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Explore the Lexicon: A Guide to Crypto Slang Terms

Venturing into the world of cryptocurrencies can feel like stepping into a linguistic labyrinth. With the crypto slang terms HODL, vaporware, and DYOR being tossed around, it's no wonder you might feel like an outsider.

What is alpha in crypto slang? What did I do to be pinned as a normie? Why are people telling me to stay SAFU and only trade on trusted CEXs like Binance, Kraken, or KuCoin? What is GM in crypto slang terms? Well, I'm here to help you decipher whatever comes your way.

Soon, you'll be navigating the crypto jungle like a seasoned veteran, equipped with the knowledge to tackle any FUD you face.

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Acronyms

What is GM in crypto slang terms? Why is everyone spamming FML in this forum? Does everyone know what IYKYK means, except me?

Latest Deal Active Right Now:

In the crypto community, acronyms reign supreme. If these crypto slang terms make you feel like an outsider, don't worry: I've got your back. With this definitive dictionary of acronyms, you'll be talking like a seasoned crypto pro in no time.

AMA

Ask Me Anything. An AMA is like a backstage pass to pick the brains of your favorite crypto projects, influencers, or experts. It's a virtual Q&A session where you can fire away any burning questions you have.

AMAs are a great way to promote a project, engage the crypto community, and promote open communication regarding projects and tokens. They incentivize transparency, teamwork, and innovation.

BTD or BTFD

Buy The Dip or Buy The F*cking Dip. When the market takes a nosedive and prices drop, this slang term for crypto is used to encourage investors to seize the opportunity. But remember, timing is everything when you're trying to take advantage of low market prices!

DYOR

Do Your Own Research. In a realm filled with ambitious ventures, DYOR is the golden rule. Before diving into any project, take the time to do your due diligence. Don't rely solely on what others say. Research, analyze, and make informed decisions.

Crypto slang terms: market analysis.

As the crypto space matured, it faced its share of scams and fraudulent projects. DYOR surged following the ICO craze of 2016-2018 to protect newcomers from falling victim to scams, experienced community members began emphasizing the importance of conducting thorough research before investing in any crypto project.

The term DYOR is a rallying cry to encourage responsible investing. It became a mantra for due diligence, reminding everyone that they bear the responsibility for their own financial decisions.

FML

F*ck My Life. This crypto slang term actually originated from internet culture, and translates frustration or exasperation when faced with unfortunate or challenging situations. It serves as a cathartic release, allowing people to vent.

Crypto markets can be extremely volatile, and traders might use FML to humorously share their experiences when facing unexpected price drops or unfavorable outcomes in their investments. After all, even during the toughest moments, a little humor can help you keep your crypto journey in perspective.

FOMO

Fear Of Missing Out. Ah, the infamous FOMO... It's that nagging feeling that everyone else is making big bucks in a skyrocketing market while you're left on the sidelines. Keep your emotions in check and avoid making hasty decisions based on FOMO; it could lead to regrettable losses.

FUD

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. This crypto slang term encompasses both a negative outlook on a specific project or market and the dissemination of false or exaggerated information to scare away potential investors – which can even lead to market crashes.

Crypto slang terms: uncertain trader.

When someone spreads FUD, they're trying to create panic and doubt about a particular crypto asset or the market in general. Don't let the FUDsters get to you; stay focused on your strategy, and don't let fear cloud your judgment.

GM

Good Morning. Not exactly a crypto-exclusive term, right? So what is GM in crypto slang terms? Well, in the crypto space, GM serves as a warm greeting that promotes positivity and a sense of togetherness. It's a way for the community to wish each other a good day while also expressing the idea that "we are early and our future is bright".

GMI, WGMI, and WAGMI

Gonna Make It, We’re Gonna Make It, and We’re All Gonna Make It. All these crypto slang terms seek to convey a motivational message used to keep spirits high during challenging times.

GMI (and its variations) gained prominence as a motivational phrase during bear markets when crypto prices were plummeting. In times of uncertainty, traders would use WAGMI to uplift one another and express their unwavering belief that the crypto community would eventually overcome the challenges and succeed.

Crypto slang terms: happy trader.

The GMI, WGMI, and WAGMI crypto slang terms became a symbol of unity and perseverance, encouraging people to stay strong and positive amidst the volatile market conditions.

For this reason, terms like WAGMI, GM, and others, are even used to perform a sentiment analysis on the crypto market[1].

GOAT

Greatest Of All Time. Often used to praise top-tier projects or legendary crypto influencers, calling someone or something the GOAT is the ultimate compliment in the crypto world.

HODL

Hold On for Dear Life. Among crypto slang terms, HODL, which was actually a typo, turned into a crypto mantra. When the markets get choppy, and your investments seem to be on a rollercoaster, HODL on tight and resist the urge to panic sell. Remember, true HODLers weather the storms.

The crypto slang term HODL originated from a drunken rant on a Bitcoin forum back in 2013. A user with the handle GameKyuubi intended to type HOLDING to tell others they were not selling their Bitcoin during a market dip.

Crypto slang terms: HODL.

However, due to the effects of alcohol, the user misspelled it as HODLING. The post went viral, and the crypto community found humor and inspiration in the typo. From that point on, HODL became synonymous with the idea of holding onto your crypto assets, no matter how turbulent the markets get.

IYKYK

If You Know, You Know. Used when referring to insider knowledge or something understood only by those deep in the crypto rabbit hole. It can also be spelled in lowercase: iykyk. When you come across IYKYK, you know you're part of the inner circle.

Although not exclusive to the crypto community, IYKYK has surged in popularity as a hashtag, particularly on NFT Twitter. By doing so, it fortifies the bonds of unity and togetherness among crypto enthusiasts, showcasing their shared expertise, aspirations, and priorities.

LFG

Let's F*cking Go. A spirited rallying call used to boost morale and enthusiasm, both during times of remarkable success and when individuals require motivation. So, when the markets are on the rise or when everyone is feeling down, energize and uplift them by screaming LFG with your fellow crypto enthusiasts!

NGMI

Not Gonna Make It. A phrase used to acknowledge a bad investment decision or a project that flopped. NGMI is all about hopelessness, frustration and disappointment. All you can do now is learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward.

PFP

Profile Picture. While not specific to crypto, PFP has become a significant term in the world of NFTs. Your PFP represents your identity, and some rare or unique PFPs can be worth a fortune in the NFT marketplace.

Crypto slang terms: Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Some projects, like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, created a craze for owning rare and distinctive NFT avatars as profile pictures. These PFPs became status symbols and were traded for exorbitant sums, leading to the popularization of the term PFP in the crypto and NFT communities.

SAFU

Secure Asset Fund for Users. When the markets get rough, and you start feeling nervous about your funds, remember that some exchanges have a SAFU (or a similar fund) to protect users from unforeseen events.

The term SAFU became known after a notorious hack that shook the crypto world. In 2018, Binance, one of the largest and most trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges, experienced a security breach resulting in the theft of over $40 million worth of Bitcoin.

In a remarkable response, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), reassured the community that users' funds were safe, as the exchange had a Secure Asset Fund for Users in place. This fund was designed to cover losses in the event of a security breach[2].

Crypto slang terms: Binance.

Following CZ's statement, a YouTuber known as Bizonacci created a video titled "Funds Are Safu" (a wordplay with "funds are safe"). After that, CZ began using the expression every time he needed to reassure Binance users that their crypto was, indeed, secure.

WAGBO

We Are Gonna Be Okay. This acronym is similar to WAGMI, and seeks to assure people everything's gonna be alright. It's an encouraging way to calm people down.

So, now that you're armed with this crypto acronym dictionary, you'll be able to decipher a big chunk of the crypto community's secret language with ease. But there are still more crypto slang terms to discover.

Why are people saying I'm a normie? What is alpha in crypto slang terms? What does mooning mean?

In the next chapter, you'll get to learn that and much more.

The lingo of the crypto community is as diverse as the blockchain itself. So, now it's time to get another portion of it covered: crypto slang terms and phrases.

Alpha

This term is all about being ahead of the game. So, what is alpha in crypto slang terms? It's basically insider knowledge, exclusive intel. When someone drops alpha, they're sharing information or insights that could give you a competitive edge in the crypto market. IYKYK, right?

Crypto slang terms: a person playing chess.

But there's a catch: since the term alpha tends to attract a lot of attention, you might run into a watered down version of it. Some people within the crypto community use alpha when they want to highlight a point, or share advice.

Even if you know what alpha is in crypto slang terms, you might get confused when reading something like "Alpha: never share your password" or "Here's some alpha: NFTs are the future". Not really hot intel, but, if it grabs others' attention, people are gonna use it anyway.

Ape or Apeing

Apeing is when an investor buys crypto from a recently launched project without researching it thoroughly first. That's not a smart move at all, so don't let FOMO get the best of you. Always DYOR before investing your hard-earned money, and avoid being classified as an ape.

Bagholder

Picture someone carrying a bag full of coins, but instead of treasures, it's filled with worthless or plummeting cryptocurrencies. A bagholder is an unfortunate investor who bought at a higher price and is now stuck holding those sinking coins.

Bitcoin Maximalist

These crypto enthusiasts are fiercely loyal to Bitcoin and believe it's the superior digital currency.

Crypto slang terms: Bitcoin enthusiast.

They reject all other cryptocurrencies as mere imitations, making them the ultimate Bitcoin fans.

Cryptojacking

Also known as malicious crypto mining, cryptojacking is a sneaky act where someone hijacks your computer's processing power without your consent to mine cryptocurrencies. It's a sort of modern-day digital theft.

Cryptosis

Are you obsessed with cryptocurrencies and can't stop talking about them? Well, you might have a case of cryptosis. This is one of those slang terms for crypto enthusiasts who have fallen deep into the world of digital assets. People affected by cryptosis want to consume all the available information about crypto.

Degen

Short for degenerate, this term refers to high-risk takers in the crypto world. These adventurous souls are always seeking the next adrenaline-pumping, moonshot investment opportunity. Their "strategies" are closer to gambling than to investment planning.

Diamond Hands

If you're holding onto your coins through thick and thin, you've got diamond hands. These people stay strong and resilient, refusing to sell even during market downturns. They're the true HODLers (check crypto slang term HODL above if you need to refresh your memory).

Crypto slang terms: diamond in a hand.

The term diamond hands is frequently represented by the emojis 💎🙌 – a witty combination of the Gem Stone emoji 💎 with the Raising Hands emoji 🙌.

Flippening or Flappening

The term flippening is used to describe the potential scenario where Ethereum surpasses Bitcoin in market capitalization. On the other hand, the flappening refers to the moment in 2018 when Litecoin surpassed Bitcoin Cash in market cap.

As of writing, the flippening has not happened.

Of course, these crypto slang terms can also be used when any cryptocurrency overtakes another in market capitalization or dominance, doesn't necessarily have to be BTC and ETH.

Floor is Lava

In the NFT community, floor is lava is used to describe the moment when the starting price of an NFT project increases rapidly because many people are buying it. When the lowest (floor) price rises quickly, it's like the floor has turned into lava.

Going to the Moon, To the Moon, Moon, or Mooning

When a cryptocurrency's price is experiencing (or people hope it'll experience) an upward surge, the community uses these slang terms for crypto investors to get pumped. Up and to the moon is the ultimate destination for every crypto investment.

Crypto slang terms: crypto to the moon.

The concept of going to the moon originated from the early days of Bitcoin, where a few fortunate investors saw their holdings skyrocket in value, making them millionaires practically overnight.

As the crypto space grew, so did the usage of these expressions to celebrate investment achievements or as an optimistic expression of confidence in a project.

It's not just about monetary gains; the journey to the moon symbolizes the belief in decentralized technologies, financial empowerment, and a vision of a new, more inclusive economy.

Despite the risks, the allure of going to the moon remains an integral part of the crypto community's collective enthusiasm and determination to push the boundaries of traditional finance.

No-Coiner

A no-coiner is someone who does not hold any cryptocurrency in their investment portfolio and strongly believes that cryptocurrencies have minimal value or are destined to fail. They often express skepticism and negativity towards the cryptocurrency industry, even in the face of evidence suggesting otherwise.

Crypto slang terms: no coiner.

This attitude stems from their firm belief that digital currencies are nothing more than a scam or a bubble headed for disaster.

In some cases, the term no-coiner is also used to ridicule those who failed to believe in the cryptocurrency industry from its inception, consequently missing out on potential opportunities to amass significant wealth.

Normie

In the crypto community, a normie refers to someone who is outside the loop and knows little or nothing about cryptocurrencies. Generally, normies think with a traditional mindset, and display little to no interest in the crypto world. This term is occasionally used interchangeably with no-coiner.

Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins or Not Your Keys, Not Your Crypto

These crypto slang expressions emphasize the importance of holding your cryptocurrencies in a private wallet where you control the private keys (like Ledger Nano X, for example).

Crypto slang terms: Ledger.

Leaving your coins on an exchange means you don't truly own them, and you're vulnerable to potential attacks. Of course, if you choose to entrust your crypto to an exchange, be sure to choose one with sturdy security in place, like Binance or Kraken.

Paper Hands or Weak Hands

If diamond hands are the holders who stay strong, paper hands (or weak hands) are the ones who fold at the slightest hint of trouble. These weak-willed investors quickly sell their assets when the market gets rocky.

Pump and Dump

Beware of this classic scam tactic. Pump and dump involves inflating the price of a cryptocurrency through hype and misleading information, only for the scammers to sell their holdings at a profit when others rush in to buy. Another solid reason to practice what you learned: always DYOR.

Rekt or REKT

When someone suffers a significant financial loss in the crypto market, they get rekt. It's like getting wrecked, but for your finances.

Rug Pull

Another common scam tactic. A rug pull happens when the creators of a cryptocurrency or project abruptly abandon it, taking all the invested funds with them, leaving investors high and dry.

Scamcoin

As the name suggests, these are cryptocurrencies that are just plain scams, developed for the sole purpose of making their creators rich.

Crypto slang terms: scam.

They promise the moon, and deliver nothing but disappointment and financial loss.

Shill or Shilling

When someone promotes a cryptocurrency, project, or token for personal gain, they're shilling (and can be called a shill). A lot of times, people call it shilling when an influencer (or someone with status) implicitly advertises a coin. Be cautious of those who won't stop singing praises without a good reason.

Sweeping or Sweeping the Floor

If someone is buying all the available NFTs in a collection at the project's floor price, they are sweeping the floor. This might be done by the project's owners, with the intention of potentially increasing its overall value.

Vaporware

Imagine a cryptocurrency project with big promises but zero real-world progress or a working product. That's vaporware - a lot of talk but no substance.

Sometimes, vaporwave can also refer to protocols or dApps that claim to solve significant problems, but in reality, those problems either don't exist or are blown out of proportion.

Whale

In the crypto seas, a whale is a big fish with deep pockets. Most of the time, whales are individuals or entities who hold a massive amount of a particular cryptocurrency and can sway the market with their actions.

Crypto slang terms: BTC whale.

Alternatively, whales can also refer to wealthy investors who own a wide variety of tokens.

When Lambo?

A phrase that epitomizes crypto dreams and moonshot gains. It's the question people ask when they expect their investment to skyrocket and enable them to buy a Lamborghini, symbolizing their newfound wealth. Can also be spelled as "wen Lambo?" or even "wen moon?".

Now that you've got these slang terms for crypto traders at your fingertips, you're well-equipped to dive headfirst into crypto social media.

Kinda Slang, But Not

Lastly, we should talk about some of the most commonly used terms in the crypto community, overall. These are not exactly crypto slang terms, as they are actual financial terms. Thus, they are essential knowledge for every investor.

Altcoin

Altcoin is a fusion of alternative and coin, and it simply refers to any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. There are thousands of altcoins out there, each with its unique features and purposes.

ATH

All-Time High. It's the highest price ever reached by a particular cryptocurrency. All-Time High is a classic stock market term that found its way into the crypto community as digital assets started to gain widespread attention.

ATL

All-Time Low. It's the lowest price ever reached by a particular cryptocurrency. This significant milestone marks a moment of disappointment for investors who may have seen their investment decrease in value.

Crypto slang terms: crypto price decrease.

However, it also presents an opportunity for potential bargain hunting, as some investors may view the low price as an attractive entry point to buy the cryptocurrency at a discounted rate in anticipation of future price increases.

Bearish

When someone mentions that the market is bearish, they're indicating their anticipation that cryptocurrency prices will experience a downward trend, reflecting a pessimistic outlook on market performance.

Bullish

On the flip side, when someone expresses a bullish sentiment, they are conveying their positive outlook on the cryptocurrency market, anticipating an increase in prices and overall market growth. This sentiment often reflects confidence in the potential for upward movement and favorable investment opportunities within the market.

CEX

Centralized Exchange. These cryptocurrency exchange platforms are owned and operated by a single entity. Their primary function is acting as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, but many of them also offer various crypto products like staking, margin trading, lending, derivatives trading, and much more.

Crypto slang terms: Kraken.

CEXs provide an accessible option for beginners who wish to start trading crypto without requiring in-depth knowledge of blockchain infrastructure and tools. If you're on the lookout for a trustworthy CEX, be sure to check Binance, Kraken, or KuCoin.

DAO

Decentralized Autonomous Organization. It's a way of organizing a project or a group of people without a traditional hierarchical structure. Everything is decided by community consensus and executed through smart contracts on the blockchain. It's like having an organization that runs on auto-pilot and a voting system.

dApp, DApp, or dapp

Decentralized Application. dApps are digital applications that run on a blockchain network, leveraging its decentralization and security features. They combine smart contracts and front-end user interfaces.

DeFi

Decentralized Finance. DeFi is a movement that aims to disrupt traditional financial systems using blockchain technology.

Crypto slang terms: DeFi.

It's more of an umbrella term for peer-to-peer financial services, which can include lending, borrowing, trading, and more – all without intermediaries.

DEX

Decentralized Exchange. Unlike traditional CEXs, DEXs use on-chain smart contracts to facilitate exchange services. Instead of relying on a central authority, DEXs enable trustless, peer-to-peer trading directly from your wallet, without intermediaries.

However, while DEXs grant users full control of their funds, they lack the customer support and security mechanisms often found in centralized exchanges. Additionally, using DEXs requires caution, as transactions are irreversible, and mistakes can lead to permanent loss of funds.

KYC

Know Your Customer. It refers to the verification process that many crypto platforms do to identify their users and comply with regulations. To pass KYC, you usually need to provide some information about yourself and prove your identity with an ID or other documents. You might even be asked to provide proof of address.

Mint

Minting refers to the process of creating new coins or tokens within a particular blockchain network.

Crypto slang terms: Ethereum.

Minting occurs through cryptographic algorithms and consensus mechanisms (like Proof-of-Stake, for example), where new coins are created and added to the blockchain ledger as a reward for participating in network operations such as validating transactions or securing the network.

NFA

Not Financial Advice. It's a quick way of stating you're just providing information, not personalized investment advice. Even in cases where someone omits NFA while discussing crypto, it's still essential to DYOR. By doing so, you can make informed decisions tailored to your specific needs and goals.

P2E

Play-to-Earn. It's a gaming model where players can earn cryptocurrencies while playing games. For example, BitDegree's Web3 Exam and Missions combine P2E and Learn-to-Earn (I doubt you need an explanation for this one, the name says it all). By participating, you get to learn, have fun, and earn at the same time. Pretty cool, right?

All in all, these terms may not be slang terms for crypto in the traditional sense, but they are frequently used in the community. Understanding these concepts will undoubtedly give you a solid foundation to converse with fellow enthusiasts and navigate the crypto landscape with confidence.

Conclusions

Navigating the world of cryptocurrencies can sometimes feel like trekking through an unfamiliar jungle of jargon and slang. However, armed with this short dictionary of crypto slang terms, you're now equipped to break down the barriers and confidently venture into the heart of the crypto community.

If this is not enough, though, you can find over 1,000 more terms on BitDegree's crypto glossary.

On a related note, remember to stick your trading to trustworthy exchanges, such as Binance, Kraken, or KuCoin. After all, any GOAT and whale out there knows security is a top priority when dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Happy hodling, and may your crypto journey be filled with success instead of FUD!


Scientific References

1. J. Parra-Moyano, D. Partida, M. Gessl: 'Your Sentiment Matters: A Machine Learning Approach for Predicting Regime Changes in the Cryptocurrency Market';

2. V. Marella, M. Kokabha, J. Merikivi, V. Tuunainen: 'Rebuilding Trust in Cryptocurrency Exchanges after Cyber-attacks'.

About Article's Experts & Analysts

By Ain N.

Lead Content Researcher

Ain is the Lead Content Researcher. Her vast experience with crypto and blockchain tech-related content allows her to identify the key pieces of information that should be presented to the learner, and ensure the validity of the gathered data. Wit...
Ain N., Lead Content Researcher
Ain is the Lead Content Researcher. Her vast experience with crypto and blockchain tech-related content allows her to identify the key pieces of information that should be presented to the learner, and ensure the validity of the gathered data.
With a degree in New Media studies, she has developed an extensive list of techniques to educate people via new, research-proven study models based on deduction and long-term human memory.
Ain approaches everything with unequivocal attention to detail. Her main goals are to erase the ambiguity surrounding many Web3 concepts, and to guide content writers in presenting difficult crypto-related concepts in an easy-to-understand manner.
Even though content strategy is her main passion, Ain also enjoys reading high-fantasy books and watching superhero movies.

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FAQ

What is alpha in crypto slang terms?

In crypto slang terms, alpha refers to insider knowledge or exclusive intel shared to gain a competitive edge in the crypto market. It can also be used more broadly to highlight a point or share advice, but it might not always be truly unique information. An example of this broader use would be "Alpha: CEXs like KuCoin, Binance, and Kraken offer way more security and support than DEXs".

What is GM in crypto slang terms?

In crypto slang terms, GM stands for Good Morning, serving as a warm greeting that promotes positivity and a sense of togetherness within the community. It also expresses the idea that "we are early and our future is bright". So, if you're on a Binance discussion board and someone starts their post with GM, you know they mean to convey a good feeling.

How to pick the best crypto exchange for yourself?

Picking out the best crypto exchange for yourself, you should always focus on maintaining a balance between the essential features that all top crypto exchanges should have, and those that are important to you, personally. For example, all of the best exchanges should possess top-tier security features, but if you're looking to trade only the main cryptocurrencies, you probably don't really care too much about the variety of coins available on the exchange. It's all a case-by-case scenario!

Which cryptocurrency exchange is best for beginners?

Reading through various best crypto exchange reviews online, you're bound to notice that one of the things that most of these exchanges have in common is that they are very simple to use. While some are more straightforward and beginner-friendly than others, you shouldn't encounter any difficulties with either of the top-rated exchanges. That said, many users believe that KuCoin is one of the simpler exchanges on the current market.

What is the difference between a crypto exchange and a brokerage?

In layman's terms, a cryptocurrency exchange is a place where you meet and exchange cryptocurrencies with another person. The exchange platform (i.e. Binance) acts as a middleman - it connects you (your offer or request) with that other person (the seller or the buyer). With a brokerage, however, there is no “other person” - you come and exchange your crypto coins or fiat money with the platform in question, without the interference of any third party. When considering cryptocurrency exchange rankings, though, both of these types of businesses (exchanges and brokerages) are usually just thrown under the umbrella term - exchange. This is done for the sake of simplicity.

Are all the top cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States?

No, definitely not! While some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges are, indeed, based in the United States (i.e. KuCoin or Kraken), there are other very well-known industry leaders that are located all over the world. For example, Binance is based in Tokyo, Japan, while Bittrex is located in Liechtenstein. While there are many reasons for why an exchange would prefer to be based in one location over another, most of them boil down to business intricacies, and usually have no effect on the user of the platform.

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