What Does HODL Mean in Crypto?

By Julia Cook
Published Jun 2, 2022 and Updated Mar 21st, 2023

‘HODL’ is the cryptocurrency-specific version of the financial term ‘hold.’ It means to invest in cryptocurrency with the intent of keep it for the long-term in the hope of it gaining value over time.

The term ‘HODL’ is a misspelling of ‘hold’ that was derived from a drunken rant that was posted by a Bitcoin investor in December 2013 on the Bitcointalk Bitcoin Forum. His comments drew a lot of attention from others on the forum and was adopted by them humorously when they were emphasizing their belief in Bitcoin (BTC) investment in other threads and forums.  The term soon became so widespread that it has become mainstream jargon in the crypto space.

Since its inadvertent inception, ‘HODL’ has become an acronym for ‘Hold on For Dear Life.’ This is the philosophy of not capitulating to FUD perceptions and resisting to urge to sell when a cryptocurrency, usually BTC, is rapidly decreasing in value on the basis of the belief that its value will again increase overtime. The same holds true when BTCs price is increasing – an investor must resist the urge to sell prematurely. Such as person is known as a ‘HODLer’. HODLing during periods of either negative or positive cryptocurrency market extremes is a point of pride for HODLers. The main perceived values in HODLing by HODLers is that they can avoid making losses during volatile downturns, they do not cause themselves undue stress by constantly keeping an eye on the market trends (with the side-benefit of spending that worry-time doing something more productive) and being able to make more rational trading decisions.