Common crypto terms & slang

Crypto can be a little overwhelming if you’ve just started out – so we’ve provided a crypto cheat sheet of all the terms & slang you’re most likely to hear thrown around. (Click any of the links for a more indepth breakdown.) 

Getting a grasp on the common lingo will make researching & learning about cryptocurrency a whole lot easier. Here’s what you need to know.


Bull Market: A bull market is a good thing that signifies a rapid and significant upward trend in the market. Being ‘bullish’ on something means you think it has a lot of potential to grow.

Bear Market: A bear market is the opposite of a bull market, signifying a rapid downwards trend & a period of depressed asset prices.

Altcoin: Altcoins are all tcryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin.

Fiat currency: Regular money – any currency backed by a government or country (USD, AUD, Euro, etc).

HODL: HODLers are those holding their crypto for the long-term, regardless of price fluctuations. The term was coined in 2013 when Bitcoin’s price was falling, and an investor mistakenly wrote ‘I am HODLing’.

Market Cap: Market capitalisation is a solid indicator of a crypto’s current worth, stability, risk-reward profile & growth potential. It is the total circulating supply of coins multiplied by the price of each coin. 

Low-cap, Mid-cap, Large-cap: The 3 main categories of crypto by market cap. Small-cap cryptos have the highest risk-reward profiles, while large-caps are the most stable.

ROI (Return on Investment): The percentage of how much money has been made compared to the initial investment.

DCA – Dollar Cost Average: A reliable strategy which involves buying fixed amounts of crypto at regular intervals instead of trying to time your entry into the market. 

ICO (Initial Coin Offering): A common way for crypto projects to raise money for their business.

Cryptography: The system which makes cryptocurrency secure. It uses complex computer & mathematical technology to encrypt data so that only a person with permission can decipher & access it. 

ATH (All time high): When an asset reaches a new peak in price.

Volatility: Price fluctuations in a financial market. The higher the volatility, the more intense the price swings and the riskier the investment.

Pump & dump: A nefarious tactic used to artificially inflate prices & get people to invest before big holders conspire to sell all at once, leaving naïve investors empty handed.

Shill: Someone purposely promoting a coin or project for their own benefit – they usually hold the asset they are ‘shilling’.

FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt): A strategy used to influence people’s perception of crypto through the spreading of negative, misleading or false information.

Bubble: When the price of an industry or asset is way higher than its true value. Something waiting to pop at any moment.

Whale: A whale is someone who has amassed A LOT of crypto. They can move the market by buying or selling their stake, and they are often linked to sudden crashes & market manipulation.

Parabolic: When a coin that sees exponential price growth in a short period of time (resembling the right side of a parabolic curve). 

Mooning: If something is ‘mooning’ that means a coin’s price is experiencing a spike & may well be headed to ‘the moon’, which is usually a new all-time-high or much higher.

No coiner: Someone who has no cryptocurrency in their investment portfolio & believes that cryptocurrency in general will fail.

Buy the dip: When you capitalise on temporarily low prices to get in at a cheap price.  

Bitcoin dominance: The percentage amount of the total crypto market cap (all the money in crypto) belonging to Bitcoin. How Bitcoin is being bought/held compared to other altcoins.    

Altseason: Altseason is a brief period where money flows out of Bitcoin & into altcoins, resulting in a significant & rapid price increase for the majority of cryptocurrencies.

NFTs (Non-fungible tokens): NFTs are digital assets  that are used to represent a wide range of unique, one-of-a-kind assets from collectibles to digital artwork to identity documents to land titles.

Rekt: Getting rekt is when a trader takes a big loss in crypto.

Stablecoin: A stablecoin is a crypto asset that does not fluctuate in value as it is pegged to another stable asset like fiat currency or gold.

Satoshi: The smallest denomination of Bitcoin you can purchase – one hundred millionth of a single Bitcoin.

Support/resistance levels: Key price barriers that stop an asset’s price from making overly dramatic moves. Support acts as a floor for the price & resistance acts as a ceiling.

Long position: You can ‘long’ an asset by buying cryptocurrency at a certain price, and then selling it after its price has risen.

Short position: A ‘short’ is a type of trade where you can turn a profit by betting that an asset will decrease in value.

DeFi (Decentralised finance): DeFi recreates financial services like insurance, loans & savings on Blockchain networks outside the control of banks, governments & companies

Smart contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing digital contracts that allow some form of direct exchange between two people, without the need for a third party like a bank or real-estate agent. 

DEX (decentralised exchange): A crypto exchange operating without a central authority (like Uniswap). The true wild west of trading. Approach with caution. 

Private/public key: The codes which you need to send, receive & safely store your crypto.

Wallet: A crypto wallet is a place to store your private/public keys and thus your crypto assets. Various wallet types include online wallets, software wallets, paper wallets & hardware wallets.

Mining: The use of specialised mining software to solve complex math problems in order to create cryptocurrency & ensure the Blockchain network & its transactions are kept verified & secure. 

Proof of work (PoW): The system of mining crypto to validate transactions & maintain the legitimacy of the network.

Proof of stake (PoS): PoS is an alternative to mining, where users secure Blockchain networks by ‘staking’ or ‘locking up’ their coins in the network, earning a staking reward for their participation.

White Paper: A comprehensive guide on a particular crypto coin, underlining its utility, purpose, future prospects & underlying technology.

Open-source: Code or software that is collaboratively produced, shared freely, published transparently & developed for the good of the community.

Decentralised: By the people, for the people. In the case of Blockchains, the system is spread over the entire network of users, making it almost impossible to hack or destroy. No individual has ownership of the network & there is no central point of control. 

Learn fast with Crypto Simple

Cryptocurrency can seem complex and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. At Digital Surge, we’ve educated and helped thousands of new traders take advantage of the crypto market. But we know there’s a lot to wrap your head around if you’re new to the space – which is why we created Crypto Simple – a one-stop-shop for world-class crypto education.  

For a range of crypto resources that are easy-to-digest and made for everyday people, check out Crypto Simple and get crypto-savvy in no time. We also offer unbeatable customer support so if you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re more than happy to help!

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