What is NGU?

Key Takeaways

  • NGU means 'Number Go Up'.
  • Limited supply and increasing adoption propel NGU.
  • Bitcoin's price is not guaranteed to always go up.

NGU (Number Go Up) refers to a fundamental characteristic of Bitcoin, the world's first and most well-known cryptocurrency.

Playful Shorthand

The term “Number Go Up” is a playful shorthand that has emerged within the Bitcoin community to describe a consistent behavior of Bitcoin’s price.

Over time, the value of a Bitcoin tends to increase relative to fiat currencies, commodities, and other financial assets.


This value increase is primarily driven by two key factors:

Supply and adoption.

Reasons for NGU

Firstly, Bitcoin has a limited supply.

The total number of Bitcoins that will ever exist is capped at 21 million.

This scarcity is intentionally built into the system to prevent inflation and preserve the value of individual units.

On top of that, existing Bitcoin’s are sometimes lost, which decreases the supply of available Bitcoins even further.

20% of All BTC is Lost Unrecoverable Study Shows investopedia headline
Source: Investopedia

Secondly, ‘NGU’ relies on increasing adoption and utility.

The more useful Bitcoin becomes, the more people adopt it.

And the more people adopt Bitcoin, the more useful it becomes

This is called a ‘network effect’, where the usefulness of some invention increases when more people use it.

So…as more people recognize Bitcoin as a decentralized digital currency and store of value, others will also view it that way as well.

When paired with Bitcoin’s slowing issuance and capped supply, further adoption pushes the price higher, driving the “Number Go Up” effect.

scarcity and adoption of bitcoin
As supply decreases and adoption increases, we expect price to go up.

‘NGU’ is often associated with Bitcoin’s long-term investment potential.

Bitcoin’s historical price performance has demonstrated substantial historical growth, with significant upward trends punctuated by periodic volatility.

historical bitcoin price chart
As you can see, Bitcoin is full of ups and downs in price, but the general trend is upward.

The NGU mindset encourages hodling (a term derived from “hold”) or holding onto Bitcoin as a long-term investment strategy, anticipating that its value will continue to appreciate over time.

Not a Guarantee

However, it’s important to note that the NGU narrative is not a guarantee of future performance or a promise of constant price increases.

Bitcoin’s price is subject to market dynamics, sentiment, regulatory factors, and other variables. The concept of NGU serves as a useful lens to understand Bitcoin’s value proposition and its potential as a digital store of value.

In summary, NGU (Number Go Up) refers to the inherent characteristics of Bitcoin that contribute to its long-term value appreciation.

Through scarcity and increasing adoption, Bitcoin’s limited supply and growing acceptance create an environment where its price tends to rise over time.