Lord Ashdrake, a pseudonymous Romanian Bitcoin trader who was active in the mid-2010s, inspired the word "ashdraking."
Ashdrake was a well-known cryptocurrency skeptic. He was emphatic about shorting BTC — that is, betting that the value of the digital currency would collapse. He was a prominent voice advising traders to take short positions during 2014 and 2015, a time of steep losses in which Bitcoin dropped over half its value, and he experienced tremendous success. When Bitcoin surpassed $300, Lord Ashdrake shorted the currency once more — but this time the market was not on his side.
Prices surged, nearly reaching $600 only a few weeks after exceeding the $300 barrier. Ashdrake continued to keep an aggressively short position, resulting in the loss of his entire invested cash. Traders continue to be concerned about ashdraking. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) was the first major exchange to provide traders with the ability to trade Bitcoin futures — that is, to put bets on the price of Bitcoin without actually holding any crypto themselves — in 2017.
The CBOE debut was viewed as a significant test for Bitcoin, with the normally crypto-skeptic mainstream financial press predicting that institutional investors would take huge short positions in large numbers. This did not occur, as futures prices rose dramatically in a matter of hours. As a result, some famous brokers altogether prohibited their customers from holding short positions for fear of being "Ashdraked." Lord Ashdrake (or someone claiming to be him) is still a well-known figure in the crypto world. In October 2020, he spoke extensively about the infamous event in an interview with blogger Zoomerjd.