A Simple Guide to Crypto Terminology: 100+ Crypto Slang Terms
Here's your most complete guide to crypto lingo, with over 100 crypto terms and definitions explained.
Crypto lingo can be confusing, even for a pro, not to mention a novice! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — here is your ultimate guide to crypto jargon!
From ser to gm to nft and ngmi — below, you’ll find all the crypto slangs you’ll ever meet in crypto chatrooms, channels, or threads. Without further ado, let’s get started.
The (3,3) meme was popularized by Olympus DAO to illustrate the advantages of staking the OHM token and was picked up by other protocols, sometimes replacing threes with emojis like (🌳,🌳). (3,3) is a game-theoretic payoff that alludes to the prisoner’s dilemma, in which collaborating is preferable to defecting and getting (-3,-3).
An address (addy) is a string of alphanumeric characters identifying a wallet. Each addy has a private key. You use your address along with your private key to make transactions.
An airdrop is a free distribution of new crypto and a common way to reward early adopters. Some airdrops, somewhat equivalent to “free money,” have made their early users “thousandaires.”
Any cryptocurrency other than bitcoin is referred to as an altcoin. Learn more about altcoins here: Altcoin FAQs.
Anon, which stands for “anonymous,” is a popular and slightly derisive way of addressing the silent, anonymous majority in crypto. For example, someone may write: “How are you today, anon?”
An ape is someone who buys a token or NFT without proper research.
ATH stands for “All Time High” and refers to the highest value ever recorded for a coin or token.
A bagholder is someone who HODLs their cryptocurrency even though its value keeps decreasing, usually out of fear of losing or hoping its price will rebound.
A bear market is a falling market that makes the majority want to sell. Bearish investors are typically pessimistic as they think prices will fall shortly.
A bearwhale is a trader who holds a lot of crypto and thinks the market is about to go down.
A bitcoin maximalist believes that the only crypto worth HODLing and supporting is bitcoin.
Bitsgap is one of the largest crypto aggregators that’s connected to more than 15 exchanges and has a large community of 500k+ traders. Bitsgap’s flagship product is a cloud-based, automated crypto trading platform that offers a complete suite of manual and automated trading tools. Bitsgap has a seven-day free trial, so if you want to test it, you’re welcome!
Blockchain is a public, shared, decentralized, and immutable ledger that makes it easy to record transactions and track assets across a network.
A block refers to a group of completed transactions on a blockchain. As transactions are validated, they are permanently compiled into a blockchain’s block. Blocks include a timestamp and cannot be altered once logged.
A block reward is a crypto rewarded to miners after successfully validating a block. It comprises transaction fees and a block subsidy (or newly generated coins).
A boomer is a mocking way of referring to the generation of Baby Boomers and describes outdated concepts or people. As the crypto universe evolves at an amazing speed, even relatively new ideas can quickly become “boomers.” In some conversations, even bitcoin is described as “boomercoin.”
BTD stands for “buy the dip” (BTFD is “buy the f-cking dip,” respectively😏) and is a term that encourages purchasing a coin after it has fallen in value. The idea is that the price will eventually recover.
The BTD Bot from Bitsgap is an automated trading tool that lets you buy into the dip and accumulate a coin portfolio at a discount price. If you want to increase the amount of your base currency when its price is steadily decreasing, then the BTD bot is the tool.
Want to try BTD? Sign up for a free trial now if you don’t have an account with Bitsgap, or head to platform to start your new BTD bot!
A “bull market” refers to a market in which prices increase. Someone who’s bullish anticipates that the market prices will rise.
Can devs do something?
“Can devs do something” is an ironic way of reacting to negative price action. The phrase went viral thanks to Hard Rock Nick, a ridiculous self-proclaimed casino mogul with a dubious reputation.
Coins are crypto that is native to their blockchain and runs on it. Compare with tokens.
Consensus is a decentralized network's process used to determine the validity of transactions and which transactions to include in a block.
Copium and hopium describe an irrational desire and hope for prices to go up or down.
Cryptography is a method of securing data against unauthorized access. In a blockchain, it’s used to secure two transactions between two nodes in a blockchain network.
Cryptojacking, or “malicious crypto mining,” is a cybercrime whereby a hacker uses an unsuspecting victim’s computing power to covertly mine cryptocurrency.
Cryptosis describes someone who's obsessed with crypto and can’t stop talking about it.
DAO stands for a decentralized autonomous organization, an emerging legal structure that uses blockchain technology to automate decision-making and management. DAOs are community-led and have no central authority.
dApp (a decentralized application) is an application built on a decentralized network and can operate autonomously through smart contracts.
DeFi (decentralized finance) refers to P2P financial services on public blockchains. DeFi uses non-custodial cryptocurrency protocols, meaning nobody manages funds staked within the protocol. Instead, algorithms determine how funds are allocated through liquidity pools. Common DeFi apps include decentralized exchanges (DEXes) and yield farms.
Degen is short for “degenerate” and typically describes a person who makes significant financial commitments to dubious crypto initiatives. Otherwise, degen can be used affectionately within the crypto community when referring to each other.
DEX/CEX — decentralized vs. centralized exchanges. Both offer access to digital assets. However, if DEXes are run on code, CEXes are run by a company.
DCA stands for Dollar Cost Averaging and describes a trading strategy whereby you invest equal amounts of money at regular intervals regardless of the price.
The DCA bot from Bitsgap utilizes the DCA trading strategy and automatically divides your investment across periodic purchases or sales (depending on the side of your position – long or short) to minimize the impact of volatility on your overall position.
You can try the DCA bot in a seven-day free trial that starts immediately after you sign up for Bitsgap. Test it now!
Diamond Hands/Paper Hands
Diamond and paper hands describe traders’ risk tolerance. This way, if you have diamond hands, you have a high appetite for risk and are willing to HODL until the bitter end, no matter the market. Conversely, if you have paper hands, you have a low-risk tolerance and will sell your position at the first sign of trouble.
Double-spend refers to a fundamental problem of a digital cash protocol whereby the same digital token can be spent twice. Thankfully, decentralized consensus and mining prevent double-spending.
A drop is a widely used vernacular expression for releasing something—for instance, an NFT drop.
DYOR, or “do your own research,” is arguably the most valuable and important crypto acronym because it encourages investors to research something before spending money.
EVM stands for “Ethereum Virtual Machine,” the core and backbone of the Ethereum blockchain. EVM consists of hundreds of thousands of individual nodes that create a run-time environment for all Ethereum accounts and smart contracts.
An exchange is an organization that facilitates the exchange of fiat to crypto, crypto to crypto, and crypto to fiat.
Exit liquidity refers to clueless investors seeking fast and easy gains in dubious crypto projects and can be used either sympathetically or derogatorily.
An exit scam happens when crypto developers or creators vanish with investors’ money after an ICO.
Fiat refers to regular money issued by governments like the US dollar or the British pound.
Flippening refers to a hypothetical situation where Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin regarding market capitalization. Flappening is a similar term coined by Charlie Lee in 2018 to describe an analogous situation whereby Litecoin (LTC) surpasses Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Floor Is Lava
In crypto, “floor is lava” describes a situation where an NFT’s price is rising so fast because everyone’s buying.
FOMO is short for “fear of missing out” and refers to traders’ fear that they might lose if they miss a potentially lucrative opportunity. Unfortunately, FOMO might make you act impulsively rather than base your decisions on logic.
A fren is short for “friend” and can be someone you get along with online or in real life. Frens are typically represented by the popular Pepe meme, which is a way of identifying with crypto and web3 space.
FUD, or “fear, uncertainty, and doubt,” is a popular psychological trick used to influence people to have a negative opinion about something (such as a product or service) through spreading rumors, lying, or gaslighting. In crypto, FUD is an intentional act of inciting widespread anxiety, apprehension, and skepticism about a specific project or crypto as a whole to manipulate the market. If FOMO spreads faster in a bullish market, FUD spreads more easily when markets are cooling.
Gas is a unit that describes how much you need to pay in transaction fees. On the Ethereum blockchain, gas is denominated in gwei.
A gigabrain is someone with an excellent understanding of crypto. A gigachad is someone who has done something impressive (and not necessarily intelligent).
GM stands for “good morning” and, unsurprisingly, is used to greet people and spread positivity. The crypto community on Twitter often starts their day with a typical GM tweet.
“GOAT,” or “greatest of all time,” is one of the finest compliments you can pay someone in the crypto community.
GRID is a trading strategy that works with postponed limit buy and sell orders within predefined price limits.
The GRID Bot from Bitsgap is an automated trading tool that follows the GRID strategy and works best in the swing market, where the price fluctuates within a horizontal range. To learn more about the GRID bot, refer to this piece. Otherwise, try and see for yourself.
Gwei is the denomination of ETH used to purchase gas. One gwei is 0.000000001 ETH.
Hash is a function that converts any data (even images or entire websites) into an encrypted output of a fixed length (like 824miem6us).
Hfsp or “have fun staying poor,” is an acronym used to make fun of people who have not yet invested in crypto. It frequently accompanies (or is interchangeable with) NGMI, despite some saying it’s not the best way to encourage people to join crypto.
HODL, or “hold on for dear life,” is actually a misspelled word “hold.” The typo first appeared in 2013 in a post on the Bitcointalk forum and kind of stuck. HODL refers to a popular trading strategy of buying and holding crypto long-term regardless of its ups and downs.
Hsbaf stands for “holy shit, bears are f-cked.” Hsbaf describes a bullish market sentiment and makes fun of those who are shorting.
ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, is a fundraising campaign that sells coins for an upcoming project. ICOs were popular in 2017–18; however, after the US Securities and Exchange Commission declared them illegal, you don’t see them anymore these days.
Immutable means unchangeable and final. The term “immutability” in crypto describes the finality of information added to the blockchain and implies that transactions are irreversible.
In it for the tech
“In it for the tech” is an expression that makes fun of people saying they only invest in crypto because they believe in technology rather than profits.
IYKYK, or “if you know, you know,” implies that only a select group will understand. Also can be used derisively when someone shares commonly known information.
KYC stands for “Know Your Customer” and refers to anti-money laundering identification checks companies carry out before onboarding customers.
Lambo is short for a Lamborghini, which quickly became a status symbol of success in the community. In the early days, many who made easy money in crypto purchased lambos to show off their newly acquired wealth. Following that, the community adopted the phrase “wen lambo?” to ask when an investment will finally pay off or be worth enough to buy a lambo.
LFG, or “let’s f-cking go,” conveys enthusiasm for a project.
“Looks rare” is an ironic way to say that an NFT may be valuable without properly searching and knowing if it is. Since rarity determines the value of an NFT, finding something rare may indeed result in profits. LooksRare, OpenSea’s competitor, recently used the meme to launch its own token.
Mining describes a process of generating and releasing new coins and verifying transactions. Mining involves a vast, decentralized network of computers (miners) competing to solve complex mathematical problems and add the next block to a blockchain. The winning computer receives a block reward for creating the newly added block.
A mempool is akin to a digital waiting room where transactions are held up before being included in a block by a miner.
To mint is to create new coins or tokens by creating new blocks.
Mooning describes a cryptocurrency rising so quickly that it looks like its price is traveling to the moon. Examples you can hear in the community include “prices are mooning” or “wen moon?” The latter refers to investors waiting for bulls to overtake bears and rocket crypto prices. People who are overly enthusiastic about a coin are typically referred to as “moonbois” or “moonboys.”
NFA, or “not financial advice,” is a phrase used as a disclaimer by individuals who don’t want to be liable for any consequence of their advice.
NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” a unique crypto token representing a claim over a particular object, such as a work of art or a piece of music.
WAGMI stands for “we’re all going to make it,” as opposed to NGMI, which stands for “not going to make it.” In crypto, NGMI is frequently used to predict future failures as a result of bad decisions in the past. Otherwise, it can be used ironically to describe someone who either doesn’t understand anything in crypto or has taken a negative stance on something crypto-related. WAGMI, on the other hand, promotes optimism and is often used to inspire a fellow trader.
A node is a computer that operates and maintains a blockchain’s software.
No-coiner is a derogatory term that describes a person who’s highly skeptical about crypto and believes it’s doomed for failure.
A normie or pleb is a person with a traditional mindset and limited knowledge of crypto.
Even if plebs know something about crypto, they typically have no money to invest and are taken advantage of by more affluent investors who use their insight to buy or sell coins.
Not your keys, not your coins
“Not your keys, not your coins” is a popular phrase that refers to the commonly held belief that one must own their wallet keys to genuinely own crypto.
A nuke is an abrupt price correction. Since crypto is very volatile, a 10% change can be considered a “real nuke.”
Adding -ooor to a name, concept, or idea is a way of ridiculing it. For example, you may call someone a “crypto tradoooor” or “angel investoooor” if you believe they act like they know everything about crypto, whereas, in fact, they create nothing but noise.
P2E, or “play to earn,” is a popular type of blockchain game where you can make money by playing.
P2P, or “peer-to-peer,” refers to a decentralized architecture that divides workload among peers. For example, a peer-to-peer (P2P) service is a decentralized platform that lets people interact with each other without a third party.
PFP refers to a profile picture that’s an NFT — a popular trend in the Twitter crypto community.
PoW/PoS stands for “proof-of-work/proof of stake” and refer to two main ways of verifying transactions on a blockchain. PoW is based on mining when powerful computers compete to solve complex math problems. PoS, on the other hand, relies on staking and, as such, selects validators in proportion to the quantity of their collateral.
A private key is a string of data that can prove that you have access to a specific crypto wallet. Since a private key lets you spend your crypto through a cryptographic signature, you should not share it with anyone!
“Probably nothing” is an ironic way of expressing that something is probably very important.
A public key is a publicly available cryptographic key that anyone can use to encrypt messages intended for a specific recipient but can only be decrypted with the recipient’s second (private) key.
Pump and Dump
Pump-and-dump schemes refer to a scam involving the artificial inflation or deflation of crypto prices. Here’s how it typically works. Several people start buying a coin, driving its price up. When others jump on board, the original group will dump an asset to turn a profit quickly, leaving the rest to deal with the resulting losses.
Rekt or “wrecked” describes a trader who has just suffered huge financial losses due to a bad investment.
A “rug pull” is a type of scam where developers abandon a project before its completion, leaving buyers with worthless crypto. “Rugged” can either refer to the scammed victims or a sham exit scam project.
SAFU means “safe” in crypto. The acronym’s history dates back to 2018 when Binance’s CEO tweeted “funds are safe” after a hack, and the YouTuber Bizonnaci made a funny video about it changing “safe” to “safu.” Binance quickly took up the newly created term and gave it to its security fund, the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU).
Sats is short for Satoshis, the smallest unit of BTC, named after its enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Cryptocurrency, like regular money, can be divided into smaller units. So if one dollar equals 100 cents, one bitcoin equals 100 million sats.
A scamcoin is a coin created solely to steal money from buyers.
A seed phrase is a backup recovery phrase that simplifies a private key into a list of 12 to 24 words and is used to restore access to crypto wallets.
Ser is a misspelling of the word “sir.” Allegedly, it was first used to make fun of Indian and East Asian crypto community members for their overuse of the word but then was adopted as a joke that can refer to basically anyone.
Shilling is a marketing strategy in which someone with a vested interest begins to promote a specific coin (or anything else, for that matter) to generate interest and excitement.
Shitcoin is a coin with neither purpose nor value.
A smart contract is a program on a blockchain that runs when predefined conditions are met.
Smol brain / Smooth brain
A smol or smooth brain is the opposite of a gigabrain and describes someone who doesn’t know something that’s assumed to be common knowledge.
A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to a fiat currency or a commodity in an effort to ward off market volatility.
Sweep the Floor
“Sweep the floor” is one of the crypto slang terms that comes from the world of NFT and refers to someone buying all NFTs at their floor price to resell them later at a higher price.
Tokens are built on existing blockchains. If coins have blockchains of their own, tokens do not and, instead, reside on already-existing blockchains.
Vaporware describes a blockchain or a software project that doesn’t yet have a working product. Such projects can be shilled for months before becoming publicly available. Or conversely, they don’t materialize at all.
A crypto wallet is a device, a program, or a service that stores your public and/or private keys for crypto transactions.
A wagecuck is a somewhat insulting term that describes someone in regular employment. For example, if you work from 9 to 5, then, sorry, you’re the one 😏. A wagecuck, like almost everything else in crypto, has its own meme, which usually depicts a person working at McDonald’s, a poster child for demeaning and thankless employment.
WAGBO stands for “we are gonna be okay” and is similar to WAGMI.
Weak hands is similar to “paper hands” and describes someone who sells crypto at the first sign of trouble. Someone with weak hands probably lacks confidence in a project or has a low risk tolerance.
“Wen” and “wat” are misspelled “when” and “what,” respectively. For example, someone may say “wat mean” to make fun of people asking stupid questions.
A whale is an individual or an organization that holds such a significant amount of crypto that their trading directly impacts market prices. Simply put, whales have so much funds that they can manipulate the whole market.
Yield farming is lending or staking cryptocurrency into a liquidity pool through DeFi to earn rewards like interest.
That’s pretty much it for today’s bitcoin slang. We’ve tried to gather as many words as we could, but it’s safe to say that there’s probably something that we’ve missed. If that’s the case, you’re welcome to contact us on social media and suggest any words we should include in our little crypto lingo compendium! We hope you had fun and learned something new today!
What Are Crypto Slang Terms?
Crypto lingo, or crypto jargon, is the exciting language that crypto traders, enthusiasts, investors, and fans use. Crypto slangs can be abbreviations, acronyms, misspellings, or expressions that refer to common occurrences or newly coined terms.
Is It Essential for Me to Know Cryptocurrency Lingo?
Although crypto terminology adds another dimension of complexity to the crypto market, it’s nevertheless important for you to try to understand it. For starters, it is helpful in decoding market and investor sentiment. And secondly, it’s great fun!