As it sounds, ‘hopium’ is a slang term that combines ‘hope’ and ‘opium’ to refer to a cryptocurrency trader who has unrealistic hopes of the crypto’s price rising with no real facts to support their expectation.
Hopium is a portmanteau that combines ‘hope’ and ‘opium’ to create a new word that indicates a HODLer who is in a state of unrealistic positive expectation for the future of cryptocurrency that is so extreme that it is similar to a drug-induced emotion.
The reason that it is considered silly by onlookers is that the spectator believes that they have no factual basis upon which to base their speculation. It always has a negative connotation, as the person is using the word ‘hopium’ to deride the speculator or speculators perceived false hopes.
Recent examples can be found in an article by CoinDesk which states that ‘Bitcoin Crowd Appears High on ‘Hopium’ as ‘Buy The Dip’ Trends’ whereby they are indicating that it is currently a bear market that is unlikely to see a return in investment in the near future; in fact, quite the opposite (this was written just after the 2021 Bitcoin bubble burst.)
Another instance is in an article from CoinTelegraph that discusses, ‘Will Ethereum Merge hopium continue, or is it a bull trap?,’ where the author relates their concerns that that the current increase in ETH’s value is likely more a result of speculation of investors who hope for increased value of ETH following the planned fork on September 19th, 2022, and the likely bull run following it, than on any genuine proof that the demand and high value is likely to remain long-term.