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What is a Hodler?

A Hodler in the cryptocurrency world refers to an individual who holds onto their digital assets for the long term, regardless of market volatility.


This term is uniquely born from crypto community culture and represents a strategy counter to frequent trading strategies such as swing trading.

What is the Origin of ‘Hodler’?

The term ‘Hodler’ emerged from a typographical error in a 2013 post on the Bitcointalk forum, a popular platform among cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

During a period of intense Bitcoin volatility, a user named GameKyuubi misspelled ‘hold’ as ‘hodl’ in a post titled “I AM HODLING.”

Forum post where Hodling orginated from

Despite the spelling error, the message resonated deeply with the crypto community, especially among those frustrated with or unskilled in day trading.

GameKyuubi admitted to being a poor trader and argued that holding, despite market dips, was a better strategy for individuals like him.

This post came in the wake of Bitcoin’s rapid ascent from $15 to $1,100 in 2013, followed by a drastic 39% drop in December.

GameKyuubi’s message was clear: holding onto your investment, even in turbulent times, can be more prudent than trying to time the market.

A Hodler’s Philosophy Explained

The philosophy of a Hodler is rooted in a long-term belief in the fundamental value and potential of cryptocurrencies, it’s a strategy that leverages the power of patience over the high-risk, high-reward nature of active trading.

Hodlers typically believe that despite the short-term market fluctuations, the intrinsic value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will see exponential growth in the long run.

This belief often extends to a conviction that cryptocurrencies will eventually supplant traditional currencies and reshape the global financial landscape.

Who are the Biggest Crypto Hodlers?

  • Satoshi Nakamoto: The enigmatic founder of Bitcoin, believed to hold around 1 million Bitcoins, a stash never seen moved or spent.
  • The Winklevoss Twins: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, early Bitcoin investors who reportedly own about 1% of all Bitcoins in circulation via Gemini.
  • Barry Silbert: CEO of Digital Currency Group, known for his early and substantial investments in Bitcoin, became one of the biggest hodlers in the space reportedly holding 3.44% of all Bitcoin in circulation through Grayscale.
  • Tim Draper: Venture capitalist who purchased almost 30,000 Bitcoins in 2014 from a U.S. Marshals Service auction and has consistently advocated for Bitcoin.
  • Michael Saylor: CEO of MicroStrategy, a company that holds several billion dollars worth of Bitcoin and continues to invest heavily in the cryptocurrency.

What are the Pros and Cons of Hodling?

Advantages of Hodling

Here’s a simple table outlining the advantages of Hodling:

Advantages Description
Long-Term Growth Potential Cryptocurrencies, especially established ones like Bitcoin, have shown significant long-term growth. Hodling can capitalize on this trend, potentially leading to substantial returns over time.
Simplicity and Accessibility Unlike active trading, Hodling is straightforward and doesn’t require constant market monitoring or sophisticated trading strategies. It’s accessible to newcomers in the crypto space.
Avoiding Short-Term Volatility Cryptocurrency markets are notoriously volatile. Hodlers are less affected by short-term price fluctuations, reducing the stress and risks associated with trying to time the market.
Belief in Technological Innovation Many Hodlers are driven by a belief in the underlying blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize financial systems. Hodling is often aligned with supporting this technological evolution.
Reduced Transaction Costs Frequent trading incurs significant transaction fees and taxes. Hodling minimizes these expenses, preserving more of the investment to grow over time.

Disadvantages of Hodling

A table summarizing the disadvantages of Hodling:

Disadvantages Description
Market Risk and Uncertainty Cryptocurrencies can be unpredictable, with the potential for substantial long-term losses. Hodlers may face the risk of holding assets that depreciate significantly over time.
Liquidity Issues By locking funds in cryptocurrencies for the long term, Hodlers might face liquidity issues, especially in times of financial need or emergencies.
Missed Short-Term Opportunities While focusing on long-term gains, Hodlers might miss out on profitable short-term trading opportunities that active traders capitalize on.
Lack of Diversification Hodlers often concentrate their investments in a few, or sometimes just one, cryptocurrency. This lack of diversification can increase risk if the chosen asset(s) perform poorly.
Technology and Regulatory Risks The cryptocurrency landscape is subject to evolving technologies and regulatory environments. Long-term Hodlers might be adversely affected by unforeseen changes in these areas.

The Bottom Line

In summary, the term ‘Hodler’ is much more than a misspelling, it represents a widespread investment philosophy within the cryptocurrency community, based on a long-term, optimistic view of digital assets.

Hodlers are characterized by their resilience in the face of market volatility and their faith in the future of cryptocurrencies as transformative financial instruments.

The ethos of Hodling is deeply interwoven with the fabric of the crypto culture, symbolizing a collective belief in the enduring value of these digital assets.


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Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet, and other leading publications in the financial space. His interest in cryptocurrency is driven by a passion for leveraging decentralized blockchain technologies to empower marginalized communities worldwide. This includes enhancing financial transparency, providing banking services to the unbanked, and improving agricultural supply chains. Sam has a Master’s Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and has worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the UK Defence Academy.