“I AM HODLING” he banged into his keyboard as he titled what would become a liquor fueled rant on the Bitcointalk forum. It was December 18th, 2013. GameKyuubi, a self-declared bad trader, was determined not to sell, even as the price of BTC had plummeted about 58% over the previous 20 days. (The 2013 high was $1,242 BTW) This fortuitous typo would soon enter the internet culture lexicon, particularly among stock and crypto investors. This misspelling has also taken on meaning as an acronym, ‘Hold On for Dear Life. In either case, same same.
As early meme culture's doggo-speak (like we saw in last week's article) and crypto-speak blended with the vernacular coming from the Wallstreet Bets apes, there has been an incredible evolution of internet lingo. This language baffled regulators and hedge fund managers alike since that tribe of gen-z activist investors brought several funds to their knees during the Gamestop short squeeze. The parlance continues to evolve and a full glossary has been emerging.
In any case, many of us ‘normies’ who try to wade into the Web3 social world find ourselves lost as it’s not just strange new technologies we find, there's also a foreign language being spoken. While far from comprehensive, below are a few basic terms to help you follow what people are talking about.
APE: To buy into a new coin or token, often fueled by FOMO “I need to ape into this NFT before the price shoots through the roof!”
APES TOGETHER STRONG: In the Rise of Planet of the Apes, Caesar signs to Maurice “Ape alone, weak. Apes together strong” It’s an expression of solidarity with other investors or community members pursuing the same goal. The wallstreet bets community often referred to themselves as apes and chanted this refrain, it is probably why the ape image has been so prominent in the Web3 space in general. e.g. Bored Apes
BAGS: The coins and tokens in your portfolio. 💰
BAG HOLDER: If someone sells their stock to someone else at a high price, and then the value of the stock drops, the person they have sold it to is the bag holder. That is, they are holding the bag of stock while the price plummets. If you hold on to your coins until they become worthless, you’re unfortunately a bag holder.
BEARISH: Thinking negatively about a stock or cryptocurrency. 📉
BULLISH: Thinking positively about a stock or cryptocurrency. 📈
BUY THE DIP: Place the trade when the price is down, on the assumption that it will rebound soon enough. Often used by people who are permanently bullish on a particular stock or cryptocurrency, regardless of what’s happening. Not to be taken too seriously, the expression is a meme in and of itself.
CC0: Creative Commons. In contrast to CC licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers the choice to opt out of copyright and database protection, exclusive rights for the “no rights reserved” alternative to licenses.
DAO: a decentralized way to organize a group of people — like a digital co-op with a shared bank account. There’s no leader or CEO who makes decisions; instead, you might bring a proposal to the DAO, and everyone who holds a token gets to vote. Some DAOs operate like start-ups, others invest together, and others exist just to hang out or tackle a social cause.
DEGEN: a kind of self-deprecating identity embraced by many crypto investors. Etymologically shorthand for degenerate gambler, it is both a term of endearment and an acknowledgement that aping into memestocks and dog coins might not make them the most respectable of inventors.
DIAMOND HANDS : An investor who holds on to a stock or cryptocurrency regardless of the risks, headwinds, or losses to get to an end goal. Often used to call on a group’s collective strength to get through hell or high water.
FUD: “Fear, uncertainty, doubt,” a catchall phrase for any kind of negativity, criticism, or bad news about a crypto-currency. When powerful enough, FUD can cause panic sales of tokens which causes value to plummet.
GM: It means ‘good morning’ but is a greeting that can be used at anytime of day or night as it is used by a global community for whom is is always morning.
HODL: Hold, Hold On For Dear Life.
MOON: If a coin is mooning, that means its price is soaring.
NORMIE: A skeptic who has stayed out of the crypto market, either from sheer bewilderment or the suspicion that it’s a giant pyramid scheme. If this is a really helpful guide for you, you might be a normie.
PAPER HANDS : An investor who is seeking the same goal as someone with “diamond hands”, but instead is quick to sell a stock or cryptocurrency at the first sign of trouble.
PROOF OF WORK: The process by which the earliest crypto-currencies (like bitcoin) are mined. It’s extremely energy intensive, requiring powerful computers that race to solve elaborate puzzles to compete for tokens. PoW
PROOF OF STAKE: An alternative process that doesn’t require miners and uses much less energy. More and more new currencies are adopting proof-of-stake technology. Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency, has committed to migrating its entire network to proof of stake this year. PoS
PUMP & DUMP: When a group of investors collude and buy the same stock at the same time to momentarily drive up prices (the pump), to sell a short time later (ideally at the peak) to turn a profit. After the group has sold (the dump) the price will drop back to normal levels.
REKT: exactly what it sounds like. Wrecked. Destroyed. Ruined. Whether its getting killed in a game or loosing big on an investment. "
ROCKETS: Indicates high growth stocks, usually speculative. 🚀
RUG PULL: A scam in which developers raise a lot of money for a crypto project, then disappear with all of it.
RUGGED: As an evolution from ‘rug pull,’ rugged can refer to anything negative. For example, if someone gets dropped or muted on a twitter space, they got rugged.
STONKS: A deliberate misspelling of stocks. In some contexts, it’s used as a joke term if a loss is made. In other contexts, such as when paired with the side-eye emoji (stonks ), it means a stock going up that’s worth watching.
Gamestonk!! https://t.co/RZtkDzAewJ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021
TO THE MOON: An expression of the opinion that a stock or cryptocurrency will go up in price very quickly. 🚀🌕
WAGMI: “We’re all gonna make it” is a rallying cry, an expression of camaraderie and optimism. Often used after something good has happened: “I bought this NFT early, and now it’s mooning.
WAGMI.” Its opposite is NGMI, meaning “Not gonna make it,” which describes a person or entity that made a bad decision and is doomed to failure: “God, I missed out on this NFT drop! NGMI” or “Facebook’s Meta rebrand is so cringe. NGMI.” Regularly used to correct bad actors, fud, and other negative or destructive behavior within the community.
WEB2: The internet as we know it today, which is dominated by a few large tech companies, like Facebook, Amazon, and Google, that provide services in exchange for personal data (and, in turn, control what happens to our data — how it’s stored, used, tracked, and monetized).
WEB3: The name given to an emerging decentralized version of the internet, heavily made possible by blockchain. In this version, you would be a stakeholder in any entity you contribute to online (so if Facebook had started as a Web3 project, you might have been earning equity/tokens for all those hours you’ve spent on it since 2006).
WHALE: A person or institution that holds such an enormous amount of a certain crypto-currency that whenever they buy or sell, they’re able to move the market (when a whale makes a large crypto transaction, that’s known as a whale movement). Many whales choose to remain anonymous.
WHITE PAPER: You can’t launch a serious blockchain project or cryptocurrency without publishing a white paper, which serves as both a technical introduction as well as a manifesto for what problem you want to solve.