What does ‘HODL’ mean?

If you’re a regular reader of bitcoin blogs, or you follow a lot of bitcoin related social media then chances are you will have seen the phrase ‘bitcoin hodl’ used. So just what exactly does this term mean?

The phrase itself is quite simple, and certainly won’t require any long winded technical explanation. It means to simply hold on the bitcoin that you have, and to not sell it. Where did this phrase originate from?

Like most new phrases and buzzwords it originated on social media when a seemingly intoxicated message board user logged onto a site and decided to tell the world that they were ‘hodling’ their bitcoin, rather than holding. The beginning of their long winded drunken ramble started like this:

I type d that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong. w/e. GF’s out at a lesbian bar, BTC crashing WHY AM I HOLDING? I’LL TELL YOU WHY. It’s because I’m a bad trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER. Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a millino bucks sure no problem bro.

So as you can maybe tell from the drunken ramble above, they were simply stating that although the price of bitcoin was dropping, they thought that the best tactic was to hold onto it and hope that the price would increase. The original post is dated December 2013, so if you look at the prices at the times it seems that despite his thinking being somewhat clouded by alcohol, it did indeed turn out to be a good tactic.

The post then continued, much in the same style. The original thread itself stretches to an impressive 132 pages. Of course after this many users of the forum found it hilarious, started posting memes about it, and thus a new phrase was born. It has also been adapted to stand for HODL – hold on for dear life, a phrase which has been used many times when the price of bitcoin starts to fall.

It has since become massive, and is used in many blogs, memes, articles, and even news stories. There are even some online merchandise shops selling t-shirts with the phrase on it.

So remember, if ever you see this phrase it simply means to hold onto what you have in the hope that the price will soon increase.

And also remember that if after a few beers you decide to go online to tell the world about your views on bitcoin and cryptocurrency, then maybe run a spell check over it if you don’t want to end up creating a now world famous internet meme!

Ian Scarffe

About the Author:

Ian Scarffe is a serial entrepreneur, investor, key opinion leader and Blockchain consultant with business experience from around the world.

As a leading entrepreneur, Ian is on a personal mission to develop a culture of entrepreneurship, helping startups achieve their full potential as well as helping to expand existing companies.

Ian has founded ‘Binkplus’, a startup incubator in Europe. Ian is an Independent Expert at the European Commission – Horizon 2020

An expert in Startup, Investment, Fintech, Web3 and Blockchain industries. Ian currently consults and advises for a range of multi-million dollar companies.

Ian’s overall mission is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities across the world.

Ian Scarffe has written two books to help others:

The Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency 2018 Blockchain Basics 2020

Follow Ian Scarffe: