Get a better grasp of cryptocurrency news when you understand the terminology that traders are using. Read on to learn what terms like HODL, FOMO, and ATH mean.

If you find it hard to break into the cryptocurrency scene as a novice, that’s often because any article or video on the subject is fraught with indiscernible jargon and acronyms. Bear market, shooting the moon, ATH, HODL – what are these? With zero judgment whatsoever, we’re here to clear the fog for you. While this cryptocurrency glossary list is by no means exhaustive, these are some of the most important terms to know for anyone who wants to read or talk about cryptocurrency:

1. Address

All cryptocurrency coins have unique identifiers, and these are called their address. The addresses denote where the coin is located on the blockchain and contain information regarding its ownership. Unlike the street addresses we have grown familiar with, crypto addresses look more like the tail-end of website uniform resource locators (URLs) made up of random characters.

2. Altcoin

With Bitcoin as the original cryptocurrency, any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin then falls into a category called ‘alternative coins’, or Altcoin for short. For example, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Uniswap are all considered Altcoins.

3. ATH

Short for ‘all-time high’, this refers to the highest known price of any given cryptocurrency. It is often used as a reference point in determining how high or low the local highs are.

4. Bearish/bear market

A bear market is a market condition where the price of the stock is falling or decreasing. The cause of a bear market can be politically influenced or affected by socioeconomic events.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital ledger technology that stores information using ‘blocks’ and ‘chains’ in a decentralised way, creating a record that no one can change or remove. It has a wide variety of applications, including in cryptocurrency.

6. Bull market

A bull market is the converse of a bear market – it is when the stock price is increasing.

7. Decentralised exchange

Let’s begin with a ‘centralised exchange’, which is a platform to trade crypto run by a single company or organisation. Everything you do will go through that company, and processes are controlled by them.

In contrast, decentralised exchanges are operated by a network of computers which no single entity has control over. The exchange is usually automated.

8. Dump

To sell all the cryptocurrency owned by an individual is referred to as a ‘dump’.

9. Exchange

An exchange is a platform (such as an app or website) through which people buy and sell cryptocurrency. For example, to trade Litecoin, you will have to create an account at a Litecoin exchange in Singapore. You can check the Litecoin price in Singapore there, and the exchange will facilitate the transactions, often with the inclusion of additional admin fees.

10. In green

A coin being in green means that it is trading at a price higher than the last traded price of the previous day.

11. In red

A coin or stock being in red indicates that the price it is currently trading is at a price lower than the closing price of the previous day.

12. HODL

A misspelling of ‘hold’ that spawned the backronym “hold on for dear life”, this refers to a strategy to buy and hold crypto coins indefinitely. So, a person who is HODLING would not sell their coins even when the markets seem to not be doing well.

13. FOMO

A popular slang phrase even outside of the crypto world, this stands for ‘fear of missing out’, and refers to a philosophy of certain traders who jump into any new and trending trades as they do not want to regret missing out.

14. API

The application programming interface or API is a set of rules defined to enable two computers or software to collaborate and communicate between themselves without input from the user.

15. Limit order

A limit order is set up by denoting the maximum or minimum price you’re willing to pay or receive for a certain amount of stocks or coins. By setting a limit order, you can automate the trading process and minimise the effects of your emotions when trading.

16. Order book

An order book is typically found on the crypto exchange and is a table that shows what people are buying and selling currently on the market. The green area shows the prices buyers are bidding to buy at, and the red area shows prices that sellers are asking for. It can reveal valuable information about the current sentiments of traders.

17. Market volume

Market volume is the total volume or the total number of trades conducted in a specific market in a fixed interval of time.

18. Market order

A market order is an instruction given by a trader to the broker to sell or buy coins or assets at the best possible price in the current market. This is done to complete a transaction almost instantly.

19. Private/public keys

Keys are used to initiate and verify cryptocurrency transactions. Public keys are derived from the private key, but are publicly known and used for identifying the trader. Private keys are like passwords used to sign off your transactions and access your crypto wallet.


Cryptocurrency presents a steep learning curve for those new to the game. However, the popularity boom of crypto trading and cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore has made it so much easier to get information and learn about how it all works. If there’s ever a best time to get into cryptocurrency, it might just be now.


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