Apr 8, 2024
2 min read

Welcome to the world of Web3, where cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and a unique culture converge. Entering the world of Web3 can be both thrilling and overwhelming, especially when faced with the seemingly cryptic language used by enthusiasts. Don't worry if you feel they sound like some secret codes, we are here to unravel their meaning in Web3 context. In this article, we are going to introduce [Degen].

What is the meaning of Degen?

"Degen" is a slang term often used in the cryptocurrency and finance communities, derived from the word "degenerate." In these contexts, it typically refers to someone who engages in high-risk, speculative investments, often without thorough research or consideration of the potential consequences. These investments could be in volatile cryptocurrencies, new and unproven digital assets, or speculative trading strategies.

In the crypto community, a "degen" is often someone who actively participates in risky DeFi (decentralized finance) projects, trades with high leverage, or invests in new and untested tokens in the hope of quick and substantial returns. This behavior is characterized by a high tolerance for risk and a focus on short-term gains, often at the expense of long-term stability and due diligence.

The term can carry both negative and positive connotations. Negatively, it implies reckless or irresponsible behavior. Positively, it can be used in a more light-hearted or self-deprecating way to describe a willingness to take risks in the pursuit of high rewards.

The origin of Degen

The slang term "degen" was indeed first coined within the betting and gambling industry. It's a shortened form of "degenerate," which in this context refers to someone who engages in gambling excessively or recklessly, often with little regard for the financial or personal risks involved.

In gambling circles, being labeled a "degen" typically implied a compulsive need to gamble, sometimes characterized by high-risk bets and a disregard for safer, more calculated approaches. This usage emphasized the negative aspects of excessive gambling behavior.


Source: Magic Eden

Should you be a DEGEN?

The decision to embrace the degen lifestyle is up to you. It depends on the taste, patience level, work ethic, and end goal of an investor, here are some wise words from crypto industry leaders that may help you:

The best way to make money in crypto is to do the opposite of what degens do. – Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase.


"Degen" might be a term worn with pride by some, but it's a label that comes with significant risks, especially for newcomers to Web3. While the potential rewards can be substantial, they are matched by the potential for loss. As the Web3 landscape evolves, so too should the approach of those navigating it, ideally with information, caution, and a keen awareness of their own risk tolerance.

If you would like to learn more about Web3 slang, let’s explore more in our HackQuest Web3 Glossary!

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