The History of HODL

“HODL,” one of the most frequently used terms in the cryptocurrency world, originated years ago from a typo.

Feb 2, 2019 at 5:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:51 a.m. UTC

“HODL,” one of the most frequently used terms in the cryptocurrency world, originated years ago from a typo.

On a December morning in 2013, user GameKyuubi posted an entry titled “I AM HODLING” in a bitcoin forum. “I type d that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time,” he wrote in the first sentence of a drunken post loaded with typos and phrases in all caps. In the thread, he ranted about his poor trading skills and his intention to simply hold his bitcoin as its price was plummeting at the time. “You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob,” he added. “In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can only take your money if you sell.”

The misspelled “HODL” quickly circulated among the crypto community, and soon after turned into an internet slang to indicate when a person holds bitcoin rather than selling it. Use of the term was later extended to include other cryptocurrencies. 

Not only has “hodling” turned into one of the most popular cryptocurrency terms, it’s also served as a strategy for traders, albeit a basic one, given the volatile nature of the crypto market. This refers to a buy-and-hold situation where hodlers stay invested and refrain from trading when the asset price decreases. As a result, hodlers are theoretically safe from some trading tendencies, be it buying at a high price or selling at a low price (the latter is also known as “SODL” – a less commonly used term derived from “HODL”).

In 2019, ten years after the birth of bitcoin and seven years since “HODL” became part of crypto lingo, CoinDesk tracked down Mike, the man who coined this term, to find out whether his views on trading have changed since his fortuitous fame. 

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
Cash Management Firm Coinshift Closes $15M Series A Led by Tiger Global

Coinshift has outlined a new roadmap with the goal of building the most sophisticated treasury system for Web 3.

Coinshift has outlined a new roadmap with the goal of building the most sophisticated treasury system for Web 3.

2
Dutch Finance Official Wants to Ban Retail Investors From Trading Crypto Derivatives

The Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) doesn’t yet have the authority to issue a UK-style ban, however.

The Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) doesn’t yet have the authority to issue a UK-style ban, however.

3
Certora Raises $36M for Smart Contract Security Tools

Jump Crypto led the funding round for the firm, which secures $50 billion of DeFi assets.

Jump Crypto led the funding round for the firm, which secures $50 billion of DeFi assets.

4
Ransomware Gang Extorted 725 BTC in One Attack, On-Chain Sleuths Find

The infamous Conti ring’s internal messages, leaked in February, served as a jumping-off point for a new transaction analysis by Crystal Blockchain.

The infamous Conti ring’s internal messages, leaked in February, served as a jumping-off point for a new transaction analysis by Crystal Blockchain.