Unlocking the Secret Language of Crypto: The Ultimate Slang Guide

A shiba inu coin among other cryptocurrency coins 

The world of crypto is admittedly confusing. Some people have trouble understanding how it works and what it even is. Others have trouble understanding how they can operate within this world. 

To make matters worse, crypto has so much slang associated with it that it has effectively formed a new language. Terms like FOMO, FUD, and HODL make it even harder for someone to understand what is going on with crypto. 

To help, we’ve created an easy-to-understand guide to crypto-slang. This article will explore some of the most common slang terms you should know. By the end, you’ll have a much better idea of what people are talking about when they talk about crypto. 

Related: What Causes Cryptocurrency to Rise and Fall

Diamond Hands

Diamond hands refers to the hands of people who currently own crypto. The idea behind it is that these people are holding onto a valuable asset. It equates owning a valuable cryptocurrency with holding diamonds in your hands. 

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

FOMO is an acronym that stands for “fear of missing out.” It is a mental phenomenon that can lead to some flawed decision-making. 

Imagine your friend invested in a cryptocurrency. Then, over the next few days, it starts to rise dramatically. You see all of the money your friend stands to make and start to get a fear that you’re going to miss out on all of these potential earnings. To prevent this, you hastily invest in the same cryptocurrency. This decision comes from fear of missing out

Sometimes, this can work out for the best. However, more often than not, a hasty, emotional purchase will fare worse than a well-thought-out and planned one. 

FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

FUD is another acronym that stands for “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.” This is a tactic used by opponents of crypto to damage it. 

Crypto has the potential to disrupt massive industries and upturn financial practices. People who stand to lose from this want to damage crypto to prevent it from ever taking off. To do so, they use whatever means they can to cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt on the entire industry. 

The Flippening

Bitcoin has been the cryptocurrency to beat since the very creation of crypto. However, Ethereum hasn’t trailed too far behind Bitcoin. Some even believe that one day, Ethereum’s market cap will exceed Bitcoin’s. 

This potential event is referred to as the flippening. You may also hear this term used to describe when other smaller coins overtake their larger competitors. 

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Though HODL may look like an acronym, it is actually just a misspelling of the word “hold” that initially caught on because it was funny. Now, some people retroactively gave it the meaning “hold on for dear life.”

HODL goes beyond a slang term and refers to an entire investing philosophy. It basically means buying a cryptocurrency and not selling it. This turns into a mantra during downswings in the market, where investors will repeat it to remind themselves that holding on to their investment is usually worth it in the long run. 

HODL proponents point to the ever-rising nature of many cryptocurrencies. They point out that many people sold Bitcoin when it was only worth a fraction of what it is today. If they had held true to the HODL philosophy, their holdings would be worth far more now. 

Person looking at cryptocurrency performance data

Laser Eyes

In 2021, people started photoshopping their profile pictures to give themselves laser eyes. This was done to show support for Bitcoin and even had several celebrities participate. Now, it generally refers to a love for Bitcoin. 


Some cryptocurrencies are based on new technologies or ways to utilize the blockchain. Some are based on memes instead. 

Memecoins are cryptocurrencies designed mostly as a joke. Dogecoin was the first memecoin and was based on the popular doge meme. 

While memecoins are usually made as a joke, they still have plenty of potential. A movement on Reddit caused Dogecoin to increase in value by 600% in a very short period of time. This caused it to turn from a joke into something more serious. 

Related: How to Research Cryptocurrency: A Guide & Checklist

The Moon

The moon is a constant source of attention for many people investing in crypto. They want their coins to go “to the moon” or to start “mooning.” 

This just means they want the value of their coins to go as high as possible

Pump and Dump

Unfortunately, the world of crypto is not without its bad actors and unpleasant scams. The pump and dump scam is one of these. 

The way this scam works is that a group of people will promote a cryptocurrency, typically one with a lower market cap, in any way they can. They will go into online forums and tell others to buy it, they will promote it on social media, and they may even pay crypto influencers to hype it up. Along the way, they will buy plenty of it themselves. All of this pumps up the value of the coin. 

Then, all of a sudden, they will sell or dump everything they have. This crashes the coin’s value but allows the people in on the scam to sell at a high price. Those caught in this scam are often described as being left “holding the bag.”


The term rekt comes from the world of video games. It refers to any moment when a player is beaten by another player or the game itself in a particularly epic fashion. 

Similarly, rekt refers to any situation that leaves a crypto investor devastated. If their primary investments crash, lose it all on a risky investment, or get caught in a scam, they “got rekt.” 

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A crypto whale is someone who is heavily invested in crypto. Typically, this means they have over 1,000 BTC invested. 

Whales are noteworthy because their investments are often sizable enough to have an impact on the market. A single whale selling everything they own of a particular cryptocurrency could start a collapse of that currency. Or, a whale buying up a coin could cause a run on it. 

Cryptocurrency coins on an orange background

Understanding Crypto Slang

There is a lot about crypto that is hard to understand. However, slang shouldn’t be a stumbling point. With this guide, you can understand exactly what people are talking about when they talk about crypto. You can even start throwing around a few of the terms yourself!

Related: Crypto Terms You Need to Know for Investing