What are the most confusing terms in crypto?

By December 19, 2017Tutorials

It’s hard enough to understand the concept behind crypto currency, let alone all the fancy words that get used once you start. To help with this transition, I have created a quick little Crypto Dictionary Cheatsheet on some of the unique words, phrases, or acronyms you might come across.


Let’s start with the elephant in the room, HODL. This word has taken on a life of its own in recent months. Originating an online forum when a person attempted to everyone to HOLD onto their coins, they accidentally spelled it H-O-D-L. From then on, this word has become a national cry for not selling your coins and given the acronym, “Hold On for Dear Life”.


Opposite to people who HODL, have something called FUD. “Fear, uncertainty, or doubt”.


When you HODL a stock long enough, eventually it will hit an all-time high in price. This is used by the acronym ATH.

Bears, Bulls, and Whales, OH MY

Sounds like we are entering the Jumanji, but crypto trading is filled with Bears, Bulls, and Whales. When you are confident in the market, it is a bull market. When you are pessimistic, it’s a bear market.

Then there are Whales. Nobody likes Whales, but they are impossible to avoid. A Whale is simply a person with a huge percentage of coins in the market. They usually have more power to manipulate trading behavior because how much control they have.

Pump & Dump

The act of an anonymous group or person to all buy one coin, sky rocketing the price, then selling off as soon as others buy-in. Very frowned upon in the industry.


Not really a crypto word at all, but the opposite. Fiat represents any physical, regulated, centralized form of currency. Like the USD.

Sitoshi Nakamoto

Not a term or a phrase, but a person. The mythical person who created Bitcoin in a white paper in 2008 was Sitoshi Namamoto. Some try as hard as they can to believe he is secretly Elon Musk, but there is no evidence to the speculation. Whoever he is, he is probably the biggest Whale in the sea.


A Sitoshi is the smallest unit of a bitcoin. There are 100,000,000 Sitoshi’s in one Bitcoin, so there is still room to buy! Because the price of Bitcoin has increased so much, this becomes incredibly useful to send small amounts of payments.


Any coin that is not a Bitcoin. Simple enough.


Since the industry is so new, there are constantly new terms and phrases being created. To get a full list of new lingo, I keep an updated page at altcoinatlas.com/dictionary


Author altcoinatlas@gmail.com

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