Is Bitcoin's HODL Meme Dying?

Bitcoin’s bumpy ride in recent months may have cost it the Hold On for Dear Life (HODL) meme. The phrase, which at first was a forum typo by a drunk bitcoin trader, has evolved to refer to a bitcoin believer, an investor or trader who holds onto the cryptocurrency through wild price swings. 

A report on technology news site Nextweb cites a Reddit thread that draws a “weird correlation” between bitcoin’s volatility and the number of “HODL” mentions on Reddit. Specifically, that there is a direct correlation between bitcoin’s volatility and HODL mentions on bitcoin subreddits. The number of HODL mentions on bitcoin subreddits increased on days when bitcoin’s price was volatile and decreased on days when it displayed fewer price swings. 

“Is HODL a dying meme? Or are investors’ spirits low after a tumultuous bear market in the last few months and simply cannot muster the energy to rally behind HODL as they did before?,” writes Anthony Xie, the user behind the data analysis, in a Medium post. “When I posted this data on Reddit, it seemed that many who had loved the meme now had nothing but scorn for it.”

The Relationship Between HODL Mentions And Bitcoin Price 

A user on the DataIsBeautiful subreddit analyzed and mapped the number of HODL mentions on Reddit cryptocurrency threads and bitcoin’s price. An increased number of HODL mentions wasn’t “just associated with days with the largest losses,” the user writes. “In fact, market volatility in either direction was correlated with an increase of HODL mentions.”

The number of HODL mentions shot up during December 2017 and January 2018. This was a period of intense volatility in bitcoin’s price. It rose and almost touched a record high of $20,000 before beginning a prolonged retreat that continues to this day. Interestingly the number of HODL mentions has been on a downward slide since the beginning of February. 

The subreddit user further analyzed the correlation between bitcoin’s price movements in a given range and number of HODL comments. Bitcoin enthusiasts were most vocal during days when bitcoin’s price slumped and muted on days when bitcoin’s price showed positive momentum.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns 0.01 bitcoin.

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