On an evening post to the Bitcointalk.org Bitcoin Forum, the handle GameKyuubi publicly lamented yet another Bitcoin Core (BTC) drop in price. Almost immediately, forum comments laughed off the obvious inebriated rant, teasing the misspelling of hold (as in to withstand a price fall in the hope it will recover and better; to not sell at the bottom), hodl, could become a meme. And, boy, did it ever. Hodl is part inside joke, merchandise phenomenon, meme, and has evolved into a ride-or-die investment strategy turned near religious credo five years on.
Five Year Anniversary of Hodl
Today marks the day, five years ago, 18 December 2013, a distinctly crypto investment strategy was mistakenly born, HODL. “I type d that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time,” an admittedly drunken GameKyuubi explained then about the title, “I AM HODLING.” It’s an easy mistake, but when drowning in sorrow and spirits, much harder to correct, evidently. “Still wrong. w/e. GF’s out at a lesbian bar, BTC crashing,” he revealed.
True to its speculative nature, BTC had run up and then bottomed, taking many investors with it for the crazy ride. Some began sharing their personal stories online and in forums. The community has always been able to laugh at itself, and especially in times of deep woe.
“WHY AM I HOLDING?,” he continued. “I’LL TELL YOU WHY. It’s because I’m a bad trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER. Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a millino bucks sure no problem bro.”
I’m Not Part of that Group
In the blink of an eye, novice speculators could be thought genius as prices spiked and easy gains were collected. But just as quickly, an unsteady market trying to determine this new, rather ephemeral, thing’s value, corrected. Many people have been humbled by Bitcoin.
“Likewise the weak hands are like OH NO IT’S GOING DOWN I’M GONNA SELL he he he and then they’re like OH GOD MY ASSHOLE when the SMART traders who KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THEY’RE DOING buy back in but you know what? I’m not part of that group,” he insisted defiantly.
And, to be fair, value investors, those who look not so much at price but in the fundamentals of the asset, have a long and very wealthy tradition. Entire business school dissertations have been written about the investor who does not dare time markets.
So I’ve Had Some Whiskey
“When the traders buy back in I’m already part of the market capital so GUESS WHO YOU’RE CHEATING day traders NOT ME~!,” GameKyuubi shouted. “Those taunt threads saying ‘OHH YOU SHOULD HAVE SOLD’ YEAH NO SHIT. NO SHIT I SHOULD HAVE SOLD. I SHOULD HAVE SOLD MOMENTS BEFORE EVERY SELL AND BOUGHT MOMENTS BEFORE EVERY BUY BUT YOU KNOW WHAT NOT EVERYBODY IS AS COOL AS YOU.”
Comments on the post were immediately cutting and appreciative. Avatar “elux” seized the title’s mistake, and typed “HODL!” in response. “You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob,” GameKyuubi lectured. “The people inbetween hold. In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can only take your money if you sell.”
Other comments soon followed such as, “WE OL SHAL HODL!” And on it went, until it blossomed into a full fledged belief system. “so i’ve had some whiskey,” the post famously concludes, “actually on the bottle it’s spelled whisky w/e sue me (but only if it’s payable in BTC),” and a legend was born. As BTC’s price, along with the broader market, sets another low at the time of publication, with those who might’ve bought at the record, five digit price highs this time last year, HODL, hold on for dear life, is still the rallying cry for true believers … even if their priests have all but abandoned the idea.
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