Crypto giant Coinbase is attempting to register a trademark for “BUIDL,” one of the cryptocurrency industry’s most prominent rallying cries.
The term, of course, is a derivative of “hodl,” itself a drunken misspelling of “hold.” (HODL is not, as many mainstream outlets have incorrectly reported, an acronym for “hold on for dear life.”) Whereas “hodl” is used to demonstrate one’s commitment to keeping a tight grip on their cryptocurrency investments — both during bull runs when they might be tempted to take profits and bear markets when lagging returns would encourage them to sell out of fear — “buidl” is a reminder to devote one’s time and resources to creating the infrastructure that will make hodling a worthwhile decision.
According to the authoritative Urban Dictionary:
“#BUIDL: When #HODLING crypto just won’t cut it anymore and you need to #BUIDL a real company.”
It’s not clear exactly who was the first person to use the phrase “buidl,” though it has been around since at least Aug. 2017 when Nakamoto Institute President Michael Goldstein admonished developers to “Hodl and buidl.” Nevertheless, it would not be surprising if the uproar over this application brings the originator out of the woodwork to fight Coinbase’s trademark claim.
Very important lesson, generally.
Show, don’t tell.
Hodl and buidl. https://t.co/DlXtmgxqPr
— Michael Goldstein (@bitstein) August 15, 2017
The San Francisco-based company first filed the trademark application on Oct. 2, but it went mostly unnoticed until recently when it began to circulate throughout social media. Unsurprisingly, the move did not play well on Twitter.
“Has anyone buitl a case against it yet?” asked Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr in response to a comment from Casa CTO Jameson Lopp.
Has anyone buitl a case against it yet?
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) December 6, 2018
Crypto analyst Larry Cermak was equally as amused, joking that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — who frequently uses the phrase on Twitter — will need to “be careful” about self-censoring his posts moving forward.
CZ will need to be careful with using BUIDL as Coinbase is in the process of trademarking “BUIDL”.
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) December 6, 2018
Subtweeting in his usual manner, lawyer Stephen D. Palley said that valorizing phrases that originated out of drunken typos is either “a Yankee Doodle story or dumb as fukc.”
The valorization of drunken typos and blind faith is either a Yankee Doodle story or dumb as fukc.
— Palley (@stephendpalley) December 6, 2018