In the crypto space you may have heard the term “hodler” thrown around but aren’t quite sure what it means. This term has become famous over the years and it is common to see it used on forums, cryptocurrency news sites, by crypto Youtubers, by my site.. Hodler’s Digest, etc. But what is a hodler exactly and what does hodl mean?
The term hodl and hodler have quite and interesting history… a drunken history actually. One that dates back to the early days of Bitcoin.
The Meaning of Hodl
The meaning of hodl is “hold”. You know… the English word that means to grasp onto something with your hands…
Except in this particular situation we are dealing with cryptocurrency, which you cannot literally hold. Cryptocurrency is intangible. Its completely digital and exists only in cyberspace.
So while hodl does mean hold, it shouldn’t be taken in the literal sense.
To newcomers in the space it may seem sensible that HODL is actually an acronym where each letter stands for something. This is not true however.
As you can tell, hodl is just a misspelling of hold. The l and the d are swapped around. But how did this come about, why did it catch on, and become so widely adopted in the crypto space?
Lets go back in time to 2013…
The year was 2013. The place was the popular Bitcoin forum Bitcointalk.org. The originator was a man who went by the username GameKyuubi… The setting was a week before Christmas and the aura was glum.
Apparently GameKyuubi was fed up and frustrated with how his trading was going. He was very upset with the professional traders out there that were influencing others to buy/sell and bragging about all the money they were making all the while putting down those that were not doing so hot.
On December 18th, 2013 he posted a little rant on the Bitcointalk forum with the title being “I AM HODLING”. Although he admitted to being at least partially drunk from whiskey, he did acknowledge the fact that the title was misspelled… but he liked it that way. It was an “on purpose, kinda” misspelling.
The point of this post was to stick it to the “smart” traders out there that were basically manipulating the market in their favor. Although the market was tanking, GameKyuube was determined to hold onto his coins and not sell at a loss, which seems to be what he would normally do. Selling at a loss is what the good traders want newbies to do. They want you to sell so that they can buy at lower prices.
And from this single post the birth of hodl took place. From this one upset man’s drunken rant back in 2013 a new term began.
What It Means to Be a Hodler
To be considered a hodler you have to do more than just hold onto your coins. You have to be willing to hold on no matter what the future looks like. You must be a die-hard enthusiast that believes in the particular cryptocurrency so much that you are willing to ride the price down it near zero without selling.
A true hodler will weather the storm. They won’t flinch when FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) is spreading like wildfire and most people are selling off their coins.
The hodler mindset is one that you cannot sway. The most hardcore of hodlers have a warriors mindset. When they see a sea of red on the price charts they stand their ground. This is why memes like these have become so popular…
Who Is Not a Hodler
Who is and isn’t a hodler is up for some debate. When a coin is dropping off a cliff there are those that will hold on for dear life and get destroyed by the jagged rocks below, there are those that will sell out just before bottom and only suffer from broken bones, and there are those that will sell off early enough to only be left with some minor cuts and bruises.
But when does a hodler become not a hodler? How long does one have to hold on to be considered one? This is what is up for debate.
However, I can tell you who for sure is not considered a hodler. Non-hodlers include:
- Traders that hold onto a coin only as long as they have to before trading back for a quick profit
- Investors that panic sell when FUD spreads across the media
- Investors that have no idea what is going on and don’t even realize they are holding when the price is dropping
The Problem With Being a Hodler
Hodlers often are under the assumption that “everything will bounce back”. The crypto market is incredible no doubt…. but NOT everything will bounce back. You can’t just blindly hodl when there are legitimate reasons that the particular cryptocurrency you are hodling is doomed. You have to be smart and know when to sell.
Most FUD that you see out there you should hodl though… but there are times when selling should be something you are considering.
I have seen many hodlers get burned and lose a lot of money because they did not sell.
The number 1 rule for a hodler should be to believe in the crypto you are going to hodl. Get to know it. Learn about its purpose, what it does, how it works, the tech behind it, etc.
Hodling a shitcoin that has been pumped and only looking at the price is the worst thing you can do.
So stay smart and hodl your coins… but only hodl safely!
Comments and questions can be left below…