Top 10 Cryptocurrency Acronyms

Cryptocurrency represents an environment that is constantly growing and changing. As this ecosystem evolves and becomes increasingly complex, so does the jargon used most frequently in conversation. Acronyms play a large role in cryptocurrency dialogue, and without knowledge of the terms they refer to, it can be difficult to follow the information being shared. Here are ten of the most popular cryptocurrency acronyms that everyone should have knowledge of.

10. OTC

“Over the counter” refers to a method of trading that bypasses an exchange service. With OTC trading, buyers and sellers instead agree upon an exchange rate for a set amount of currency and, often with the help of a trusted third-party escrow, transact with one another directly. OTC trading is often prevalent among teams buying or selling to and from large, private investors, so as to not disrupt the market for their coin.

Before RaiBlocks was listed on an exchange, it was traded OTC on Bitcointalk for over a year.

9. GPU

A graphics processing unit is a computer component traditionally responsible for rapid and efficient creation and display of images, and often utilized to aid in PC gaming. However, GPUs play a very important role in a number of cryptocurrencies that utilize Proof-of-Work algorithms geared toward the processing strategies imposed by GPUs. As a result, there has been much tension lately between gamers and cryptocurrency miners, as the growth of cryptocurrency has led to an unprecedented demand for GPUs, which caused a shortage of units available to gamers as well as rapidly increasing costs for the hardware that is available.

I have just assembled my GPU mining rig, which I will use to mine Ethereum and Monero.

8. ATH

An all time high is the absolute maximum price that a coin has attained. It can be expressed in terms of either BTC or USD. Of course, one of the greatest feelings in cryptocurrency trading is holding a coin until it achieves a new ATH. Alternatively, seeing a coin drop significantly from its ATH for a sustained period of time is one of the worst feelings.

If Bitcoin can appreciate past US$20,000, it will achieve a new ATH.

7. DEX

Decentralized exchanges are often referred to as the future of cryptocurrency trading. As traditional, centralized exchanges have continually failed its users due to hacks, poor support, lack of scaling, regulatory changes, and other issues, much of the cryptocurrency community has looked to DEX solutions as structural fixes to these perpetual issues. On a DEX, buyers and sellers maintain ownership of their funds, and the DEX simply serves as a facilitator of direct trades between buyers and sellers.

The Counterparty DEX sees a lot of activity from Pepecash users exchanging Rare Pepes with one another.

6. BCH

Bitcoin Cash, and more specifically, its acronym, have been the subject of much controversy. There has been a popular campaign by BCH skeptics to refer to the Bitcoin fork as BCash, rather than Bitcoin Cash. This has sparked much backlash from Bitcoin Cash supporters and even the CEO of the coin, Roger Ver, who view the BCash campaign as a malicious attack on the BCH community.

I can’t believe I was able to receive so much Bitcoin from the BCH I received after the fork!

5. FUD

“Fear, uncertainty and doubt” refers to the practices of bad actors to drive the price of a coin down for one reason or another. FUD often takes the form of misconstrued or even blatantly incorrect news shared to convince holders of a coin to sell off their holdings. For example, the false news spread about China banning Bitcoin was FUD.

Don’t listen to this troll telling you X is going to fail. He is only spreading FUD!


The fear of missing out represents the inverse of FUD, as it is a similar practice employed to instead drive the price of a coin upwards. FOMO takes the form of hype, both natural and orchestrated, breaking news, and sharp price movements. FOMO is blamed as the driving force behind unsuccessful investors purchasing a coin at its ATH, who are then stuck with a bag of a coin they likely didn’t do enough research on that is now worth far less than the initial investment.

The 50% jump in the past hour can be attributed to FOMO setting in following the huge announcement from earlier today.

3. ICO

ICO, or Initial coin offering, is perhaps the most widely spread acronym in cryptocurrency. ICO represents the crowdfunding approach to launches and relaunches of cryptocurrencies. For a majority of new projects, their future success is primarily dependent upon the results of their ICO. While there was once a time when the ICO tag carried a negative connotation, the overwhelming use of this system now overshadows the criticisms of skeptics of this approach to funding.

The year-long EOS ICO is the largest to date, and has raised close to US$1 billion.


“Buy the F***ing Dip” is a trading method that simply involves buying a coin that has just seen a sharp drop. Coins that experience these dips are often referred to as oversold, likely due to a piece of FUD that had a large influence. However, sometimes these dips are natural, and those people who BTFD can still find themselves at a loss, forced to instruct the next wave of buyers to BTFD at the next drop. The fiery connotation is largely attributed to the sentiment that supporters of a coin are passionate about seeing its price recover as soon as possible.

Ethereum dipped 20% due to FUD news. Tomorrow the price will be back to normal, so now is the time to BTFD.


“Do your own research” is perhaps the most universal advice throughout cryptocurrency trading, and in a broader context, investing in general. DYOR suggests that financial decisions should take place only after the individual uses due diligence to DYOR so they can be sure they are not being manipulated by FUD, FOMO, or some other act of spreading malicious or simply misguided information. The one commonality among all successful traders is they all take the time to DYOR.

I think that this coin is a great investment and has a great future. However, I advise you to DYOR before you make any decisions.

Bonus: Hodl

Hodl is technically not an acronym. Its origin is a drunken Bitcointalk forum post from December 2013 as the BTC price was crashing from the then-ATH of about US$1,000. Since that post, hodl became a joke spread throughout the entire community, and its prevalence has not ceased since. Recently, a sentiment has developed that suggests HODL stands for “hold on for dear life”. While this is not historically accurate, it does align with the context in which it is often used throughout the community. Hodl has even gained notoriety as the content behind a popular rap parody, HODL GANG.