Bulls, Bears, Whales, and Other Cryptocurrency Terms

The cryptocurrency market is an interesting space. Its high volatility, largely unregulated nature, and enthusiast trying to hype coins in their portfolio, make it all so dynamic. As a cryptocurrency newbie or veteran, you must have stumbled upon terms like HODL, FUD, Whale, ICO, and many others. These are basic crypto terminologies you are expected to know. Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of them.

Bulls: These are individuals that believe the price of a coin will go up. This expectation is referred to as being bullish.

Bears: These are the opposites of bulls. They expect prices to go down.

Whales: A whale is an individual or group of individuals that hold enormous amounts of a particular coin. For this reason, it is easy for them to push the market or price of a coin either up or down.

Airdrop: This is the process of distributing tokens after the network of an ICO or fork goes live.

Altcoin: Every other coin that is not Bitcoin, is an altcoin. Ethereum, Dash, Monero, and many others are all grouped as altcoins, otherwise known as alts.

ATH: ATH stands for All-Time-High. This is the highest price a cryptocurrency has seen so far. As a rule of thumb, it is not ideal to buy at these points as the price may reduce or come crashing.

Buy Low, Sell High: This is commonsense trading strategy. Nobody wants to lose money. In other to make profits, aim at buying low and never high. Never panic into a market. And just in case you bought at a high price and the prices have dropped, then HODL, as long as the project seems feasible.

Correction: The price of coins doesn’t just increase without halting. After hitting all-time-highs, it is expected that the prices drop a bit in what is known as a correction. It is not usual for bear markets to follow correction actions.

Fork: An update to a cryptocurrency’s network can create a new version of that crypto. A soft fork simple updates the existing network, while a hard fork creates an identical version of that crypto.

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. This is an emotional response that makes people jump in to buy a coin that’s rising in price because they don’t want to be left behind. Chances are that the prices will drop.

FUD: Fear, uncertainty, and doubt

Hash: This is an algorithm that turns a large amount of data into a fixed-length hash (a string of characters that acts as a cryptographic key).

HODL: This is a miss spelling of the word ‘HOLD’. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts use this to refer to hanging onto their coins instead of selling – “Hold On for Dear Life”.


ICO: Initial coin offering. This is somewhat similar to IPO (Initial Product Offering) in the business world.

Node: Any computer in the network that hosts the blockchain

PoS: Proof-of-Stake. Validation is done by those who have stakes in the network

PoW: Proof-of-Work. Validating of transactions is done by those who have mining hardware

Pump and Dump: Advertising and hyping a coin, which often leads to massive price increase. This is typically followed by a crash, otherwise known as ‘dump’.

Satoshi (Sats): The smallest fraction of Bitcoin (one hundred millionths)

SHA: Secured Hash Algorithm

Token: The currency of a project used to raise money. This is similar to listing shares.