Understanding FOMO in the world of Cryptocurrency

Have you ever stayed home, only for your friends to have the most epic night ever making you wish you stayed for few more hours? Do you know someone that bought Microsoft Stock when it was still worth $21 and is now a millionaire?

Then you’ve experienced FOMO.

Although in the real world the consequences aren’t that catastrophic having FOMO on the Cryptocurrency market cause very negative outcomes.

But what does FOMO mean in Crypto?

“FOMO” stands for “Fear of Missing Out” in the Crypto community. It refers to the anxiety or apprehension that individuals feel when they perceive that others are making profitable investments or taking advantage of significant opportunities in the Cryptocurrency market, and they might miss out on potential gains.

This can drive impulsive decision-making, prompting individuals to enter trades or invest hastily to avoid being left out of what appears to be a lucrative trend. FOMO can be a powerful emotional factor when investing, influencing buying and selling behavior, often leading to increased market volatility.

What is FOMO?

“FOMO” is a prevalent phenomenon in the Cryptocurrency market, characterised by a strong emotional urge to participate in a perceived lucrative opportunity for fear of missing potential gains, like those often seen in an initial coin offering also known as an 5O. In the Crypto community, where prices can be highly volatile and subject to rapid fluctuations, FOMO often manifests when traders witness sudden price surges or witness others profiting from a particular Cryptocurrency.

The fear intensifies as individuals worry about being left behind in a market that can move swiftly. This emotional response can lead to impulsive decision-making, such as entering trades without proper analysis or investing more than initially planned.

FOMO can contribute to market bubbles and abrupt price spikes of a particular coin as a result of collective emotional reactions rather than fundamental factors.

Cryptocurrency investors and traders must manage FOMO by maintaining a disciplined approach to decision-making, conducting thorough research, and adhering to a well-defined trading strategy.

Emotional reactions driven by FOMO can often cause losses rather than gains, underscoring the importance of rational decision-making in the dynamic and sometimes unpredictable Crypto market.

The historical context of FOMO

While the term’s origin may not be tied to a single individual or event, its widespread adoption and recognition have made it a commonly used expression in discussions about the impact of social and digital media on human behavior, particularly in the context of investment decisions and market trends in the Cryptocurrency space.

Origin of the term

The term “FOMO,” which stands for “Fear of Missing Out,” originated in the early 2000s. Its precise origin is a bit challenging to pinpoint, but it gained prominence as a popular acronym in internet and youth culture.

The concept of the FOMO out has likely been around for much longer, but the specific term and its abbreviation became more widely recognized in the era of social media and online communication. Let me just also point out LOL, ROLF and GMO.

One early documented use of the term “FOMO” can be traced back to a 2004 article in the Harvard Business School magazine, where it was mentioned in the context of students’ social experiences.

However, it’s important to note that the term’s usage and popularity increased significantly in the following years, particularly as social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram became ubiquitous, allowing individuals to share and observe the experiences of others in real-time.

FOMO in traditional markets

The use of FOMO when talking about trading decisions made about Crypto assets is intrinsic, as there is heavy overlap between the Crypto culture and internet culture.

We have even seen coins being borrowing their name and branding from memes.

As the Crypto industry became more wide-spread, largely due to the multiple astounding Bitcoin rallies, FOMO started to permeate the lexicon of traditional asset traders.

Now both the Crypto trader and Stock trader can experience FOMO and make FOMO driven decisions.

Why FOMO is prevalent in Crypto markets

Volatility and quick gains

Cryptocurrency trading’s appeal lies in the unprecedented volatility and the promise of quick gains. There is no other instrument in the world that moves as quickly and with the astounding magnitude as Crypto – and this is their biggest appeal.

However, this allure often leads to hasty decisions, overlooking inherent risks. Successful Crypto trading demands a balanced approach, where traders navigate the excitement of potential profits with careful analysis and risk awareness.

Social media influence

Social media is a huge mover of the Cryptocurrency market. We’ve seen Crypto traders use as a place to share ideas and new coins.

We’ve even seen influential people cause a coin’s price surge due to a tweet or mention of said coin on their social media. Elon Musk for example caused Dogecoin (his favorite coin) to increase 30% in value after just one tweet.

Here are a few other ways Crypto traders use social media and how it influences the market.

  1. Information flow: social media platforms serve as real-time information hubs where news, opinions, and market insights spread rapidly. Influencers, analysts, and even official accounts of blockchain projects share updates, shaping perceptions and driving market reactions.
  2. Market sentiment: public sentiment on social media platforms can act as a barometer for market trends. Positive or negative sentiment can influence trading decisions, impacting buying and selling activity.
  3. Hype and FOMO: social media amplifies hype around certain cryptocurrencies or projects, fostering a FOMO mentality. This can cause rapid price movements as traders rush to capitalise on perceived opportunities.
  4. Price manipulation: false information, rumors, and coordinated efforts on social media can be used for market manipulation. Pump-and-dump schemes, where the value of a Cryptocurrency is artificially inflated and then sold off, are examples of such manipulation.
  5. Education and awareness: social media platforms contribute to educating the public about Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, misinformation can also spread, impacting investors’ perceptions.
  6. Community building: Cryptocurrency projects often build communities on social media, fostering engagement and loyalty. Strong community support can positively influence a project’s long-term viability.
  7. Regulatory impact: regulatory developments and news are often disseminated through social media, impacting investors’ reactions. Tweets or statements from regulatory authorities can lead to significant price movements.
  8. Influencer Impact: Influencers, with large followings, can significantly impact. Their endorsements or criticisms of specific Cryptocurrencies can cause rapid price changes.

It’s crucial for investors to critically evaluate information from social media, considering both positive and negative perspectives. While social media can provide valuable insights, it also poses risks, including the potential for misinformation and irrational behavior driven by sentiment rather than fundamentals.

Psychological triggers of FOMO

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in the Crypto market is triggered by media hype, social proof, and Bitcoin’s dominance.

Extensive coverage of Crypto rallies creates urgency, while observing other investors success intensifies FOMO. Bitcoin’s significant rallies often pull up other Cryptocurrencies, amplifying the fear of missing broader gains. Historical performances, lack of understanding, speculation, and the fear of regret also contribute to FOMO.

Investors, fearing missed opportunities, may rush into a trade without a comprehensive understanding.

Signs you might be experiencing FOMO

Signs of FOMO in Crypto trading include impulsive decision-making without thorough research, chasing recent trends, feeling anxious about missing out on potential gains, and being influenced by others’ success stories.

Recognising these behaviors helps traders make informed decisions and avoid falling victim to fear-driven reactions.

Emotional investment decisions

Impulsive and emotional investment decisions are detrimental for several reasons. They often lead to buying or selling assets without thorough analysis, increasing the risk of financial losses. Emotional decisions are reactive and influenced by short-term price fluctuations, undermining a strategic, long-term investment approach. This behavior can result in poor timing, missed opportunities, and a failure to adhere to a well-defined investment plan.

Emotions such as fear and greed can cloud judgment, contributing to irrational choices that may not align with an investor’s financial goals or risk tolerance. Successful investing requires a disciplined, rational approach that considers economic dynamics and individual objectives, which impulsive decisions often neglect.


Overtrading is excessive buying and selling of financial instruments, driven by emotional impulses rather than a strategic approach, often leading to financial losses and diminished returns.

Consequences of acting on FOMO

Financial loss

FOMO can cause impulsive and unsubstantiated actions, resulting in a loss of profit and directly the loss of capital.

How to combat FOMO

FOMO is easier to beat than you may think. The best and most tangible way is to avoid FOMO have a strategy and sticking to it.

Setting a strategy

Make sure you strategy includes entry points, exit points, take profit and stop loss levels. You can further elaborate by adding the time frame, the maximum capital that you are comfortable risking on a single trade and the assets you would like to trade on.

Case studies: FOMO in action

One of the strongest examples of FOMO, was the 2017 Bitcoin rally – which saw the coin skyrocket from $900 at the beginning of the year to an astounding $20,000.

This historically unprecedented meteoric rise saw numerous new investors rush to Bitcoin, further pushing the price up to stratospheric levels.

Tips for navigating FOMO in Crypto investing

Using stop-loss and take-profit

As mentioned above stop-loss and take-profit can be amazing tools for protecting you will trading or investing.

If the price moves against you stop-loss will close your trade or position to limit runaway losses. Take profit ensures that your profits will be protected in the case of a trend reversal.

Keeping a trading journal

Keeping a record of what worked, what the maximum risk you are comfortable staking on a single trade and your over P/L (profit to losses) ratio can help you avoid decisions made in an emotional state.


Trading psychology can have a huge and profound effect on your trading activity. Avoid trying to act impulsively and you should be able to effectively skirt FOMO driven decisions.

Risk Disclaimer
Investing in or trading gold or other metals can be risky and lead to a complete loss of capital. This guide should not be considered investment advice, and investing in gold CFDs is done at your own risk.
The information provided does not constitute, in any way, a solicitation or inducement to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, derivatives, foreign exchange products, CFDs, securities, and similar products. Comments and analysis reflect the views of different external and internal analysts at any given time and are subject to change at any time. Moreover, they can not constitute a commitment or guarantee on the part of PrimeXBT. The recipient acknowledges and agrees that by their very nature any investment in a financial instrument is of a random nature and therefore any such investment constitutes a risky investment for which the recipient is solely responsible. It is specified that the past performance of a financial product does not prejudge in any way their future performance. The foreign exchange market and derivatives such as CFDs (Contracts for Difference), Non-Deliverable Bitcoin Settled Products and Short-Term Bitcoin Settled Contracts involve a high degree of risk. They require a good level of financial knowledge and experience. PrimeXBT recommends the consultation of a financial professional who would have a perfect knowledge of the financial and patrimonial situation of the recipient of this message and would be able to verify that the financial products mentioned are adapted to the said situation and the financial objectives pursued.

Other news