It actually comes from an early bitcoin forum post, around 2010-2012. Some enthusiast with an impassioned and drunk sounding rant explaining to fellow holders that if they ignore volatility and just hold their bitcoin they will all be kings. 'Hold' was typo'd as 'hodl' and the term 'hodl' was thus meme'd into existence by the early community as meaning 'hold your assets long term'. The guy is probably living his best life somewhere now lol.
Smart contract based borrow/lend platforms like Aave and Compound ARE largely free of issues like this as they don't rehypothacate and are highly unlikely to ever become insolvent as collateral is automatically liquidated before borrow position becomes under collateralised.
Another Ponzi lite based on the UST/LUNA structure looks about to collapse. Liquidity in the Curve pool running out. Was the precursor to the UST collapse in May.
I found Avalanche user-friendly when I tried it out briefly last year but don't know if that will necessarily translate into anything more significant.
Standard shitbaggery by the Guardian to deliberately mislead by including this detail in an article about a very serious situation on another platform.