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


On June 7, 2018, South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Bithumb released the results of a user survey called, “Cryptographic Investment Trends.” It captured the perspective of 2,507 virtual currency investors over the age of 20. The survey included questions on investment plans and government regulations. A notable finding was that 42.8 percent of those surveyed plan to “hodl” or keep their crypto-investments over the long term. A Bithumb press release authored by “Bitsumm manager” states:

As cipher money continues to be recognized as an asset in major industrialized countries, the perception of cipher money investment is gradually matured by domestic investors.

Bithumb Survey Findings

The Bithumb survey discovered that the older the cryptocurrency buyer, the more likely they are to plan to hodl and make longstanding investments. Here are the percentages of each age range that plan to preserve their holdings:

  • Investors in their 20s: 30.8 percent
  • 30s: 40.3 percent
  • 40s: 45.3 percent
  • 50s and older: 49.1 percent

Bithumb also shares that 39.5 percent of those surveyed plan to keep their investments, even if the government requires them to pay capital gains taxes, or taxes levied on profits from the sale of assets, on cryptocurrency. This is an 11 percent increase over Bithumb survey data from a year ago. About 13.1 percent responded that they would completely stop investing in digital money if this tax is imposed. The exchange concludes, “more and more investors are looking at cryptographic money as assets and looking for stable investments.”

Bithumb was founded in 2015 and is one of one of the largest exchanges in South Korea. The survey was conducted between April 30 and May 6, 2018, through Bithumb Cafe, Bithumb’s official communication channel.

Other South Korean- and Bithumb-related News

South Korea continues its tumultuous journey to establish crypto-trading regulations, which included discussion of a total ban in January 2018.

Bithumb recently made regulatory headlines when it announced it would ban users from 11 countries in late May 2018 as part of its anti-money laundering or AML policies. Specifically, citizens of countries labelled as Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories, or NCCT, were banned as of May 28. NCCT countries are noncompliant with the standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, or FATF, an intergovernmental organization established by the G-7 in 1989. This group of countries includes North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

Bithumb stated in a related press release:

We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors, and we will actively cooperate with the authorities. We will lead the standards of the Worldwide Codex Exchange with autonomous regulation ahead of schedule.

Earlier in 2018, South Korean exchanges including Bithumb banned anonymous cryptocurrency trading.

As of May 2018, Yoon Suk-heun, the new governor of the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, is reportedly considering relaxing cryptocurrency regulations.

The featured image is a collage featuring the Bithumb logo (credit: Bithumb) and a public domain survey image.