July 26, 2022 - 16 min read
For crypto and NFT natives, using crypto slang is an everyday thing– but for those who are newer to the industry, it can be incredibly confusing. In this article, we’ll break down some of the most popular crypto and NFT slang terms to clarify the somewhat confusing world of crypto slang. In addition to dividing into the meanings of individual slang terms, we’ll also provide real-world examples. That way, you’ll have all the context you need to understand these terms– and even use them yourself.
“HODL” started as a misspelling of “HOLD” (written in all caps), in a forum post by a Bitcoin investor. Most believe that the initial use of “HODL” can be tracked down to the user “GameKyuubi” on the Bitcointalk.org online forum, at 10:03 a.m. UTC on Dec. 18, 2013.
Since then, HODL has taken on a new meaning, “Hold On For Dear Life,” meaning that crypto investors shouldn’t sell their crypto, no matter how low it goes, or how volatile the market is. Those who follow the HODL strategy and mindset are generally called “HODLers”.
Many hardcore HODLers strongly believe that crypto is the future of money and that cryptocurrencies will eventually co-exist or supplant traditional fiat currencies as the world’s units of exchange.
HODLing also helps investors avoid reacting greedily or fearfully, and prevents them from attempting to buy low and sell high, since most investors are not successful at timing the market.
Many HODLers follow strategies like dollar cost averaging (DCA), which entails purchasing small to medium amounts of crypto regularly (for example, purchasing $100 of Bitcoin every two weeks), so that they purchase crypto at both low and high prices, allowing themselves to slowly build up a large position in their preferred crypto without trying to time the market.
HODL has become so prevalent that many have included the term in their profile names, social media handles, or even businesses. One Twitter influencer (image below) has even called himself “American HODL” due to his early and steadfast attitude toward Bitcoin investing.
Several companies and organizations have gone as far as to use HODL in their company name. These include the P2P crypto exchange HODL HODL, as well the crypto news site The Dail Hodl.
In addition to usage in handles and among media, one group has even created a HODL token. The HODL token operates on the Binance Smart Chain (now BNB Smart Chain) Network, offering BNB rewards and other rewards to investors. To encourage HODLing and provide rewards to investors, the HODL token places a 10% tax on transactions using the token.
“WAGMI” stands for “We’re All Going To Make It” and generally means either a specific group of NFT owners (or even all NFT enthusiasts as a whole) will receive significant financial benefits from their purchase of NFTs and their participation in the NFT ecosystem. It can also be used after a specific project or company has announced a positive decision around NFTs (such as a popular collection issuing new NFTs or a popular exchange offering NFT functionality).
In many ways, WAGMI is the direct opposite of NGMI, since it implies positivity about a project or group instead of negativity about it.
WAGMI is a strong expression of in-group psychological momentum and is often used to help NFT community members stay positive in the face of extreme NFT price volatility and the extreme criticism often heaped on NFT collectors and creators by the mainstream art, financial, and cultural community– and even the rest of the traditional crypto community.
Related expressions to WAGMI include GMI or “Going to Make It”, “WGMI” or “We’re Going to Make It,” which are both almost identical in meaning to WAGMI, as well as YGMI “You’re Going to Make It” which refers to the future success of a specific individual or group in the NFT community.
WAGMI is often used to show that a group of owners of an NFT collection strongly believe in the future success of an NFT collection, even when others don’t. This is particularly the case when an NFT owner buys an NFT early on for a low price, and then the project explodes in value. Like other NFT and crypto slang, it is often used on Twitter and Discord.
In these two posts, the tweet specifically focuses on a project they believe has strong potential. In the first, Twitter user JPEG Lord uses WAGMI to promote SOL, the native currency of Solana, a major Layer-1 blockchain. In the second, the NFT project Nice Kids Collective uses WAGMI to self-promote its initial launch, while providing some key information about the NFT project itself.
In the tweet above, the NFT project Wagmi World has adopted the WAGMI acronym directly into the project’s name, perhaps in an attempt to indicate the strong potential for the project and to show that the founders are relatively immersed in NFT culture.
In the first example, Twitter user DaschundWizard uses WAGMI to wish others a great week, particularly those in the NFT and crypto space. In the second example by CryptoLeague, WAGMI is used in an ironic way to show how difficult it is to buy, hold, and sell the right NFTs at the right time.
“NGMI” stands for “Not Going To Make It” and signifies that either an individual investor or a project will not be successful in the NFT community. It’s nearly the polar opposite of WAGMI.
This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as bad judgment on the part of the investor, such as selling an NFT quickly at a loss, or bad judgment on the part of a project, such as rumors going around that the project could be a “rug pull,” a type of “pump and dump” scheme in the crypto and NFT world where creators and influencers hype up a project, only to abandon the project later.
NGMI is often considered an insult, and generally shouldn’t be used in polite conversation. Many Twitter battles have been started over the use of the word.
In many cases, NGMI will be used against a certain group of people, such as those promoting a project that some see as a failure. In a broader sense, hardcore NFT fans may use NGMI against critics of NFTs.
NGMI is also sometimes used by NFT owners or investors to refer to themselves in a self-deprecating manner after they have made a bad NFT investment.
NFT sellers will sometimes face the NGMI label if they do things considered to be “loser actions” in the NFT world. These include:
Some of these actions considered NGMI behavior can negatively impact other NFT investors, so occasionally, the insult may be somewhat warranted. For example, pricing an NFT below the floor price of the collection to sell the NFT quickly could hurt all the other owners of the NFT by bringing down the floor price, and reducing the overall market price of NFTs in the collection.
Other accusations of NGMI behavior may simply be in-group/out-group bias, or even jealousy about an NFT collector or collection that has recently been a runaway success.
For instance, critics may refer to the collection or its collectors with NGMI if they didn’t get the chance (or chose not) to invest in it early.
There is also a $NGMI meme token built on the Avalanche network, which currently sells at a fraction of a cent.
In some cases, the promoters of a specific NFT project will say that those who invest are NGMI, as shown in the tweets below. The first tweet is promoting an NFT project called GYM BEARs, saying those who don’t participate are NGMI, while the second tweet is promoting staking NFTs from the Swampers project and warning those that don’t that they’re NGMI.
Sometimes, the phrase NGMI will be directed towards NFT projects or collections others in the community feel are scammy or have low utility. The first tweet below is a general criticism along these lines, in which the Twitter user criticizes the utility of NFT projects, while the second tweet, by Twitter user anubis, criticizes TYGA’s new NFT collection.
At this point, NGMI has caught on so much that brands and projects are actively using it as a humorous way to describe activities, contests, and other NFT and crypto events, as we see in the tweet below, where a group called Natural Born Degenz is promoting a contest where contestants can spin a wheel to receive the meme token $NGMI.
FUD stands for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” and is often used to criticize those outside the crypto and NFT community. This is particularly the case when individuals or groups question the future or value of crypto or NFTs as a whole.
FUD can also be used against current crypto or NFT community members who doubt a specific project’s viability. Sometimes, those who spread FUD about a project or the general crypto/NFT industry are also referred to as Fuddders.
The words FUD and “Fudder” generally have a negative connotation, with some even going as far to say that those spreading FUD are NGMI, or not going to make it.
In this tweet, Twitter user Institutional Investor 2.0 bashes critics of Tether, because they believe that the criticism is actually coming from hedge funds and banks who want to artificially lower crypto prices, so they can buy assets at a discount.
Like WAGMI and NGMI, the project “Operation FUD” directly uses the word FUD in their title, most likely as an ironic critique of “real” Fudders.
In the example above, Twitter user Chadlink, asks the Twitter public whether the FUD currently surrounding a token actually indicates a strong “buy” signal.
LFG stands for Let’s F**king Go and can indicate a variety of things. For one, LFG can indicate that the crypto or NFT world has recently experienced major success, perhaps due to the increase in the price of a crypto, or when an important regulatory hurdle has been breached.
LFG can also indicate that members of the crypto community should make a move in a certain direction, such as buying a particular token or NFT due to its recent price increase. In addition, it may be a rallying cry for current holders of a specific token or NFT. These are, by far, the most common uses of LFG.
LFG can also refer to the Luna Foundation Guard, the controversial organization that controls the recently failed stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and the Luna blockchain ecosystem.
In the first example, twitter user Basemack13 uses LFG to promote the NFT collection TombStonedHS due to a recent price increase. In the second example, the Hippynoids NFT project self-promotes a current NFT giveaway and the project itself by tweeting “LFG Hippe!.”
On the general internet, “GM” simply means “good morning.” However, in the crypto and NFT community, it expresses the idea that crypto and NFT owners and users are “early” and that there is great promise for the industry, or at least a specific project in the industry.
GM can also be used when a new member of the NFT or crypto community wants to introduce themselves on a platform like Twitter, Discord, or Telegram. As far as we know, GM was first used in the crypto and NFT community during Bitcoin’s bull run in November 2021, where the cryptocurrency reached a staggering price of almost $70,000.
As one might think, GM is often used in the beginning of the day, especially to showcase a positive industry statistic about crypto, such as an increase in the price of a specific cryptocurrency, token, or NFT.
Sometimes, the opposite of GM, GN, is used when a crypto or NFT enthusiast signs off of an account for the night after a particularly prolific set of messages or tweets.
In this tweet, Twitter user Magic Eden checks in with the overall crypto and NFT community on Twitter to elicit responses about how everyone is doing.
In this tweet, Twitter user Comet greets the Twitter crypto and NFT community and asks for advice on what they should buy.
In the first tweet, Twitter user and digital artist Emil MTO promotes one of his latest NFT artworks and encourages fans to drop a gm to contact him. In the second twitter, Twitter user Dylan K uses “gm” to promote the NFT project Goblintown.wtf.
In addition to some of the core crypto slang terms we’ve mentioned above, there are a variety of other terms that crypto and NFT users should understand. Some of these include:
Whale: A whale is an individual or institution (such as a hedge fund or VC fund) which owns a large amount of crypto, sometimes enough to seriously influence the crypto’s price, particularly if they buy or sell large amounts at once. A significant portion of all cryptos are owned by whales, but this trend has received criticism due to fears of centralization of cryptos and the underlying blockchains they run on.
Bearwhale: A bearwhale is a crypto investor or trader who currently owns a lot of crypto and believes the market is moving in a bearish (negative) direction. By quickly selling a lot of their crypto, a bearwhale can sometimes significantly reduce the price of a crypto, particularly if they own a large percentage of the entire market cap of a smaller cryptocurrency.
Flippening: The Flippening is the potential (future) moment when ETH’s market cap exceeds that of Bitcoin. While the ETH/BTC ratio has increased significantly in the last few bull markets, it’s never gone far beyond 50%.
Bitcoin Maximalist: A Bitcoin maximalist is an individual who believes that Bitcoin is by far the best cryptocurrency, and (in general) other cryptocurrencies are relatively worthless. Some Bitcoin maximals will go as far as to say that Bitcoin is the only legitimate crypto. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is one of the best-known and most vocal Bitcoin maximalists.
Shill: Just like in its traditional usage, a shill is someone hyping low-quality products, for their own benefit. In the crypto world, this applies to those promoting NFTs or low-cap cryptocurrencies, often for under-the-table payments. Some would accuse Elon Musk of being a shill for Dogecoin. Some might also criticize influencer Jake Paul for shilling, as he was reportedly caught accepting payments to promote previously unknown NFT projects.
KYC: KYC is short for “Know Your Customer,” and refers to the personal and financial information that a user often needs to provide to a centralized crypto exchange, NFT marketplace, dApp, private token sale registry, or crypto/NFT protocol to comply with government anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and prevent users from certain countries (where the service may be banned) from using a product or protocol.
DYOR: DYOR stands for “Do Your Own Research.” Since crypto is a high-risk investment and many projects are both volatile and experimental, most respectable influencers, writers, and others in the community strongly encourage potential investors to DYOR on any coin, token, or NFT they want to invest in before making a final purchase decision.
FOMO: FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out” is another term taken and re-purposed from the non-crypto world. It references the fear that someone might miss an extreme price increase of a crypto or NFT project by not buying at the correct time.
LAMBO: Just like its traditional use, LAMBO stands for “Lamborghini.” When a member of the crypto community asks “When Lambo?,” they are asking when someone thinks a particular coin or NFT’s price will increase enough for the owner to purchase a Lamborghini.
No coiner: A “no coiner” is someone who does not own crypto or is highly critical of crypto, the crypto industry, or NFTs. It generally has a negative connotation.
MOON: A crypto “moons” or “is mooning” when it quickly increases in value. Sometimes, people will say that a cryptocurrnecy is going “to the moon.” Just like “When Lambo?” some people will say “When Moon?” to ask when a specific cryptocurrency is going to spike in value.
REKT: “REKT” is internet slang for “wrecked”, and is used when someone loses a lot of money when crypto trading or investing.
BTD: “BTD” stands for “buy the dip” and encourages investors to purchase a specific cryptocurrency (or cryptocurrency in general) when prices are down, due to the fact that they believe prices will strongly rise in the future. “BTFD” is a stronger version. You can probably guess what the “F” means.
Pump and Dump: A “pump and dump” scheme occurs when a trader or investor (sometimes a whale) buys a lot of a crypto to inflate the price and then sells it quickly for a profit, leading many other investors (usually smaller ones) to sustain large losses. It’s not technically illegal for crypto and public stocks (unless someone is insider trading) though is considered highly unethical.
Bagholders: A “bagholder” is an investor or trader or investor who keeps a decently large amount of a specific crypto regardless of market performance. It is usually a derogatory term and can be compared to “diamond hands.”
Shitcoin: A shitcoin is a low-quality cryptocurrency (sometimes a meme coin) that offers very little utility or technological innovation. These are often bad investments and may be part of “pump and dump” schemes.
Apeing: Apeing happens when a trader or investor buys a new token or a coin, often directly after its launch, without doing any due diligence. This is the opposite of someone who uses the DYOR approach. The term originates due to the fact that apes often imitate each other, and the investor “apeing” others is simply imitating the crowd without doing any of their own research.
Bitshamed: “Bitshaming” occurs when one HODLer criticizes another for only having a small amount of Bitcoin HODLed. Well-known cryptocurrency author Andreas Antonopoulos, was once “bitshamed” when he publicly stated that he was not HODLing a large amount of bitcoin due to his need to pay his everyday bills.
Moonboy: A moonboy refers to a bullish trader or investor who believes that they can accurately predict crypto price changes, particularly believing that they can predict when a cryptocurrency will “moon,” or rapidly increase in price.
Vaporware: Vaporware refers to cryptocurrencies with an artificially inflated value that fades away “like vapor”. These coins will generally lose money over time. Saying a coin is vaporware is a more polite way of saying that it’s a “shitcoin.”
Exit scam: Similar to a “pump and dump” or “rug pull” an “exit scam” occurs when the creator of a coin does an ICO (or an NFT project launches), and then the creators take off with the money and disappear, usually permanently.
Atomic Swap: This is more of a technical term, rather than slang, but it refers to the direct exchange of cryptos without using a centralized third-party exchange.
Diamond Hands: ‘Diamond Hands’ refers to an investor or trader who won’t sell their crypto or NFT, no matter how far it has gone down. It generally has a more negative connotation when compared to the term HODLer, which has more of a neutral or positive connotation.
Weak Hands: Weak hands is a term taken from the forex and stock trading community, and refers to traders or investors who sell at a loss due to the fact that they have low confidence in their all-around trading or investing strategy.
Szn: Szn means “season” or market cycle, which can last as long as years, or as little as a few days. Internet users might say that it’s “Bitcoin szn,” “altcoin szn” or “SOL szn.”
If you want to truly understand and get deep crypto trends, following crypto and NFT-based social media communities is essential. To do this effectively, you’ll need to understand exactly what people mean when they post, and to do that, a good understanding of crypto slang is a must.
As the crypto community grows, slang terms will likely continue to grow as well; for example, some commonplace crypto slang terms, like “GM” are, as of the writing of this article, only around six months old. This means that the language of the crypto and NFT community is evolving quickly, which is why it’s more important than ever to keep up with the times as crypto slang grows and changes over time.
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