● Beginner Crypto Basics

6 Common Crypto Terms and What They Mean

6 minutes 2 years ago

If you spend your time reading crypto blogs, Twitter threads or forums, you may come across some terms that have you scratching your head and wondering what alternate universe you’ve just uncovered. Crypto slang can sometimes sound like a completely new language, with so many abbreviations, acronyms and just new meanings for existing words. This can get a little confusing, especially when you’re first starting out. We’re here to help you decode the 6 most common slang terms so that you can navigate the cryptoverse with confidence.

1. Whale

In crypto, there are many references made to underwater sea creatures. So if you see any fish related slang being used, don’t worry, you haven’t walked into a Seaworld forum, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

The size of your portfolio will equate to a ranking represented by sea creatures. The larger your portfolio, the more ability you have to ‘make waves’ in the market so to speak. As the whale is considered the largest underwater animal, people that fall within this category are able to change the price of a cryptocurrency with a single purchase or sale. This is due to their monumental purchasing power. To be considered a whale, you must have at least 1000 BTC or more.

In a sentence: "Wow the price of this coin has moved so much! There must be a whale behind this."

2. Fish

On the other end of the underwater spectrum, you have fish. As you can imagine, the use of this crypto slang term is referring to those with a much smaller crypto portfolio. Fish have little influence over the price fluctuations of the market.

In a sentence: "My goal is to become a whale one day, but at the moment I’m just one of the fish."

3. Mooning

Ever noticed that CoinSpot’s logo is a rocket? Well there’s a reason for that - One that goes beyond just looking cool. Mooning is a crypto slang term that refers to the phenomenon where a coin’s price skyrockets. When a coin’s price experiences a spike, you will often see excitement build on various platforms, with people exclaiming that the coin is heading “to the moon”.

In a sentence: "ETH is absolutely mooning this week."


The origins of this slang term is actually a rather funny story. In the early days, a user on a Bitcoin forum posted a message about holding onto a coin, but instead of writing ‘hold’ they misspelled it as ‘hodl’. This slip up is now interpreted as an acronym for ‘hold on for dear life’. It’s used in the context of holding onto your crypto even when the price has dropped significantly.

In a sentence: "You’ve got to HODL your DOGE even when the price drops. It’ll come back."

5. Pump and Dump

Pumping and dumping is a tactic often used by investors to make a quick buck. People will band together, buy up large amounts of a coin to create demand (pump) and then sell it off (dump) once the price has reached a peak. Once the coin has been dumped, the price of the coin decreases once again.

This tactic creates an artificial spike that causes the coin to be overvalued. This can really pay off if you get in at the right time, but it will be disastrous if you miss the boat.

In a sentence: "Judging by the chart, this coin was just a pump and dump."

6. Sats

The slang term sats is an abbreviation for ‘satoshi’s’ which is a reference to Satoshi Nakamoto - the founder of Bitcoin. Sats is the word for the smallest amount of Bitcoin that can be sent, which is 0.00000001 of a Bitcoin. Considering BTC’s dollar value fluctuates regularly, traders will often refer to BTC in terms of sats rather than its dollar value.

In a sentence: "How many sats have you bought this week?"

Sea creatures and outer space - you’ve got this

Crypto terminology is ever-changing and I think we can all agree that it’s certainly creative. This can make it difficult for newbies to do proper research and fully understand what’s being talked about within the community. But now that you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be able to HODL and interact with the community like a pro.

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