HODL

We’re entering a new era of finance with blockchain technologies becoming widely known outside early-adopting tech circles, and Bitcoin surpassing the mark of $10,000 per coin. Along with this massive wave of new investment is, naturally, a new lexicon of words being introduced into everyday conversation.

There is of course, cryptocurrency, which is derived from the two words that lead to its meaning: cryptography and currency. Likewise, blockchain, is self-explanatory: a linked list of records, otherwise known as blocks of information. Then there are playful words, such as mooning, meaning that a coin has reached a new all-time-high. But most fun of all, the word HODL captures the spirit and optimism of the crypto wave. According to some reports, the term first appeared in the context of cryptocurrencies when a user named GameKyuubi in the BitcoinTalk forum declared, “I AM HOLDING” on Dec 18, 2013.

HODLING isn’t tricky: it’s just a play on the word “holding”. In GameKyuubi’s post written during the Bitcoin crash of Dec ’13 (from an all-time-high of ~$1.1k to ~$650), he says he is better off hodling on to his assets, since “I KNOW I AM A BAD TRADER.” and “…traders can only take your money if you sell”. The HODL attitude has captured the spirit of thousands of early-adopting cryptocurrency advocates and speculators: They are aiming to both provide stable support to the total market cap for their coin of choice, and also see solid returns on their investment over time by simply buying and holding. Like GameKyuubi mentions, in zero-sum games like Bitcoin (due to the fixed number of coins), this strategy pays well, especially during massive bull runs such as the last year in Bitcoin’s history.

So, if Warren Buffet is the Oracle of Omaha for being a grandmaster buy and hold trader, does that make GameKyuubi the Oracle of the Moon? I’ll let you decide.

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John Marbach

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11 2017

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