What does 'To the Moon' mean?

Andrew Carr
| Editor:
May 22, 2024
6 min read

Investing Lingo

Investing lingo is like slang for financial philosophies and situations. Certain phrases develop that can be applied to specific circumstances and often these phrases and slang terms can influence investing culture and the way that people move their money. 

For example, in TradFi, the phrases “hawkish” and “doveish” refer to the US Federal Reserve either raising or lowering interest rates. If the Fed exhibits hawkish behavior, rates will likely rise and investors will pull their money from markets; conversely, if the Fed demonstrates doveish behavior, interest rates will lower and investors will put in. 

Phrases like this become trendy based on investing strategies and mindsets and are entangled with investing culture. Even moreso than in the TradFi and stock market arenas, investing lingo in the cryptocurrency space is quite prolifically at the center of all things DeFi. 

Terms like HODL (hold on for dear life)—which refers to holding an asset for the long term and never selling regardless of the circumstances—and maxi—which refers to an investor that champions one token and only invests in that singular cryptocurrency—are so commonplace that they are entwined with the very ethos of cryptocurrency investing. 

To The Moon Meaning

Today we will be discussing the investing phrase “to the moon,” which refers to an investment making astronomical gains. When crypto investors say “to the moon” or “that is a moonshot” they are speaking about a crypto asset that they are hopeful will accrue significant value. To the moon doesn’t refer to just a 5X or 10X in value, but a 50X to 100X; moonshots are rare, hard to predict, and often life-changing when predicted correctly. 

Moonshots are identified during bear market cycles (when values are overtly stagnant or declining) as trading activity is low. During bull market cycles (when values in the market are increasing), moonshot assets spike to actually “reach the moon”. 

The term “to the moon” gained popularity during the market exuberance of 2020 and 2021 when referring to cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and high-growth stocks. Despite the challenging start to 2022 for the crypto market, the phrase "to the moon" and accompanying rocket ship emojis still symbolize the high hopes investors have for their digital investments.

In 2017, Bitcoin had a remarkable run, starting the year at about $1,000 and climbing to nearly $20,000 by December. During the early pandemic period in 2020 and 2021, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin reached all-time highs, with Bitcoin peaking at nearly $69,000 and Ethereum surpassing $4,800. These significant increases in value are often referred to as a cryptocurrency "mooning."

Bitcoin all time price chart
Bitcoin price chart, showing clear moonshots at 2017 and 2020

However, it's important for investors to maintain discipline and a diversified investment portfolio, as investments may not continuously "moon." Eventually, reality settles in, leading to price normalizations or even crashes.

Several cryptocurrencies have experienced what the community refers to as "moon" moments, where their value surged dramatically in a short period. Examples include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Binance Coin, and Solana

Historical Moonshot Achievements

Historically, moonshot projects have been the driving force behind some of the most significant breakthroughs in various fields. The term "moonshot" originates from the Apollo 11 spaceflight project in 1969, meaning a long shot where the likelihood of great results is low, but efforts are made regardless in the hopes of achieving extraordinary outcomes. 

It now refers to ambitious, groundbreaking projects undertaken with significant potential to benefit humanity, embodying a giant leap towards innovative and lofty goals in the technology field.

How to Assess a Moonshot

Assessing a moonshot, or evaluating the potential of a cryptocurrency that could hypothetically “reach the moon” and skyrocket in value comes down to narrative, hype, and utility. An investor must identify the narrative that their potential moonshot is categorized within: is it a Layer 1, is it a memecoin, is it an interoperable liquid staking token? 

These are the questions that have to be asked as identifying the narrative of a token will help to establish its moonshot potential because certain narratives in crypto are much more invested in than others. 

Using price chart analysis to predict a moonshot is another popular technique

Secondly, an investor has to have an idea of how hype their chosen token is. The more hype surrounding a cryptocurrency, the more likely that its value will go to the moon. The easiest ways to assess the hype around a project is to one, consider its following on social media, and two, look at its on-chain activity. 

Lastly, to understand if a cryptocurrency can truly reach the moon, an investor must understand its utility and what the token can be used for because the more use cases it has, the higher the chance of a moonshot. 

Factors Influencing Cryptocurrency Value

When it comes to the value of cryptocurrencies, several factors play a significant role. The phrase "to the moon" in crypto culture refers to a rapid increase in a cryptocurrency's value. 

Understanding what drives these increases is crucial for those invested in these digital assets. The main factors influencing cryptocurrency value include technological innovations, social media influence, and regulatory changes.

Technological Innovations

Technological innovations are a major driver of cryptocurrency value. When a digital token introduces a new, groundbreaking technology or solves a significant problem using technology, its value can increase substantially. These innovations can range from enhanced security measures and faster transaction speeds to unique applications in fields like finance, healthcare, and supply chain management.

Innovative technology and use cases are some of the key indicators that crypto enthusiasts analyze when evaluating cryptocurrencies with potential to go "to the moon". For instance, a strong development team working on an innovative project can potentially result in a surge in the cryptocurrency's value.

Social Media Influence

The role of social media in influencing cryptocurrency value cannot be overstated. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Telegram have played a pivotal role in the meteoric rise of several cryptocurrencies. These platforms have created hype and driven up the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and SafeMoon.

An example fo 'To the Moon' used as a rallying cry on the social media.

However, the influence of social media can also be a double-edged sword. While it can drive up a cryptocurrency's value, it can also make cryptocurrencies susceptible to pump-and-dump schemes and market manipulation. This is why it's crucial for investors to perform their own research and due diligence, rather than just following social media trends.

Regulatory Changes

Regulatory changes can also significantly impact a cryptocurrency's value. For instance, positive regulatory changes, such as a country legalizing or adopting a cryptocurrency, can lead to a spike in its value. On the other hand, negative regulatory changes, such as a country banning or imposing strict regulations on cryptocurrencies, could lead to a drop in value.

Understanding the regulatory environment is a key aspect of evaluating cryptocurrencies with "moon" potential. Changes in regulation can influence market sentiment, investor behavior, and the real-world adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Moonshot Thinking in Technology

Moonshot thinking has significantly influenced the technology sector, encouraging companies to shift from incremental improvements to revolutionary advancements. This type of thinking involves choosing a huge problem and proposing a radical solution using disruptive technology that brings ten times improvements or solves it completely.

Moonshot Thinking in Companies

Several companies have embraced moonshot thinking, taking on ambitious projects to solve global issues. Examples include Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic in the space sector, JUST and Impossible Foods in the gastronomy industry. These companies are not just aiming for minor improvements, but are strategizing to bring about transformative change in their respective industries.

Moonshot projects are risky and time-consuming ventures. They monopolize the brainpower of talented individuals for extended periods and are strategic bets on future market changes. The goal is to keep the company well-positioned to capitalize on these alterations. Understanding this concept is crucial for crypto enthusiasts because it influences investing strategies in a significant way. 

Risks of Moonshot Cryptos

Moonshot cryptocurrencies are typically initiated by a founding team that retains control over the currency. Various tactics, like burning tokens, may be employed to artificially increase the coin's price. However, individuals investing in these moonshot projects are often at a disadvantage, likened to playing a game of hot potato. The mantra associated with moonshot investments is "no risk, no reward," signifying that significant gains often come with elevated risk.

Cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile, subject to rapid and unpredictable price fluctuations. Furthermore, many crypto projects operate with minimal regulation, leaving investors vulnerable to fraudulent schemes or regulatory crackdowns.

Market sentiment, rather than fundamental factors, often drives cryptocurrency prices, making them susceptible to hype and speculative behavior. Illiquidity in smaller cryptocurrencies can pose challenges in executing trades or exiting positions, especially during market downturns. 

Consequently, while moonshot investing in crypto may offer lucrative opportunities, investors should exercise caution, conduct thorough research, and employ risk management strategies to mitigate potential losses.


Investing in moonshot cryptocurrencies could be a good investment for those who believe in the future of cryptocurrency. However, conducting thorough research before investing in any digital currency is crucial. Factors to consider include the project's whitepaper, the business plan, and the team behind the project.

Successful moonshot crypto investments often have legitimate whitepapers, rational business plans, and talented teams backing them. These elements present the potential for high rewards but come with inherent risks. Therefore, investors should approach these opportunities with a calculated mindset and a well-planned risk management strategy.

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