Crypto guide: what does “Hodl” mean?

In the fast-paced and often volatile world of cryptocurrency, “HODL” has emerged as a term that's both a rallying cry and a strategy. In this article, we'll dive into the origins of HODL, what it means for investors, and how it reflects the unique ethos of the cryptocurrency community.


What does Hodl mean?

At its core, “Hodl” refers to the strategy of holding or keeping your cryptocurrencies long-term instead of selling them in response to market fluctuations. Hodlers believe in the future potential of their cryptocurrencies and choose not to succumb to panic during price drops. Instead, they resist the temptation to sell and wait for the value of their cryptocurrencies to increase over time.

The origin of the term and its meaning in the world of cryptocurrencies

As strange as it sounds, hodl is a spelling mistake turned into a culture. The word “Hodl” originated from a typo in a Bitcoin forum message in 2013, where a user wrote “I am hodling” instead of “holding” during a period of high market volatility.

This mistake went viral and since then, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have adopted the term “hodl” as a motto.

Hodl is not just an investment strategy, it is also a philosophy that promotes trust in blockchain technology and the decentralisation of cryptocurrencies. By holding your cryptocurrencies, you are contributing to the stability and growth of the network.

Furthermore, hodl is a way to avoid the emotional pitfalls of frequent trading, which can lead to significant losses.

We are talking about feelings like FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which can lead investors to make hasty decisions.

How does the hodl strategy work?

Now that we have broken down the meaning of hodl, we will analyse how it is put into practice. For this, it is essential to understand the fundamental purpose behind this strategy, long-term investment in the world of cryptocurrencies. Likewise, you should be aware of the psychological fundamentals behind it.

The goal of hodl: long-term investment

One of the characteristics of cryptocurrencies is their volatility. Their prices can skyrocket to impressive heights in a matter of days or plummet abruptly in the same span of time, or even less. This can be dangerous ground for novice investors looking for quick profits. This is where the hodl strategy comes into play.

The main goal of hodl is to resist the temptation to seek quick profits through constant trading. Instead of worrying about daily market fluctuations, hodlers believe in the long-term outlook of cryptocurrencies. Their focus is on holding their crypto assets for an extended period, even despite temporary price drops.

The hodler trusts that, as cryptocurrencies mature and gain acceptance in society and the global economy, their values will significantly increase over time. This belief in the potential for long-term growth is based on the idea that cryptocurrencies are transforming entire industries and revolutionising the way we handle money and digital assets.

Sticking to hodl can allow investors to weather volatility and take advantage of the long-term growth potential of cryptocurrencies. This strategy, although it certainly requires patience, has proven to be successful.

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The psychology behind hodl: why many investors choose this strategy

Frequent trading can be fraught with impulsive decisions based on emotions such as fear or greed. Hodl seeks to avoid these emotional mistakes by focusing on a long-term vision.

The pillars of hodl from a psychological point of view are the following:

  • Avoid impulsive decisions: emotions such as fear and greed can lead investors to making impulsive decisions, such as selling in moments of panic or buying at peaks of euphoria. Hodl seeks to avoid this emotional cycle by urging investors to hold their possessions long-term.
  • Mitigate FOMO and FUD: the cryptocurrency market is full of news and events that can generate a fear of missing out (FOMO) or spread uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Hodl acts as an antidote against these influences by promoting confidence in the potential of cryptocurrencies, regardless of current news.
  • Simplify the strategy: instead of closely following price charts and performing complicated technical analyses, hodlers can maintain a clear and simple vision: hold their cryptocurrencies long-term.
  • Lower stress levels: constant trading can be stressful. Quick decisions can lead to quick gains or devastating losses and affect the mental health of investors. Hodl, being a more passive strategy, can significantly reduce this stress.

Tips for applying the hodl strategy

Now that we've explored what hodl means and understand the psychology behind this cryptocurrency investment strategy, it's time to delve into the practical part.

For many beginner investors, holding cryptocurrencies long-term may seem straightforward, but there are certain key tips that can make the difference between a successful investment and a less profitable one.

Identify the most promising cryptocurrencies

One of the first steps to successfully applying the Hodl strategy is choosing the right cryptocurrencies to hold long-term. As there are so many cryptocurrencies (to be precise, 1.8 million according to CoinMarketCap), there are many to choose from. But not all have the same growth potential.

Of course, the cryptocurrencies considered “safe” for hodling are those with the highest capitalisation, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

However, some cryptocurrencies that are not in the top 10 have also gained ground thanks to their innovative technology and solid use cases, so they may be worth your consideration, too.

In any case, diversifying your investments can help you reduce risk, but make sure to thoroughly research each cryptocurrency before investing in it.

Establish a long-term investment plan

Once you have chosen the most promising cryptocurrencies for your hodl strategy, the next step is to establish a long-term investment plan. This plan will provide you with a solid structure to hold your cryptocurrencies and increase your chances of success over time.

The first thing you should do is define your financial goals. Are you investing for a particular goal, such as buying a house, or simply to increase your wealth? Setting concrete financial goals will help you determine how much to invest and how long to hold your assets.

Then, establish your cryptocurrency portfolio and a time horizon. You will need to decide how much to invest in each selected cryptocurrency and how many weeks, months or years you plan to hold your savings before considering selling. Having a clear time horizon will help you resist the temptation to sell in times of volatility.

Lastly, do not lose sight of the goal and maintain a disciplined approach. One of the keys to hodl is discipline; once you have established your plan, stick to it. Avoid making impulsive changes or responding to market volatility with emotional decisions. Constant market monitoring can generate unnecessary anxiety.

Of course, you can leave room for adjustments in case of unforeseen events. This may involve rebalancing your cryptocurrency portfolio to modify your allocation percentages or adding new promising cryptocurrencies that have emerged in the market.

Finally, but not least, also consider security. Use crypto wallets, such as hardware wallets or cold wallets (which do not have a permanent internet connection) to protect your assets from possible cyber threats.

Do not let yourself be carried away by emotions

If you are hodling and certain uncomfortable emotions knock on your door with some frequency, consider the following three tips:

Avoid impulsive decisions: the cryptocurrency market can change in a matter of minutes. When prices skyrocket, it's tempting to sell in search of quick profits. Similarly, when prices plummet, fear can drive you to sell for fear of greater losses. Resisting these impulsive decisions is essential for hodling.

Volatility is natural: price fluctuations in cryptocurrencies are normal and occur even in the most solid long-term cryptocurrencies. Instead of being scared by these swings, consider them opportunities to maintain your long-term focus and buy more when prices are low.

Maintain a long-term perspective: set your mind on your long-term financial goals and remember why you decided to invest in cryptocurrencies in the first place. This will help you resist the temptation to make short-term emotional decisions.

When is it not advisable to apply the hodl strategy?

So far, we have made clear the benefits of hodling and why it is one of the most recognised strategies in the field of cryptocurrencies. However, keep in mind that there are as many investment strategies as there are investors on the planet.

Next, we will mention under what circumstances hodling may not be the best strategy to follow.

Investors looking for short-term gains

Hodling is more suitable for those who have a long-term perspective and are willing to hold their cryptocurrencies for years. If your main goal is to make quick profits or if you can't tolerate long-term volatility, it may not be suitable for you.

Instead, you might consider more active trading strategies that seek to take advantage of daily price fluctuations. Examples of these are day trading (which involves making daily transactions in search of the best possible profits) and swing trading (based on taking advantage of broader trends, over days or weeks).

Investors who cannot take long-term losses

Some investors cannot afford to hold their cryptocurrencies long-term because they do not have the necessary risk tolerance to see significant drops in the value of their investments over time without panicking.

Let's imagine an investor who has a low risk tolerance and feels uncomfortable watching the value of their cryptocurrency investments decrease during a prolonged bear market. This happened with Bitcoin in 2022, when it went from approximately $45,000 to trading at almost $16,000 in that same year.

hodl crypto

This person could be constantly worried about losses and make impulsive decisions, such as selling at a loss to avoid further crashes. This lack of patience and willingness to withstand market fluctuations could result in significant losses instead of the long-term benefits offered by hodl.

Investors who are not willing to research and learn about cryptocurrencies

The third “flaw” that we are going to mention here is that some investors may not be willing to do the necessary research and learn about cryptocurrencies, which can make this strategy unsuitable for them.

Suppose a person decides to buy cryptocurrencies without fully understanding how they work, what their use cases are, or the differences between the various options. This approach can be risky as, in the absence of a solid understanding, investment decisions will be based on speculation or fads, rather than a grounded analysis.

The world of cryptocurrencies is complex and constantly evolving, with new coins and technologies constantly emerging. Investors must be willing to stay informed about developments in this space and evaluate the potential of cryptocurrencies based on their actual use and adoption.

Learn more about cryptocurrencies


In summary, the hodl strategy stands out as a solid approach for investors looking for long-term benefits. Although it originates from a typing error, hodl is now a strategy that promotes the idea of holding cryptocurrencies for years, based on their long-term growth potential.

However, it is not a one-size-fits-all shoe. Those investors looking for quick gains, have immediate financial needs or lack the ability to assume long-term losses may find it challenging.

Furthermore, each person who is going to invest must be willing to research and learn about the chosen cryptocurrencies to effectively apply the hodl strategy. Ultimately, the choice to adopt this strategy should be based on a deep understanding of one's own financial circumstances and personal goals.


Is hodling a good investment strategy?

Hodling can be a good strategy for those who believe in the long-term potential of their cryptocurrency investments and prefer to avoid the risks and complexities of active trading. However, it's not without risks, as crypto markets can be highly volatile.

How is hodling different from traditional investing?

Traditional investing often involves diversification and balancing of portfolios. Hodling in crypto tends to be more about holding a single asset or a few assets through ups and downs, based more on belief in the technology or the asset than on traditional market analysis.

How do I decide if hodling is right for me?

Deciding to hodl should be based on your risk tolerance, investment goals, belief in the specific cryptocurrency's potential, and willingness to withstand market volatility. It's also advisable to conduct thorough research or consult with a financial advisor.

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