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FUD: The True Meaning of Crypto Language

  • ‘FUD’ refers to the negative undertones of a discussion or article regarding events in the crypto market.
  • Developers and executives utilize ‘FUD’ to hide apparent community concerns regarding the state of the projects. 
  • Individuals label factual data as ‘FUD’ even though it holds supporting arguments.

Bitcoin as a culture has evolved through digital social circles, enabling information to be distributed without filters and much debate. Thus, any negative references and remarks towards Bitcoin were labeled as ‘FUD’ – fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The use of the acronym is not exclusive to blockchain, also being prevalent within the financial and technological sector.

Where’s the FUD!

Gene Amdahl more broadly introduced the concept of ‘FUD’ in 1975 after leaving IBM and using the acronym to create a sales correlation to improve its brand positioning. Moreover, after the 1990s, ‘FUD’ became popularized as a term for spreading dubious and false information about competitors, creating propaganda-like intentions.

In the context of Bitcoin, ‘FUD’ was initially well-intentioned as it referred to users arguing against Bitcoin and in favor of using government-issued currencies. However, since then, ‘FUD’ has become more of a marketing arsenal for crypto communities, as it became used by both projects and users alike to retaliate against possible misinformation. 

One Discord user, who preferred to remain anonymous, highlighted that users use the term ‘FUD’ when engaged in conversation because “they don’t have critical thinking or argumentative skills” and so default to a form of defensive mechanism.

FUD… There’s no Real FUD Anymore!

When dissected thoroughly, most of the media information that’s made available is factual, at least, that which comes from reputable media sources. Thus, claiming that media outlets spread ‘FUD’ is inaccurate. Similarly, users making remarks about project developments are shunned using the word ‘FUD.’ One Discord user told DailyCoin that individuals who rely on answering questions by saying “FUD,” “can’t see beyond their own point of view.”

This issue is, of course, not exclusive to the crypto market. As BoE Governor Mark Carney highlighted, the financial sector faces the same problems, which entails the use of ‘FUD’ as a marketing and dismissal factor is not native to the crypto sphere. 

Bill Brenner argues that there are instances where ‘FUD’ is “justified,” because it uncovers concerns about a project or its status, with the difference being just that ‘FUD’ callouts are actually intended as constructive criticism, which not all are receptive towards. A Twitter user told us that “social media is not a place for constructive commentary.” On the other hand if the locale for the success of Bitcoin and other emerging blockchain technologies isn’t social media, then where is it?

On The Flipside

  • Concerns about cryptocurrency scams and illicit activities are not ‘FUD’ if data backs it.
  • FUD is accurate when statements are clearly ill-intended without any backing.
  • The term ‘FUD’ is an accepted and normalized term in the industry.

Can FUD Be Constructive?

Crypto is a wild west, and using the term ‘FUD,’ in an argument will never be an agent for generating constructive discussion. Reddit user “thenorthrupthebandgeek,” highlighted that ‘FUD’ is not used as a guerilla marketing tactic for crypto communities to promote their own project. Moreover, such actions support the argument put forward by Jackson Palmer of Dogecoin, that crypto is a “cult-like” mechanism to get rich.

Coindesk reported in 2018 that the XRP Army saw every criticism towards XRP as ‘FUD’; even Ripple’s own media statements were attacked if they didn’t align with the community’s “only up” prerogative. Thus, ‘FUD,’ in most cryptocurrency community interactions, is used to discredit anyone challenging the norm, even when the claims being made are factual. For example, one Discord user told us that “when I had honest questions, I was blamed for creating FUD.”

Thus, ‘FUD’ has become a tool that helps projects to maintain their narratives, despite any incongruences found in their statements, progress, or financials. Even Charles Hoskinson used the term ‘FUD’ after concerns arose around Cardano’s concurrency issues. 

Why You Should Care?

When project members, or the majority of the members of a community respond to well-founded concerns and questions about the status of a project with the term ‘FUD,’ it raises several red flags about the trustworthiness of your investment.

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    This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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    Social media fanatic and cryptocurrency enthusiast with a 10x mindset. working with ICO’s and upcoming blockchain project. Worked with ICO’s before the first cryptocurrency boom in 2017 and still HODL-ing. Creative content writer with a passion for electronic music, Instagram and cryptocurrencies