptocurrency transaction on the Etheruem blockchain. Gas fees are levied for these transactions which is one way that crypto exchanges stay in business.
Genesis Block is the first block mined in a cryptocurrency’s blockchain. It’s the crypto equivalent of a birthday. Bitcoin’s genesis block was created on January 3, 2009.
GM (Good Morning)/GN (Good Night) is a social media trend and a way of spreading positivity and wishing others a good morning or good night.
Goblin Town is a reference to the song “Down Down to Goblin Town” from the 1977 movie The Hobbit. In crypto terms going to Goblin Town means the market (or specific coins) are going down significantly and liquidity, buy volume, and speculation have dried up.
Goblins stay on the sidelines, aka underground, by changing crypto holdings to fiat or stablecoins and wait for a better price to buy back. This can be known as having goblin hands as well.
Goblish is the language of the goblins. Originated from the NFT project goblintown.wtf where the creators starting speaking Goblish on Twitter and then eventually goblintown.wtf hosted a Twitter Spaces where everyone spoke in Goblish.
GWEI is the denomination of ETH that gas is paid in. Each Gwei is 0.000000001 ETH.
Hash is output data that is the result of using a hash function. With regards to blockchain, the output data is the result of using a deterministic hash function; a function that ensures the same input data will always result in the same output data.
Halving is a reference to a situation where Bitcoin mining rewards get cut in half after a certain number of blocks are mined. This is a practice designed to prevent the number of Bitcoins in circulation from rising too high.
Hash Rate is how computing/processing power is measured when used to perform crypto mining. The higher the hash rate, the better the network.
Hodl grew out of an excited mis-typing, according to legend. Today it refers to what Bitcoin loyalists say to one another in slang as a commitment to stay with Bitcoin even through adversity or major losses in value. It’s a term identified by some as being an indicator that the user is a Bitcoin loyalist or maximalist.
Hopium is created from the words hope and opium. In the cryptocurrency world, this is used on social media in relation to people who are very positive about the market or a specific coin and keeps holding on to their positions.
Hot Wallet is software-based cryptocurrency wallet connected to the Internet. While more convenient for quickly accessing your crypto, these wallets are more susceptible to hacking and cybersecurity attacks than offline/cold wallets.
Hyperbitcoinization is the theory, also known as H-theory, that Bitcoin will replace all currencies and become the world’s dominant currency.
ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a term a bit similar to IPO or Initial Public Offering. An Initial Coin Offering is how virtual currencies are launched. However, much scrutiny has fallen on some ICOs due to unethical trading practices such as pump-and-dump (see below).
IDO (Initial Index Offering) pools investment capital from retail investors. The IDO was created to compensate for the shortcomings of the “traditional” ICO crypto crowdfunding model. Because an IDO works with a DEX, as opposed to a centralized exchange, DEXs can be thought of as decentralized liquidity exchanges.
IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) is when a new coin or token is offered through an exchange when it goes to market rather than the sales being originated by the new cryptocurrency’s team itself.
IGO (Initial Game Offering) raises capital for gaming projects that are based on NFTs or tokens as their in-game currency and rewards.
Immutability is the property that describes the fact that information added to the blockchain is final; it cannot be amended. Transactions are irreversible, only an opposite transaction can be executed.
InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a decentralized file storage and referencing system for the Ethereum blockchain.
IRL (In Real Life) is used when you want to distinguish reality from something that happens on social media, gaming, or on TV. Many people in crypto only know each other from online communication and have never met IRL.
IYKYK (If You Know You Know) being in on an inside joke or information or thinking you’re in the know. The expression is used either when a person really has valuable information about a project or similar, or ironically if a person is sharing commonly known information.
JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) refers to a trader who is happy that he has not taken a certain position and is often said after a considerable price drop.
KYC (Know Your Customer) is defined as a customer identification process required by law for financial organizations.
Laser Eyes signals support for the Bitcoin or cryptocurrency by adding “laser eyes” to their profile picture most commonly seen on Twitter.
LBP (Liquidity Bootstrapping Pool) are pools that can dynamically change token weighting using weighted math. The starting and end weights and times are selected by the pool owner, who also has the power to pause swaps.
LFG (Let’s F*cking Go) is often used in Social Media, Forums, and texts and indicates impatience or enthusiasm on a token, NFT, or other project.
Liquidity Provider (LP) aka Market Maker (MM) is someone who commits their crypto assets to a platform to help with decentralization of trading. In return they are rewarded with fees generated by trades on that platform, which can be a form of passive income.
Looks Rare is an ironic way of saying that something, e.g. NFT, may be valuable (without actually knowing that). Since the value of most NFTs is determined by their rarity, one that looks rare and is rare will net you a profit. It can also be used sarcastically to say something “Looks Rare” even though it probably is not.
LT (long-term) is simply an abbreviation to quickly say long-term.
Lurk (Lurker) somebody who lurks is a person that joins a message board or chat group, but does not actively participate in the conversations. This can have various reasons, like for example not having the confidence of knowing enough about the topic. It could also be that this person joins a crypto chat group to analyze the overall market sentiment or that of individual coins.
Market Capitalization (Market Cap) shows the total value of all coins together.
MAXI (Maximalist) is someone who believes that one particular crypto is the only viable one by far and predominantly invests in it.
Memecoin A cryptocurrency that is associated with some theme, often as a joke rather than a serious product. Dogecoin was the first memecoin because it was named after a popular dog on the Internet. Typically these coins have no utility.
Max Supply includes Circulating Supply + Uncirculated Supply + future coins not minted. It can consist of tradable and non-tradable coins, such as reserved or not yet released coins for the team or investors.
Mempool is the digital waiting room where transactions are sent before they are included in a block by a miner.
Metaverse is a digital universe with all the aspects of the real world—real-time interactions and economies.
Mining is how cryptocurrencies are obtained, using computers to solve complicated math problems designed to run the network, protect it, and allow new digital tokens or coins to be minted.
Mint is the creation of a new NFT token which turns a digital file into a crypto collectible or digital asset.
Mooning is used in reference to a coin’s price experiencing a spike or significant increase.
Moonboy are Traders who are bullish and preach how they can accurately predict prices will change.
MultiSig (Multiple Signature) is a wallet that requires multiple digital signatures in order to attain access.
NGMI (Not Going To Make It) is used to stress the point that a crypto investor could miss a huge profit on a certain trade or that somebody is NGMI because they are investing or trading without knowing what they’re doing.
NFT (Non-fungible Token) are digital assets that represent certain digital goods bought, sold, and traded for crypto.
No Coiner is someone who’s pessimistic about crypto and doesn’t believe that there is a use case for it. They have no holdings, no crypto tokens, and no coins. They’re a “no-coiner.”
Node is a device that participates in network maintenance while abiding by a network’s protocol.
Nonce (Number Only Used Once) relates to a number that is added to a hashed or encrypted block in a blockchain. It is the number that blockchain miners are trying to solve. Once the solution is found, the miner will receive a reward in the form of cryptocurrency.
OG (Original Gangster) has its origins in the rap and hip hop culture. In the crypto space is used to refer to people who have been in crypto since the beginning or a very long time.
P2E (Play-to Earn) are play to earn crypto games such as AxieInfinity. These games use blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to allow people to receive payments from their gameplay.
Paper Hands is the opposite of Diamond Hands and refers to an investor who sells their position at the first sign of trouble. Weak hands can also be used.
Perma Bears is somebody who is always negative about the future direction of the crypto markets and economy in general, no matter what.
Permissionless is often used to describe blockchains, a system where no entity can regulate who can use it and how.
Probably Nothing is an ironic way of saying this is probably important or this is important but most people aren’t aware of it.
Pump and Dump (P & D) is an unethical practice used in “regular” investing and crypto. It refers to what happens when the price of crypto or other investments is “pumped” in social media and elsewhere with the intent of artificially inflating the value before cashing in the investment. That cash-in can lead to a wave of selling that returns the value to the pre-pumped status (or worse).
R:R (Risk/Reward Ratio) is the relationship between the potential hazards and gains for any given trade. It is a process to assess the maximum reward against minimum risk.
Rekt is what it sounds like–it refers to losing a large sum of investment money, or being “wrecked.”
RSI (Relative Strength Index) is a momentum indicator that indicates overbought or oversold situations of an asset or cryptocurrency. Generally, an asset is overbought when the RSI value is 70% or above, and oversold when the value is 30% or below.
Rug Pull or Rugged is a type of crypto scam that starts with the scammers creating and promoting a new scamcoin. Once they’ve collected investors’ money, they pull the rug and walk away—leaving investors with little or nothing (in other words, the people getting scammed are bag holders).
Sats is is short for “satoshis,” a term derived from the first name of, Satoshi Nakamoto. It is the smallest fraction of a bitcoin which is 0.00000001 of a bitcoin.
Scamcoin is a cryptocurrency coin that was specifically created to scam investors out of money.
Seed Phrase is representation of a private key. Private keys are usually expressed as a long string of alphanumeric text, however, a seed phrase simplifies a private key by encoding it as a list of 12, 18, or 24 words. Seed phrases are used to back up and restore cryptocurrency wallets.
Shard is the splitting of the entire Ethreum network (ETH2.0) where each section (shard) will operate as its own independent state.
Spoofing is buying and selling your coins to prove that you have high transaction volume.
Stablecoin refers to crypto that has a real-world value of some kind (often through fiat currency or “regular money”). It’s not a “traditional” type of crypto as it is back by the real-world asset and can be traded for ordinary cash (ideally).
Shill is the term used to describe someone pushing a coin, investment opportunity, or anything else–for their own benefit and not for yours.
Shitcoin is an altcoin that is typically in reference to a coin with little to no utility, store of value or poor tokenomics. Memecoins are often referred to a shitcoins. The price of the coin is often based purely on speculation.
Store of Value in crypto is an asset such as Bitcoin that many consider to have a store of value where it can avoid depreciation over time (and also increase in value), stable, liquidity, and scarcity. Non-crypto examples of store of value assets include fiat currencies and gold.
Sweep the floor is buying NFTs in bulk at the floor or base price.
TA (Trend Analysis or Technical Analysis) is an investment tactic used to predict market shifts. Generally, TA is based on careful analysis of recent trends. Additionally, it operates on the assumption that what has happened in the past will repeat in the future.
Tanking is a decrease in value. If a cryptocurrency “tanks”, the price drops considerably.
TL;dr (Too Long; Didn’t Read) is commonly used to summarize lengthy content and can signal a sort of executive summary at the start of news articles, forum posts, emails, etc.
Token is a unit of cryptocurrency.
Tokennomics is made up of two words: token and economics. It is the study of the economics of a crypto token – from its qualities to its distribution and production, supply, market capitalization, stability and more.
To the Moon refers to a large increase in value for an investment.
Total Supply indicates the number of coins already in circulation, supplemented with the coins that are not tradable yet. This does NOT include coins that may be minted in the future. Total Supply is greater than or equal to the “Circulating Supply”.
TPS (Transactions Per Second) refers to the number of transactions that a network can process each second.
Trustless is an environment where there is no centralized authority such as a bank.
Utility Coin (or NFT) provides value in the form of solving a problem, creating revenue, providing special access and much more.
Vaporware is a term that pre-dates Bitcoin and refers to the promise of something new (tech, software, hardware, a game, a film, etc.) that never materializes. The hype (or the “vapor”) is all that exists of that product, service, program, etc.
WAGMI (We Are Going To Make It) or WGMI (We’re Going to Make It) is the opposite of NGMI and is generally said when the market or a coin rebounds.
Whitelist/Allowlist is a list of addresses that get early and guaranteed access to mint NFTs at a specific date and window of time.
Whitepaper is a document that is almost always written for the launch of a new coin, project or NFT. All aspects of the project should be explained here: how it is used, for what and sometimes also the price expectation. After the release new updates can be issued if the situation changes.
Web 1.0 is the first stage of the World Wide Web where content was mostly static and difficult to use.
Web 2.0 is the current version of the web. Refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content (e.g. Twitter, Tik Tok), ease of use, and interoperability (i.e., compatibility with other products, systems, and devices) for end users.
Web 3.0 is the next iteration of the internet that focuses on decentralized protocols and aims to reduce centralized dependency on large tech companies like Twitter, YouTube and Meta (Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp).
Wen [insert word]? refers to when and is used to ask when something will happen. Examples include: “Wen Token?”, “Wen Coin?”, “Wen Airdrop?”, “Wen NFT?”, “Wen Mint?”, “Wen Utility?”, “Wen Moon?”, “Wen Giveaway?”, “Wen Stealthdrop?”, “Wen Reveal?”, “Wen Listing?”, “Wen Whitelist?”, “Wen Discord?”, “Wen X number followers?”, “Wen Roadmap?”, “Wen AMA?”, “Wen Staking?” “Wen Steak?”
Whale refers to an investor who carries a large amount of digital currency in their portfolio.
When Lambo? Lambo is short for Lamborghini. When someone asks “When Lambo?” or “Wen Lamob” they are asking when a particular coin’s or NFT’s price will increase enough to buy a Lamborghini.
ZK-Rollups are smart contracts that scale the Ethereum network and increase scalability through mass transfer processing rolled into a single transaction. Proof of validity is sent back to the main chain which reduces the amount of data being sent through the main chain. This enables faster and cheaper transactions.
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.