In the year or so I’ve been active in this space, I’ve caught onto some phrases or terms that I feel are harmful to the collective perception of cryptocurrency. I think many use them without thinking, but words have meaning and we need to be accurate or else no one knows what anybody else is talking about. Here are a few.

“cash out”
You don’t “cash out” of a currency, you exchange it. If I was seeking to exchange USD for Euros, I would not say that I was “cashing out” my USD (cashing out my cash in exchange for cash?). It brings a connotation of gambling: you also cash out casino chips, items that are worthless outside the boundaries of the issuing body. We can joke about parts of crypto being a casino, but the unconscious effect is legitimizing government-issued fiat and delegitimizing alternatives.

“2x, 5x, 10x, 20x”
This is not a problem by itself, but becomes one because of its context. If a coin is talked about as “a potential 20x,” it’s almost guaranteed that the speaker is referring to its value in United States Dollars. Like “cash out,” it anchors perception to the Old System when the point of cryptocurrency was to create an alternative to government fiat and all of its shortcomings.

“intrinsic value”

intrinsic: Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent.

Nothing has intrinsic value. A value judgement presupposes the existence of an evaluating organism - gold does not have value in a world with no humans. If people value something, it has value; if people do not value something, it does not have value. There is no objective magical value parameter bound to something. A glass of water besides a well doesn’t have the same value as that same glass of water in the middle of a desert.

What a rugpull is:

  • a development team removing all liquidity, obliterating a coin or token’s price relative to any asset in a matter of minutes, and ending communication with the public

What a rugpull is not:

  • a sharp and sudden red candle
  • a steady, prolonged decline in the price of a coin or token due to lack of demand, development action, or community engagement
  • poor tokenomics or token distribution (this is very often present in a rugpull but is not a sole indicator)

Bitcoin did not “rug” from $69k to $23k. That was the market operating as a market.

“hopium,” “copium”
These are not terms exclusive to cryptocurrency, but they’re probably the ones in this batch that bother me the most because of how bad they are. There is nothing wrong with hope and there is nothing shameful about coping with the reality of an unfavorable situation. If humans didn’t hope for better things, we’d all still be sitting in caves waiting for sounds of the next mammoth to hunt. Every action you take in your life is with the hope that it will make your life better, otherwise you wouldn’t bother doing it. The issue is delusional or misplaced hope. “Copium” is in the same inhuman vein: how much of an atomized world do we live in that we now shame people for seeking relief? I only ever see these two used in a hostile or post-ironic way and it’s very tiring.

I’m sure this won’t be the only post I make like this, but I felt the need to identify the problems I have with these phrases.