The Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin Slang: From BTC and mBTC to Everything In Between
Bitcoin is great. We know it, they know it and, if you’ve spent any time here at Bitcasino, you’ll know it too. Wherever you sit on the bitcoin spectrum, one thing you’ll have noticed is that there are a lot of words and phrases that are unique to this industry. Like any club, bitcoin enthusiasts have their own ways of explaining things and, in this article, we’re going to run through some of the most common and useful terms of bitcoin slang.
We know what it’s like to read a news story or a forum post about bitcoin and not have a clue what someone is saying. To ensure you don’t have to suffer like we did when we were newbies, this guide will cover some of the industry’s popular terms. So, if you’re ready to learn the way of the BTC community, let’s crack on with our ultimate guide to bitcoin slang.
Altcoin: When bitcoin was launched in 2009, it was unique. Taking blockchain technology and creating a new payment system that was efficient, secure and decentralised was a revelation at the time. However, when something new comes to life, it inspires others to innovate and that’s exactly what’s happened in the cryptocurrency world. Since bitcoin blazed a trail, thousands of alternative options have come to life. From ethereum and tronx to litecoin and dogecoin, these coins all use blockchain technology, but in a slightly different way to bitcoin. We now refer to any blockchain-based coin that isn’t bitcoin as an alternative coin or, for simplicity’s sake, an altcoin.
ATH: One of the many acronyms we’ll cover in this ultimate guide to bitcoin slang, ATH stands for All-Time High. In other words, when you see ATH written next to a coin’s price, you’ll know that this is the highest it’s ever been at the time of writing.
Bags: When you hold a cryptocurrency that’s worth less than what you purchased it for, it becomes known as a bag. For example, if you purchase ฿1 for £1,000 but the price dropped to £800, your bitcoin holding would become known as a bag. As we’ve seen in recent months, that doesn’t happen very often with bitcoin.
BagHolder: If you’re referred to as a bagholder, someone is basically saying that you bought high and now have an asset that’s worth less than you paid for it. So, in this instance, you’re holding a bag that you can’t or won’t sell because you’d be losing money.
BearWhale: A person or organisation is known as a whale if they hold a significant amount of coins. For example, if someone owned 5% or more of the total supply of bitcoins, they’d be known as a whale. If this person decided to take a bearish position, i.e. they felt they felt the price of their asset was going to fall, they could decide to sell. So a BearWhale is a whale that’s decided to go the “bear” way, to borrow this financial term. When a BearWhale sells a large portion of their asset, it can cause a shift in the market value. So, if someone owned 10% of all the bitcoins in existence and tried to sell them all, they would flood the market and drive down the currency’s value because there would more of them up for sale.
BFTD: As we said earlier in our introduction to this ultimate guide to bitcoin slang, there are a lot of acronyms in use. Indeed, scroll through any cryptocurrency forum and you’ll see plenty of three and four-letter words being used. Anytime you see BFTD, you should know that it stands for “Buy The F**king Dip”. To put it another way, this is someone telling you that a certain currency is worth buying because the price is low.
BTC: This acronym is the shorthand way of writing bitcoin, an alternative to the symbol ฿. Some people also like to use BTC when referring to cash amounts in the same way they would for the pound or dollar: 1 GBP, 1 USD, 1 BTC.
Choyna: Bitcoin users love misspelled words almost as much as they love acronyms. If you haven’t already guessed, Choyna is the misspelled name for China.
DDoS: Although this term is used elsewhere online, it’s something we wanted to include in our ultimate guide to bitcoin slang because it pays to be vigilant. In practice, DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. Put simply, this is a form of cyber-attack that aims to shut down a website by flooding it with traffic from a variety of sources. By making millions of simultaneous requests, the criminals can cause a site’s servers to overload and shutdown. In practice, that site won’t be available to visitors, and that can, of course, cause problems.
#DYOR: Ever started talking to someone about bitcoin and they use it as an opportunity to bombard you with questions? Whether it’s a simple question such as “what does BTC mean” or something more complex like “will bitcoin’s market cap increase over the next year?”, newbies often have a ton of questions. While it’s ok to answer a few, there comes a time when people have to do their own research (like you are now). In these situations, you can use #DYOR or Do Your Own Research.
Fiatsplaining: In some people’s minds, bitcoin and the cryptocurrency world as a whole isn’t any different to the financial world. For these people, the fundamental process of using a defined unit to pay for goods and services is the same across the board. However, in reality, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are different from fiat currencies which government controlled, such as the pound or dollar. Despite the differences, financial experts often try to explain the nuances of bitcoin as if it were a traditional currency. The end result is a poor explanation of what’s happening, and this is known as fiatsplaining.
Flip: When you flip a currency, you’re basically buying it when it’s cheap and selling it quickly because you assume its value is going to drop. In other words, you’re flipping it from one thing to another in order to make a profit.
Flippening: There may come a time when BTC isn’t the dominant cryptocurrency. If that day ever comes and an altcoin surpasses the value of bitcoin, this will be known as the flippening.
FOMO: Ever heard about something really cool and jumped on the bandwagon without really thinking about it? If you have, then you’ll have experienced FOMO or, as it’s otherwise known, Fear Of Missing Out. You don’t need to read our ultimate guide to bitcoin slang to know that BTC was the hot topic in 2017. With multiple stories and prices increases, people were racing to join the action because they were afraid they’d miss out on a great opportunity. This is common in the crypto world, but it’s something you should avoid if you want to make sound investments.
Fork: No, this isn’t something you use to eat your dinner with. OK, so it is something you use to move food from a plate to your mouth, but it’s also a term used by bitcoin enthusiasts to describe a split. When developers and miners decide to divide a blockchain (a network/ledger of transactions), its known as a fork. Sometimes the fork will create a minor change in the system, but there are instances when it results in a new cryptocurrency being made. This is known as a hard fork, and a recent example is the creation of bitcoin cash. Due to various reasons, including the time it was taking to process transactions, developers decided to implement a hard form on bitcoin’s blockchain. This result led to the creation of a new cryptocurrency known as bitcoin cash.
FUD: Another acronym like mBTC, FOMO and the like. FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. If a news story or global event appears to have a negative slant on bitcoin, it causes FUD and this often results in people selling their coins or the currency’s value dropping.
Hodl: A misspelling of hold, this simply means that you are sticking with an asset such as bitcoin.
ICO: When a new cryptocurrency is launched, the creators host something known as an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). During an ICO, a set number of coins are sold for a fixed price (usually very cheap) and the money raised is used to help fund the company and the development of its technology.
IMO: A general acronym that’s now used by bitcoin users, IMO simply stands for In My Opinion.
mBTC: Another bitcoin unit similar to pence in the UK or cent in the US. A single millibitcoin is worth one-thousandth of a bitcoin.
Moon: If a cryptocurrency’s price is predicted to increase dramatically, it’s said that it will “moon”. This phrase has basically taken the English phrase “going stratospheric” and used it to define an asset that’s looking as though its value will rise so high it leaves earth’s orbit and reaches the moon (metaphorically, of course).
Nocoiner: Did you miss out on the initial bitcoin rush? Have you done anything about it? If you answered yes and then no, you’re a nocoiner. Anyone that hasn’t purchased any bitcoins and spends their time sitting on the sidelines complaining about how they’re missings out on the action is a nocoiner. Fortunately, if you’re read our ultimate guide to bitcoin slang or you’ve loaded your Bitcasino account with some mBTC, you’re not one of these unfortunate souls.
Pump and Dump: When a large number of coins enter the market, it’s known as a dump. This typically results in that coin’s price falling because it’s easier to buy, because there are more available. When the price of a coin rises dramatically, it’s often because large quantities have been purchased and there are now less available to buy. This is known as a pump. So, a pump and dump is when a coin’s value rises and then falls dramatically.
REKT: When things go wrong, you’re out of luck and you appear to have lost everything, your fortunes are said to be wrecked or, as BTC fans would call it, REKT.
Scamcoin: Unfortunately, due to the popularity of bitcoin, some people have tried to defraud newbies with altcoins that are not really designed to work. These are known as scamcoins.
Shill: If you ever see someone on a forum trying to sell a company in a convert way, they are known as a shill. The typical shill move will be to join an active forum thread under the guise of adding to the discussion but all they’re really doing is trying to generate some interest in a company they’re either employed by or have an interest in.
S**tcoin: Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and, for many, still the best. As we said earlier in this ultimate guide to bitcoin slang, there’s a long list of alternatives on the market. Unsurprisingly, a lot of them aren’t very good. The ones that don’t deliver or simply fall short of bitcoin are known as s**tcoins.
Trollbox: A troll can either be someone offering sound advice in a very insistent manner or it can be someone being deliberately sarcastic in a bid to deceive, annoy or simply disrupt a conversation. Distinguishing between a helpful troll and an annoying one is a matter of experience, but the place you’ll find them in all their forms is a trollbox. Basically, if a bitcoin site has a chat box with lots of activity, it can effectively be a trollbox.
Weak Hands: If someone is said to have weak hands, they’re basically incapable of holding on to an asset. Anyone that’s unable to remain patient and sell at the right time could be described as having weak hands.
So, there you have it. Just as the bitcoin universe is filled with tons of technical terms and phrases, it’s also littered with slang. Although this guide hasn’t covered every single acronym, misspelled word or neologism, it should allow you to read that latest forum threads and have some idea about what people are talking about.
In fact, you should also find that many of the sayings we’ve listed will be used by the Bitcasino community. When you join one of our multiple player games, you’ll find that your tablemates will throw out the odd IMO and BTC both as a way of describing the situation at hand, but also to show off their knowledge of bitcoin.