What does HODL mean?
Hold means to keep/store. Therefore, the so-called holders are those who own an asset with the aim of keeping it.
However, on December 18th, 2013 the acronym HODL was coined by mistake.
Initially, it was just a typing error of the term hold, but over time it has acquired a meaning all of its own in the industry.
It all stems from a thread on BitcoinTalk initiated by the user GameKyuubi, whose title was “I AM HODLING“.
The discussion was about the fact that the price of BTC was falling after reaching its peak at more than $1,100 on December 4th, 2013.
On December 18th it had already collapsed below 500, with a loss of more than 50% in just two weeks.
The price then returned to $900 at the beginning of 2014 and after that went down again to $300 at the end of the year.
GameKyuubi said that although the price at that time was falling, he had chosen to keep his bitcoins and not sell them. But, in addition to the mispronunciation of the verb, what has gone down in history is the justification he gave for this choice.
He said that he was a “bad trader” and that he did not feel to be part of those who buy BTCs hoping to resell them at a higher price.
In addition, GameKyuubi claimed that selling at a low price meant playing the game for those who are just waiting for the price to come down to buy, so they can make money by reselling.
The concept expressed went far beyond the moment of temporary weakness of the price of BTC, and was interpreted by many as a kind of manifesto.
On the one hand there were the traders, who were only interested in buying BTCs to sell them at a higher price as soon as possible, and on the other hand, there were the holders who bought BTCs to permanently convert their fiat money into cryptocurrencies.
These holders, or those who are no longer willing to turn their bitcoins into fiat after buying them, have made HODL their ideology.
In the comments on the thread launched by GameKyuubi, another user then proposed to consider HODL the acronym of “Hold On for Dear Life“, in other words to “keep your bitcoins for life“, without ever reselling them.
This interpretation was then probably established as a way to give more credibility to a term born only as a trivial typing error.
To date, those who have decided to keep their bitcoins to the bitter end, without ever being willing to resell them in exchange for fiat currency, are called hodlers and hodling bitcoin is the name given to this maximalist strategy.
In addition, the contrast between traders and hodlers continues to be very strong and entrenched, perhaps now so much so that it has become a real ideology.