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published-date Published: October 7, 2023
update-date Last Update: November 9, 2023


What Does HODL Mean?

HODL comes from a misspelled word “hold.” It refers to buying and retaining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The term has also come to signify “hold on for dear life” for crypto investors.

A 2013 Bitcointalk forum post first introduced the term. Back then, Bitcoin was unstable, swinging from just over $130 in April to more than $950 in early December 2013. The user advised people to keep their coins, saying they were “hodling.”


A Bitcointalk user named GameKyuubi coined the term at 10:03 a.m. UTC on Dec. 18. He admitted to being a bad trader and declared his intent to keep his Bitcoin:


He reasoned that only skilled day traders or naive newcomers sell in a bear market. Everyone else should hold. He even joked about drinking whiskey while writing the post.

The term quickly became a meme, initially invoking movies like 300 and Braveheart. Now, many memes relate it to Hodor from Game of Thrones.

HODLING as a Strategy and Guiding Philosophy

For crypto fans, HODLing is more than an investment tactic; it’s a long-term philosophy. They believe that cryptocurrencies will ultimately displace traditional money. In that scenario, exchange rates between cryptocurrencies and fiat money will become irrelevant.

The HODL philosophy is often captured in memes. In one, Morpheus from The Matrix tells Neo that one day, he won’t need to trade Bitcoin; it’ll just be the norm.

When to HODL

If you’re a true believer, the best time to HODL is always. This belief is rooted in the long-term potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Other Crypto Slang Terms

Apart from HODL, the crypto world uses other jargons:

  • FUD: Negative news that should be ignored by loyalists.
  • FOMO: Jumping on trending trades to avoid missing out.
  • Diamond Hands: Holding strong, even during market downturns.
  • Hold the line: Encouraging others to keep their assets.
  • Paper hands: Those who sell off quickly.
  • Mooning: Expecting an asset to soar.
  • Apes: Community members challenging Wall Street.
  • BTFD: A strategy to buy when prices drop.
  • YOLO: Buying risky assets, because “you only live once.”

Can You HODL Stocks?

Although HODLing is mainly for crypto, the buy-and-hold method applies to stock investing. Stocks generally have less volatility, offering long-term gains without extreme price swings.

The HODL Coin

HODL also refers to a DeFI token on Binance’s Smart Chain (BSC). Launched in May 2021, it rewards users in Binance coin (BNB) every three days.

The Bottom Line

HODL is shorthand for “Hold On for Dear Life.” It advises holding onto crypto through price ups and downs. It’s a strategy not just for Bitcoin but also for a specific token on Binance’s Smart Chain. Users can gain rewards by holding this token.