Much Slippage: “HODL” Drops in Google Trends’ Score as Crypto Slump Continues

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A popular internet slang term that began its life as a typo on Reddit seems to be nearing the end of its popularity in what many will no doubt see as emblematic of the broader crypto market slowdown. Bloomberg reported on August 20, 2018, that based on information from Google Trends, search queries for the term “HODL” have tumbled dramatically over the past few months as crypto prices remain stubbornly stagnant.

Rise and Fall of HODLing

HODL Trend Charts

HODL Trends chart.
(Source: Google)

According to popular internet legend, the term began its life in 2013 as a drunkenly misspelled typo by user GameKyuubi in a post on the popular Bitcointalk forum. In typical internet fashion, considerable hilarity ensued as the typo became a meme, before eventually becoming an established part of the cryptocurrency trading lexicon, used to reassure skittish traders to ride out the infamously brutal crypto market drops in hopes of a coming rise.

In late 2017, HODLing became a global sensation as retail investors scrambled to get their hands on bitcoin and other cryptos when their prices rocketed up in an unprecedented bull run. As bitcoin touched $20,000 at the start of 2018, “HODL” was no longer an internet meme but a bona fide investment position, depicting the frenzied optimism of bitcoin holders as the market continued rising to unparalleled highs.

The subsequent crash that saw the crypto market shrink to just over a third of its December 2017 market capitalization was not enough to break the eternal optimism of the HODLing true believer. Google Trends data shows that until May 2018, “Hodl” remained stubbornly above “Rekt” in the search rankings.

There remained a belief that the market would eventually right itself and shoot for the moon again, with personalities like John McAfee predicting that bitcoin would hit $15,000 before June 12, 2018.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Trends

The interest over time for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has also declined. The charts seem to be correlated to bitcoin price and the overall market cap respectively.

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Declining Interest

(Google Trends: Declining Interest over time for Bitcoin)

Declining Interest Crypto
(Google Trends: Declining Interest over time for Cryptocurrency)

From “HODL” to “Rekt”

According to Google Trends data, the term “Rekt,” often used to denote the loss of large sums of money by traders overtook “Hodl” conclusively for the first time in May 2018, going on a little bull run of its own as the market remained stubbornly bearish.

From its January high, bitcoin shrank continuously, first below $15,000, then below $10,000, then below the psychologically important mark of $6,000, often said to be the breakeven price for bitcoin miners.

As the market shed incredible amounts of wealth, several investors inevitably got burnt, which coincides with the rise in popularity of “Rekt.” Not even the slight recovery between July and August that saw bitcoin temporarily surge above $8,000 was enough to cut the gloom of “Rekt” investors or return the old “Hodl” optimism.

Currently trading at just under $6,500, it certainly does not look as if crypto market leader bitcoin is poised to achieve another moonshot in the immediate future, which may be another factor in the apparent depression. Based on the history of this young asset class, however, it is entirely possible that in just a few days, punters may be “Hodling” soon again.