Here’s Why Bitcoin Traders Say ‘HODL’ Instead Of ‘HOLD’ When Discussing Their Position

by 1 year ago
bitcoin graph


If you spend even a little bit of time on the internet, you probably already know plenty about Bitcoin, the sexy cryptocurrency that turned the Winklevoss twins into billionaires and makes you stay up late at night wondering what might have been. If you want to raise your spirits a little bit, I suggest you check out the stories of the guy who threw away a $5 million fortune (who I assume can only make himself feel slightly better by reading about the guy who tossed $86 million worth into a landfill).

While a number of people in the traditional world of finance seem almost eager for the alleged bubble to burst, others are a lot more optimistic when it comes to the future of the commodity. If you’ve jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon, you probably know just how easy it is to get sucked in a little too deep when it comes to tracking your investment.

If you (like me), prefer to spend most of your time in echo chambers filled with people who spend their day telling you (and themselves) you’ve jumped on a nonstop flight to riches, you’ve probably come across seemingly random lingo that people used to up their street cred. One of the more puzzling phenomena is the use of the word “HODL,” an intentional misspelling which is used by bearish traders who are committed to hanging onto their investment when the market goes down.

The term is essentially a full-fledged meme, but I was never clear where it originated from. However, I recently discovered it had a backstory that’s more entertaining than I ever would have thought.

In December 2013, Bitcoin was worth $1,200 per unit but crashed to half its value after China’s central bank said it should not be considered legal tender (you can read the entire summary in this LA Times article ). While a loss of $600 might seem like nothing when you consider Bitcoin’s current value, it’s hard to have an optimistic outlook when you the price of your investment tumbles by 50% virtually overnight.

People deal with loss in different ways, and one owner decided to go with a time-and-tested strategy: getting shitfaced.

After consuming a significant amount of whiskey, he hopped on a Bitcoin forum and made a post that would eventually go down cryptocurrency history.

I can only hope the guy who made this was able to HODL until the recent boom. If he didn’t, I’d like to offer his liver my sincere condolences.