Exactly ten years ago today, an eccentric Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiast coined what is now one of the crypto industry’s most widely known and prolific phrases today: the HODL meme.
On December 18, 2013, BitcoinTalk user GameKyuubi took to the forums just as Bitcoin’s price had cratered to $420 apiece – down two-thirds from its all-time high of $1200 just a week prior. Despite the volatility, the title of his post made his intentions (somewhat) clear: “I AM HODLING.”
The Origins Of HODL
At the time, HODL was just a misspelling of the word “hold,” as in “holding” one’s Bitcoin.
“I typed that twice because I knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong,” wrote Kyuubi in the first line of his post.
In an emphatic monologue, the user went on to proclaim his distaste for the “zero-sum game” of crypto trading, and why he thought buying and holding was a better investment strategy than trying to time the market.
Mixed with mentions of his whiskey-induced state, his countless grammatical errors, and his girlfriend’s visit to a lesbian bar, the post was immediate meme material.
“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… but you know what? I’m not part of that group,” he continued.
HODL: Ten Years Later
Today, “HODL” is a rallying cry for those who see crypto’s long-term vision, and who may refuse to sell for many years – if not until the end of time.
Crypto businesses including lending firms like Hodlnaut and Hodl Hodl have built their brands off of the mispelled word. VanECK, the asset manager that soon plans to launch a Bitcoin spot ETF, has chosen HODL to be its ticker when listed on public markets.
“It’s not just a misspelled word; it’s a philosophy, a testament to iron will,” wrote Bitcoiner user fichte42 in a post to X on Monday. “To HODL is to embrace the chaos with a zen-like calm.”
In retrospect, HODLing would have certainly proven a wise investment strategy. 10 years later, Bitcoin trades for $41,358 – up roughly 100X since the time of Kyuubi’s rant.
“The industry has come a long way in the last decade, thanks to the entire community for HODLing on and continuing to build,” said Binance CEO Richard Teng on Monday.
Despite Bitcoin’s dramatic gains over the past year, on-chain data shows that Bitcoiners are as committed to HODLing as ever before. Over 70% of the BTC supply has yet to change hands in over a year, according to Glassnode.
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