It’s been a full decade since a quirky Bitcoin fan birthed a phrase that’s now a staple in the crypto world: the “HODL” meme.
Rewind to December 18, 2013. On this day, a BitcoinTalk user named GameKyuubi decided to post in the forums amid a significant Bitcoin price drop to $420, a stark contrast to its $1200 peak just a week earlier. His memorable post title? “I AM HODLING.”
The Story Behind HODL
Originally, “HODL” was simply a typo of “hold,” meant to express holding onto Bitcoin.
Kyuubi’s post opened with an acknowledgment of the typo, which he repeated, realizing it was still incorrect. His message was a heartfelt rant against the cutthroat nature of crypto trading, advocating for a buy-and-hold approach over trying to time the market.
The post was a mix of candidness and humor, mentioning his drunken state, numerous spelling mistakes, and a personal anecdote about his girlfriend’s night out. It was a recipe for an instant meme.
Kyuubi expressed, “Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows…but I’m not part of that group.”
HODL: A Decade On
Fast forward to today, and “HODL” is more than a meme; it’s a mantra for crypto believers who are in it for the long haul, some even vowing never to sell.
The term has influenced crypto businesses, such as Hodlnaut and Hodl Hodl, and even major asset manager VanECK, which plans to use HODL as the ticker for its upcoming Bitcoin spot ETF.
A Bitcoiner, fichte42, summed it up in a recent post: “It’s not just a misspelled word; it’s a philosophy, a testament to iron will. To HODL is to embrace the chaos with a zen-like calm.”
Looking back, sticking to the HODL strategy would have been a smart move. Today, Bitcoin’s value hovers around $41,358, a staggering 100-fold increase since Kyuubi’s original rant.
Binance CEO Richard Teng recently reflected, “The industry has come a long way in the last decade, thanks to the entire community for HODLing on and continuing to build.”
Current on-chain data reveals Bitcoin holders are more committed than ever to HODLing. Glassnode reports that over 70% of Bitcoin hasn’t changed hands in more than a year.