A Guide to Cryptocurrency Terminology

A Guide to Cryptocurrency Terminology

Getting started with cryptocurrencies? You might want to get familiar with these crypto terms first.

Airdrop: When a company creates a token or a coin, it may decide to launch a free distribution of that token or coin. This allows the company to get known very quickly, increase its number of users and/or thank its community for their support.


Altcoin: refers to all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.


Ask (or “offer price”) : price at which sellers want to sell a crypto.


ATH: for “All Time High, represents the highest price ever reached by a coin.


ATL: as opposed to ATH, “All Time Low” refers to the lowest price ever achieved.


Bear Market: a market that is in a downtrend.


Bid (or “bid offer”): price that buyers are willing to pay for a crypto.


Blockchain: information storage and transmission technology, transparent, secure and decentralised, i. e. it is not controlled by a supervisory body.


BTFD (“Buy The Fucking Dip”): advise made to traders to buy when the price of a cryptocurrency appears to be at its lowest (for example in a bull market, in a stagnant market, or at what you think might be the end of a bear market). This is the basic principle of trading.


Bull Market: a market that is in an uptrend.


Chart: chart showing the evolution of prices.


Correction: when the price (after going up or down for a certain period) changes sharply to get close to (or even reach) its previous price.


Dip: sudden fall of the course.


Exchange: it is an exchange platform dedicated to cryptocurrencies.


Fees: transaction fees charged by Exchanges.


Fiat: currencies issued by the central banks ($, €, £,…).


FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out”): represents the fear of missing an opportunity when the price of a coin begins to rise. This can lead to impulsive reactions from investors.


FUD (“Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”): a technique of disseminating negative, often vague and frightening information, sometimes with the aim of lowering the price and/or discrediting a project.


HODL: comes from a typing error. Hodl comes from “hold”, which means retaining a token or a coin hoping its value will increase again. A hodler is a person who invests over the long term.


ICO (“Initial Coin Offering”): an ICO is a cryptocurrency fundraiser. It takes place in the form of a token sale.


Market cap: represents the capitalization or money supply of a cryptocurrency. It’s the number of tokens (or coins) x the last selling price.


Pump & Dump: doing pump & dump means manipulating the market. An actor (or a group of actors) buys an enormous amount of cryptocurrency. This makes it possible to raise prices in the hope that other actors will enter the dance. When the objective is reached, the pumper turns into a dumper: he/she sells everything before the others to get maximum profit.


ROI: return on investment. This is obtained by dividing the profit made by the amount invested.


Shitcoin: currency considered as having no future, it is used only for speculation.


Short position: “to short” is to bet on the price drop. The investor will therefore sell cryptocurrencies to buy them back at a lower price.


Spread: represents the price difference between the offer to buy and the offer to sell.


Stop Loss: mechanism that allows investors to automatically sell positions when prices fall below a certain limit.


Tokens: they are specific to different cryptocurrencies or projects. Bitcoins are the tokens of the Bitcoin network and ethers are the tokens of the Ethereum network. Within the framework of the ICOs, some tokens are created and deployed on the Ethereum network. They generally follow a standard, called “ERC20”.


Volatility: saying that a share price is volatile means that it varies greatly.


Wallet: wallet composed of crypto coins.


Whale: a major player with a large capital and whose orders can have an impact on the price.


White paper: guide presenting the characteristics of a cryptocurrency or an ICO. It it meant to convince people that a project is worthwhile.


Are there other terms that you would like to add to the list? Comment below and we’ll add them!

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