Can you talk Crypto? Atleast as well as Melania?

Credit: Crypto slang infographic by AliantPayments (

What are the first words you learn when you move to a new city? You pick up the basics and then some slang. When I moved to Chennai, I learnt inna (what), semma (superb) and some more colourful slang to bolster my shaky Tamil.

Making sense of crypto world is difficult without getting a hang of the essential words and some cool slang. You might know the language but you don’t understand the pulse of conversations and the in-jokes. Starting my Crypto journey is like being in Chennai for the first time. How do you convince crafty auto drivers to bring down their steep rates? In this case, how do you come to terms with rising Bitcoin prices without FUD? Or FOMO? Bewildering, right?

Then you read a few articles, listen to podcasts and look up a few crypto slang listicles — even Nasdaq has listed some — and get comfortable with the lingo, even if you don’t get all the nuances. And then you read Melania’s tweet (in pic).

Melania who? Yes, the former US First Lady who is famous for her unsmiling face especially around her husband Donald Trump.

I have heard about Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder/founders of Bitcoin who wrote this path-breaking whitepaper detailing the advantages of Bitcoin, a “Peer-to-peer electronic cash system”. I have vague ideas about market cap or capitalization. But what in the world is a ‘Genesis Block’? I am faced with the same unsettling feeling of not understanding what’s going on.

Anything to avoid feeling at a loss for words. Even if it means making yet another listicle on crypto.

  • Blockchain: An immutable (cannot be tampered with) digital ledger and the underlying technology behind popular platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Read Satoshi’s whitepaper for more.
  • Cryptocurrency: Decentralized digital money that is based on blockchain technology. Apart from Bitcoin and Ether, there are more than 5,000 different currencies in circulation. Unlike US$ or INR, no central authority is involved but only a currency’s users via the internet.
  • DeFi: Short for Decentralized Finance, DeFi is doing financial activities like transactions, saving, borrowing and investments — in a decentralized manner. Best example? DEX (Decentralized exchange) protocols that eliminate intermediaries like banks & governments. Partly explains the race to ‘ban’ crypto exchanges and currencies.
  • FUD & FOMO: FUD stands for ‘fear, uncertainty, and doubt’. A propaganda tactic to warp public perception about anyone/anything through misinformation. Coinbase says FUD in crypto usually is about skepticism around the (blockchain) technology. Remember all those lectures about ‘crypto only used by terrorists & criminals’ by central bankers and leaders? And FOMO is what drives you to buy unknown crypto assets for Fear Of Missing Out.
  • Genesis Block: The first block of a cryptocurrency ever mined. A blockchain consists of a series of blocks that store transaction data that occur on that network. Other blocks of data get added on to the Genesis Block. Melania was referring to the first ever Genesis Block that brought Bitcoin into existence.
  • HODL: Apparently, a drunken typo in the subject line of a 2013 Bitcoin forum post: “I AM HODLING” instead of “holding”). Pronounced ‘hoddle’, it means to buy and hold cryptocurrencies no matter what the market is doing, says Coinbase.
  • To The Moon/Mooning: This means that cryptocurrency prices are going to the moon or skyrocketing. Actions based on this could be subject to FOMO and FUD.

This list is puny by any standard. If you want to know more about stablecoins, pump and dump, smart contracts and tokens, go here and here. For Laser Eyes and Diamond hands, go here. Still confused? Try the lucid Bitcoin for Dummies.

Now, let’s get back to Melania. What was she hoping to do with her tweet on January 3rd? Apparently, she is a ‘marketing genius’ trying to shill (or, promote her upcoming NFTs) by going all laudatory on the 13th birth anniversary of Bitcoin. (Read all about NFT craze here.) Alright. She was being true to form and being her celebrity self to promote an NFT watercolour of her eyes!

Crypto Twitter hasn’t recovered from the Melania tweet. Understandably so. But then, this ain’t showbiz and you have to DYOR. Do your own research. Godspeed!

(CryptoChronicles: A Column On All things Crypto & Web3)

Originally appeared here:

I am a journalist-writer, content marketer & Crypto enthusiast. A perennial lurker at the intersection of technology & culture: My Work. Recently took a deep dive into Crypto, NFT & Web3. Like the article? Share & let me know in comments below. Connect with me on LinkedIn & Twitter.

I am a journalist-writer, content marketer & Crypto enthusiast. A lurker at the intersection of technology & culture. My deep dives into Crypto, NFT & Web3.

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Sandhya Soman

Sandhya Soman

I am a journalist-writer, content marketer & Crypto enthusiast. A lurker at the intersection of technology & culture. My deep dives into Crypto, NFT & Web3.

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