Friday Meme History: Hodl

Every Friday, we take a light-hearted tour through the best memes, colloquialisms, and strangeties from the cryptoverse. As bitcoin hits a 12-month low, what better place to start than hodl! Carty Sewill explains.

Hodl; in times like these it’s harder than ever. Those of us with iron hands are still memeing our way to financial ruin or redemption. We’re ‘Holding On for Dear Life.’ 

That’s what it means to hodl doesn’t it? Well not exactly. 

What Does Hodl Mean?

Like any good meme, hodl has gone through many iterations. In an etymological sense, everyone’s favorite crypto meme started out as a typo. A typo by a drunk guy named ‘GameKyuubi,’ who submitted a post titled “I AM HODLING” on the BitcoinTalk forum during a market dump in December of 2013. 

hodl origins - bitcointalk forum

He explained his position as a “bad trader” and emphatically professed:

“NO SHIT I SHOULD HAVE SOLD… You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader… The people in-between hold.” 

His post was met with mockery and “hodling” quickly became the preferred inside joke of BitcoinTalk users and bitcoin enthusiasts alike. And it didn’t stop there.

How it went from typo to inside joke to the preferred meme of bitcoin maximalists is anyone’s guess. But needless to say, it’s gone far beyond that. One no longer hodls just bitcoins. Hodl has become the mantra of anyone who’s ever hoped to turn a long-term profit in crypto. 

Even ethereum and monero lovers hodl these days. Hell, the markets in general. I’m hodling silver as we speak. It’s given rise to tee shirts, posters, videos, and an endless stream of original content from designers turned crypto-admirer.

hodl sparta meme

Eventually, it spawned an acronym. Well a backronym, actually: “Holding on for Dear Life.” It’s what a lot of us are left doing these days; wearing our hodl tees and compulsively checking BitMex. 

In the end, that’s what hodl really is. Hodl is a strategy for those of us who don’t have the free time or wherewithal to play the market like a professional trader. We aren’t all day traders and those of us who believe in blockchain and the future of decentralized currencies, like GameKyuubi stated in that ill-fated post, have little choice other than to trust their gut and hodl on.

Best Hodl Memes

Nike hodl meme

hodl meme

Carty Sewill

Carty is a graphic designer and cryptocurrency enthusiast based out California. He enjoys sci-fi, Seinfeld, and philosophy. See his work at his website

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