Cryptocurrency Trading Terms to Learn (Part 1)

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If you have only recently become interested in the world of cryptocurrency, you will probably have come across a few terminologies that seem unfamiliar to you. If you have experience in trading on the stock market or foreign exchange, you will recognize some of them. However, it is always good to refresh one’s memory when it concerns the lingo being bandied around in the crypto-space. Have a look at some of these terms below.

Trading Related Terms Exchange

These exchanges are also commonly referred to as ‘cryptocurrency exchanges’, and are the places where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency tokens.

Fiat money

Fiat is currency issued by the government, or what the average person considers to be ‘real’ money.

Market order / market buy / market sell

This is the most straightforward method with which you can buy or sell cryptocurrency tokens on an exchange. This is an instant trade, as opposed to limit orders.

Limit order / limit buy / limit sell

When you trade on the cryptocurrency exchanges, you can place these kinds of orders in order to buy or sell tokens once a specific price point is met.

Sell wall / buy wall

Think of this as a depth chart where you as a cryptocurrency trader can see the current price points for buying and selling.


A whale is someone who has been incredibly successful in the cryptocurrency space, and as a result of their success has a huge amount of cryptocurrency.

Margin trading

If you are an experienced trader, and you would like to become a whale one day, then you can experiment with margin trading. Margin trading is very risky, but the pay-off can be proportionately rewarding.

Going long

If you have decided to margin trade and profit when the price increases, then you are going long.

Going short

Similar to going long, this means that you have made a profit from the price decreasing when margin trading.


If you are bullish, then it means you expect the price to increase. When the majority of traders in the market have this expectation, it is called a bull market.


Similar to bullish, but with the expectation that the price will be decreasing. When the majority of traders in the market have this expectation, it is called a bear market.


This is an acronym for All-Time High, and refers to the point at which a given cryptocurrency reaches the highest value it has ever been. A god example of this is the Bitcoin peak in December 2017.


Altcoin is short for alternative coin, and is generally any of the newer cryptocurrencies that came after Bitcoin. Opinions are divided on whether or not Ethereum is considered an altcoin.


This is an acronym for Initial Coin Offering, and refers to the crowdfunding phase of a new blockchain project. Most ICOs use Ethereum’s network, but there are some exceptions.


ICOs will offer potential investors tokens, which are the native cryptocurrency used on any given ICO’s platform. These tokens are cryptocurrencies that can be used on the platform, or be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.

I’m a freelance writer and full-time curious person. My main interests are philosophy, politics, art, culture, science, and how they’re all interlinked. When I’m not writing, I’m fronting a band, producing records, and making videos. I’m also currently working on launching a YouTube channel that will focus on culture and politics. I think blockchain technology is fascinating because of the huge potential it has to revolutionise not only the financial sector, but society as a whole.