HODLing vs Trading

Dr. Rayyan Ep
3 min readJun 2, 2021

A lot of friends and family are asking me if it is a good time to enter the crypto market. What should I buy? How much should I invest? Well, by now, you must have heard of the term “HODLing”, and you are probably wondering if it is different from trading and what it all means. They are both different strategies for trading cryptocurrencies.

And if you want to start trading, you have to be clear on the strategy you want to employ, to maximize profits. In this article, I will be explaining what “HODLing” and “trading” are, and the differences between them. However, you should note that this is purely a personal opinion, and should not be regarded as financial advice.


The term “HODL” is a deliberate alteration of the word “hold” and it roughly translates to “hold on for dear life”. Essentially, this strategy involves holding cryptocurrencies through multiple periods of volatility, till they hit a comfortable enough price to sell. This process may take anywhere from days to months.

In the traditional finance market, you might be used to stocks, or real estate prices changing by small margins in every trading session, but in crypto, it is not unusual for tokens to make 50% growth or corrections in a matter of minutes. To HODL is to tune out of all this noise till the crypto achieves significant growth near or at your target.


Regular trading on the other hand is just the same as day trading. If you are already familiar with the financial markets, you know that day trading entails simply taking positions and making profits based on small market movements. A typical day trader will conduct about 6 buy/sell trades in a day. And it is not uncommon for a trader who understands the market fundamentals and technical of tokens to make $400 profits daily making these trades.

However, the crypto market’s volatility is not all positive. It is just as likely to take 20% dives in minutes, as it is to make the high growth spurts that make day trading attractive. Every day, millions of day traders lose millions of dollars when they sell low as a stop-loss measure when prices dip. And even more day traders find their positions liquidated.

Comparing Both Strategies

Both strategies have their merits and demerits, in this section, I will be analyzing them.

HODLing is regarded as the perfect strategy for novice crypto investors. To HODL, you don’t need to make much complex analysis, all you have to do is hold a position till it matures enough for you to take profit. Trading on the other hand requires a lot of knowledge and hands-on activity which might be quite beyond the abilities of a newbie.

When HODLing, it is very possible to miss all-time highs, because you are expecting the price to rise even further. This may impact greatly on trade profitability and morale of new traders. When trading, on the other hand, you take profit from small market movements. While this strategy may be great for net profitability, it might cause you to lose out on profitable rallies.

The best strategy is a combination of both HODLing and trading, based on your risk appetite, and level of skill. Do your research, know your strategy, and act accordingly.

What Are the Best Coins To HODL?

Like I have said severally, the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile. The list of best-performing tokens is constantly changing. So, if when you are deciding on what coins to HODL, selecting randomly from a list of best-performing tokens might cause you to make losses.

Below is a list of the cryptocurrency tokens that I believe you can HODL safely for at least a year. These projects have weathered the cowboy-style movements of the crypto market in 2017.

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Binance coin (BNB)
  • Ripple (XRP)

However, you should note that I am not a financial advisor, and this should not be regarded as financial advice.



Dr. Rayyan Ep

A Venture Builder based in Asia with over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience across APAC & MENA. Often described as a “Technopreneur”;