Glossary

Learn and get to know the terms and jargons used in the world of cryptocurrency.

A

Address

Within the context of cryptocurrency, this is akin to an email address. An address usually refers to a wallet address that is used to receive and send funds on the blockchain network (like you use your email address to send and receive messages) and represents a destination for a cryptocurrency payment.

Airdrop

The practice of distributing digital crypto coins or tokens to numerous wallet addresses for free, or in exchange for fulfilling an action.

Algorithm

Algorithms are mathematical processes that work to regulate and govern the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Altcoin

An alternate term for any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin.

Anarcho-capitalism

A political philosophy and economic theory that advocates the elimination of centralized states in favor of free markets, private property and the right-libertarian interpretation of self-ownership.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

Laws, regulations and procedures intended to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income. Their implications are far-reaching.

Arbitrage

Cryptocurrency arbitrage is a trading technique that helps traders earn profits during times of market inefficiency. In short, arbitrage is the exploitation of price differences in the same asset on different markets.

API

An acronym for Application Programming Interface. Essentially, an API is a set of protocols, routines , and tools used for building software applications.

ASIC

An acronym for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which is a device that has been engineered for the sole purpose of mining digital cryptocurrency.

Ask Price

The ask price is a term used to describe the minimum price that a seller is willing to receive. It is synonymous with the term bid and ask, or more commonly known by bid and offer.

Atomic Swap

The term atomic swap refers to an exchange, or swap of one cryptocurrency for another without having the use of centralized intermediaries, this is often facilitated by the use of a smart contract.

Attestation Ledger

A ledger that is used to verify that a transaction has been carried out. Also used as a way to verify the authenticity or products or transactions.

B

Bear

Refers to the market situation that is defined by cautious trading behavior, where traders are more likely to sell than buy crypto assets.

Bear Market

A sustained timeframe in which the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a downward trend.

Bear Trap

A pattern where the performance of a cryptocurrency incorrectly signals a reversal of a rising price trend. In short, a bear trap is a rapid decrease in price in an uptrend.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin (BTC) is the first fully decentralized digital cryptocurrency that supports peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a central governing authority.

Learn more about Bitcoin.

Buy Bitcoin today.

Bitcoin ATM (BTM)

A machine kiosk that facilitates the purchase, and in some cases sale of bitcoins by using cash or debit cards.

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP)

A document that helps to introduce new features or ideas to improve the overall Bitcoin ecosystem. Due to its decentralized nature, Bitcoin does not have a formal structure and therefore requires a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal, or BIP, to propose any improvements to its system.

BitLicense

The common name for the license issued by New York State to cryptocurrency businesses. It was the first and, at least until mid-2019, only license or registration for cryptocurrency trading platforms and brokers in the U.S. It is issued by New York State’s Department of Financial Services.

Bits

A term used to describe a sub-unit of a Bitcoin, meaning 1,000,000 bits is equivalent to 1 Bitcoin (BTC).

Block

In context of cryptocurrency, a Block is synonymous with a page on a ledger or record book. Blocks are files where data pertaining to the Bitcoin network are permanently recorded.

Block Explorer

A search engine for blockchain(s). Think of Google, but instead of it finding websites, it finds transactions. Mostly, block explorers are used by software developers, but for the average crypto user, it's a way to prove you sent someone cryptocurrency or be sure someone sent cryptocurrency to you.

Block Height

Block height is defined as the number of blocks in the chain between any given block and the very first block in the blockchain. In most blockchains, "confirmations" are counted as the difference between the current block height, and the block in which the transaction was "mined". Once the difference is larger than 6, the transaction is considered irreversible (on most blockchains).

Block Reward

A block reward refers to the number of bitcoins you get if you successfully mine a block of the currency.

Brute Force Attack (BFA)

In cryptography, a brute-force attack consists of an attacker submitting many passwords or passphrases with the hope of eventually guessing correctly. The attacker systematically checks all possible passwords and passphrases until the correct one is found.

Bubble

A term used to describe an event when the price of a particular crypto or digital asset exceeds the actual value of that asset.

Bug Bounty

A program that offers individuals recognition or compensation for reporting bugs, particularly those pertaining to security exploits, malicious software and other vulnerabilities.

Bull

The opposite of a bear, where the market situation is characterized by traders and investors feeling confident in buying cryptocurrency assets.

Bull Market

A sustained period of time where the cryptocurrency market condition is experiencing an upward trend. If investors are feeling optimistic and confident in trading cryptocurrency, then it can be referred to as a bull market.

Bull Trap

The opposite of a bear trap, where it is an event when there is a rapid price increase in a downward trend.

Buy Wall

A buy wall is the result of a single large purchase or buy order that usually occurs when larger holders of a particular crypto aims to control the prices for their interest.

Byzantine Generals’ Problem

An issue where there are multiple systems that need to communicate within a network, where communication channels and messages cannot be completely trusted.

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)

The feature of a distributed network to reach a consensus even when some of the nodes in the network fail to respond or respond with incorrect information.

C

Candlesticks

A type of price chart used in technical analysis that displays the high, low, open, and closing prices of a security for a specific period.

Cash

Term used to describe the physical form of fiat currency.

Centralized

A group, entity, or organization where authority and rule is given to a single body. The opposite of decentralized, where no rule or governing body can make decisions, and/or changes alone.

Central Ledger

A record-keeping system that keeps track of information or transactions in a centralized manner, for example the central bank of any country keeps track of all transactions on a centralized ledger.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The core of a computer where processes and instructions are executed to make up a computer program. Processes that are executed by a CPU includes arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output operations.

Change

A term used to describe the return of money or currency after paying for something that costs more.

Chargeback

The return of currency to a payer of a transaction, a term commonly associated with credit card transactions.

Chain Split

A permanent branching, or splitting, of a blockchain network.

Cipher

A cipher is any algorithm that can be used to encrypt and decrypt information to ensure the continuous security of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Client

A software that can access and process blockchain data and transactions on a local computer or device, such as a crypto software wallet.

Close

A term used to define the closing price in crypto trading. 

Cloud Mining

The practice of mining cryptocurrency using remote computing power rented from third-party companies.

Coinbase

In context of mineable crypto assets, the coinbase is the number of coins that are produced and rewarded to the respective miners for mining every new block on the blockchain.

Cold Storage

Cold storage refers to a method of storing cryptocurrency offline, usually in a hardware wallet for increased security.

Cold Wallet

Refers to a type of cryptocurrency wallet that is not connected to the internet. Cold wallets are synonymous with hardware wallets where an individual is required to authorize transactions manually on the device's interface. Examples include the Trezor and Ledger crypto hardware wallets. 

Confirmations

The number of blocks that have come after the block that your particular transaction occurred in.  So if your transaction occurred in block 100 and the blockchain has added a further 5 blocks to reach block 105, your transaction would be considered to have 5 ‘confirmations’.  Where one can get confused, is believing that miners have confirmed your specific block 5 times.  That is not the case.  What gives confirmations their value, is knowing that the blockchain has continued to build on top of your block, giving you confidence that it has been accepted into the main chain as every transaction has a hash of the previous block within it.

Consensus

Within the context of cryptocurrency, consensus refers to the mechanism in which computers in a blockchain system to achieve a singular agreement on a single state or data value on the network.

Consortium Blockchain

A type of blockchain technology that is governed by multiple organizations, also known as federated blockchain.

Correction

A pullback of an asset’s price to adjust for over-valuation, usually at least to a degree of 10%.

Co-Signer

An individual or entity that has partial control over a crypto wallet.

Crypto Asset

Special kinds of virtual currency tokens that reside on their own blockchains and represent an asset or utility.

Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency (or crypto) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database.

Cryptography

A method of protecting information, communications and/or processes by using codes that can only be decrypted by those who are intended to read and process it.

Cryptographic Hash Function

A mathematical function that converts an input value into a compressed numerical value, also known as a hash value.

Custodial Wallet

A custodial wallet is a crypto wallet where the private keys are held by a third party instead of personal possession. This means the third party has full control of the funds, and the user or investor only has to give permission to send or receive payments.

Crypto

Like cryptocurrency, crypto encompasses all blockchain technology in addition to currency for example smart contracts.

D

Dark Web

The uncensored part of the internet that is not accessible through a normal browser. The dark web is accessed using private networks and browsers such as Tor.

Decentralized

A network which does not have a single point of failure or breach-ability.

Decentralized Applications (DApps)

Digital Applications or applications built on blockchain technology.

Decentralized Autonomous Initial Coin Offerings (DAICO)

Proposed in 2018 by the creator of Ethereum (ETH), Vitalik Buterin, to merge the ideas from Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and initial coin offerings (ICOs) to increase the investors’ trust and put more control over the allocation of raised fund.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO)

An organization that is run through rules that are encoded in smart contracts.

Decryption

The process of deciphering information or data back into its original format to make it readable by a user or machine.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Decentralized Finance, or DeFi, is a movement that encourages the implementation of peer-to-peer financial transactions and/or processes facilitated through a decentralized system of blockchain networks - as opposed to the traditional centralized system of finances through a central governing bank.

Deflation

A decline in the general level of prices for goods and services.

Delegated Proof-of-Stake (dPOS)

An alternative algorithm for the Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Work consensus.

Depth Chart

A graph that plots the requests to buy (bids) and the requests to sell (asks) on a chart, based on limit orders. The chart shows the point at which the market is most likely to accept a transaction.

Deterministic Wallet

A type of cryptocurrency wallet in which keys and addresses are created from a single seed.

Difficulty

The measure or degree of complexity it is to validate a new block on the blockchain.

Digital Commodity

A commodity that exists digitally. In some countries, cryptocurrency is labelled as a digital commodity as opposed to digital currency.

Digital Currency

A currency that exists only in digital form, as opposed to traditional fiat currency.

Digital Identity

Information pertaining to an individual that is used to identify themselves on a digital platform or network.

Digital Signature

A method for providing digital authentication in a digital communication.

Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)

A way of structuring data, often used for data modelling, and increasingly as a consensus tool in cryptocurrencies.

Dildo

Strictly within the context of crypto, dildos refer to the red or green candlesticks, or vertical lines showing crypto market data.

Distributed Consensus

a collective consensus that has been reached among nodes, or computers, in a network.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack

A type of cyber attack that attempts to distrupt the operation of a software, server, or network by overloading it with traffic.

Distributed Ledger

Distributed ledgers are ledgers in which data is stored across a network of decentralized nodes. A distributed ledger does not necessarily involve a cryptocurrency and may be permissioned and private.

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)

A database that is shared by multiple participants, in multiple places. It forms the basis for blockchain networks. 

Distributed Network

A network in which the data and applications are dependent on multiple sources, as opposed to one location.

Double Spending

The likelihood for a digital currency to be spent twice.

Dump

Term used to describe the act of selling off all your coins.

Dumping

The collective action of selling all assets, to create a downward price movement.

Dust Transactions

Miniscule transactions that flood and slow the network, usually deliberately created by people looking to disrupt it.

Dusting Attack

When a scammer sends tiny amounts of a cryptocurrency to random users’ wallets, and then analyzes and tracks the subsequent transactions in order to identify the specific users behind each address.

E

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)

A group of Ethereum developers, startups and large corporations working together to commercialize and use Ethereum for business applications.

Emission

Emission, also known as Emission Curve, Emission Rate and Emission Schedule, is the speed at which new coins are created and released.

ERC-20

A token standard for Ethereum, used for smart contracts implementing tokens. It is a common list of rules defining interactions between tokens, including transfer between addresses and data access.

ERC-721

A token standard for non-fungible Ethereum tokens. An Ethereum Improvement Proposal introduced in 2017, it enables smart contracts to operate as tradeable tokens similar to ERC-20 tokens.

Escrow

An escrow is a contractual arrangement in which a third party receives and disburses money or documents for the primary transacting parties, with the disbursement dependent on conditions agreed to by the transacting parties. This is possible to be automated using smart contracts on the blockchain.

Ether

Ether, or ETH, is the form of payment used in the operation of the distribution application platform, Ethereum, in order to incentivize machines into executing the requested operations.

Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards.

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

A Turing-complete virtual machine that enables execution of code exactly as intended; it is the runtime environment for every smart contract. Every Ethereum node runs on the EVM to maintain consensus across the blockchain.

Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchanges (sometimes called digital currency exchanges) are businesses that allow customers to trade cryptocurrencies for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies.

Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

A security that tracks a basket of assets such as stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies but can be traded like a single stock.

F

Faucet

A cryptocurrency reward system usually on a website or app, that rewards users for completing certain tasks. It is mostly a technique used when first launching an altcoin to interest people in the coin.

Fiat

Derived from the Latin word meaning “it shall be”, which refer to government-issued currency. The US Dollar is an example of Fiat currency.

Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency

Also known as “pegged cryptocurrency,” it is a coin, token or asset issued on a blockchain that is linked to a government- or bank-issued currency. Each pegged cryptocurrency is guaranteed to have a specific cash value in reserves at all times.

Flipping

An investment strategy (mostly popularized by real estate investing) where you buy something with the goal of reselling for a profit later, usually in a short period of time.

Fork (Blockchain)

Forks, or chain splits, create an alternate version of the blockchain, leaving two blockchains to run simultaneously.

Fork (Software)

A software fork, also known as a project fork, is when developers take the technology (source code) from one existing software project and modify it to create a new project.

Full Node

A full node is a computer that has the full transaction history of a specific blockchain, such as Bitcoin. Running a full node is useful as it helps decentralize and strengthen the network, and it allows you to validate your own transactions.

Fundamental Analysis (FA)

A method in which you research the underlying value of an asset by looking at the technology, team, growth prospects and other indicators. Some people perform fundamental analysis as part of an investment strategy called “value investing.”

G

Gains

Term used to describe an increase in wealth due to a profit in trading.

Gas

A term used on the Ethereum platform that refers to a unit of measuring the computational effort of conducting transactions or smart contracts, or launch DApps in the Ethereum network.

Gas Limit

The amount of gas a user on the Ethereum platform is willing to spend on a transaction.

Gas Price

Refers to the price a user is willing to pay on the Ethereum platform.

Genesis Block

Often referred to as Block 0 or Block 1, the genesis block is the first block ever processed and validated to form a new blockchain.

Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

A crypto asset that has its value pegged to the value of gold.

Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)

Commonly known as a graphics card, it is a computer component that is used to create advanced graphics, but also efficient in mining cryptocurrencies.

Group Mining

The opposite of solo mining, where a group of people mine a particular cryptocurrency together.

Gwei

The denomination that is used to define the cost of transactions involving ether (ETH).

H

Hacking

An attempt to exploit a computer system or a private network inside a computer. Simply put, it is the unauthorised access to or control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose.

Halving

An event where the total amount of rewards per confirmed block is halved.

Hard Cap

The absolute maximum amount of supply for a digital asset. Bitcoin, for example is hard capped at 21 million units.

Hard Fork (Blockchain)

A type of protocol change that validates all previously invalid transactions, and invalidates all previously valid transactions.

Hash

Hash functions are algorithms that take data of any size and convert it into a fixed-length hexadecimal number, or hash.

Hash Power / Hash Rate

The hash rate is the unit of measure for the computing power of a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism.

Hierarchical Deterministic Wallet (HD Wallet)

A hierarchical-deterministic wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that generates new cryptographic key pairs or addresses from a master key pair each time funds are received.

Hidden Cap

Hidden cap is an unknown limit to the amount of money a team elects to receive from investors in its initial coin offering (ICO).

Hosted Wallet

A crypto wallet hosted by a third-party service.

Hot Storage

The online storage of private keys for easier accessibility to cryptocurrencies.

Hot Wallet

A crypto wallet that is connected to the internet, as opposed to the offline storage of a cold wallet.

Hybrid PoW/PoS

A hybrid PoW/PoS allows for both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work as consensus distribution algorithms on the network.

Hyperledger (Hyperledger Foundation)

Hyperledger is an umbrella project of open source blockchains and blockchain-related tools started by the Linux Foundation in 2015 to support the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

I

Immutable

Refers to the state of being unable, or impervious to external change or modification. Smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain are immutable once deployed.

Inflation

Inflation refers to the gradual rising of prices in an economy relative to actual value, which can decrease the purchasing power of a currency if not managed.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

Initial Coin Offerings or token sales are a fundraising mechanism made possible by blockchain and Ethereum that incorporates the creation and sale of a token to raise funds for a project—usually a new blockchain platform, decentralized application (Dapp), or digital asset product.

Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)

An IEO or Initial Exchange Offering is a token distribution event that is specifically conducted on a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Initial Token Offering (ITO)

Similar to ICOs, but the focus is on the offering of tokens with proven (or unproven) intrinsic utility in the form of software or usage in an ecosystem.

Initial Bounty Offering (IBO)

An initial bounty offering or IBO is the limited-time process by which a new cryptocurrency is made public and distributed to people who invest time and skill into earn rewards in the new cryptocurrency, such as doing translation or marketing.

Instamine

A period in time, shortly after launch, when a large portion of total mineable coins or tokens are mined in a compressed time frame, and may be unevenly and quickly distributed to investors.

Intermediary / Middleman

An intermediary, or middleman, is a person or entity that acts as the go-between different parties to bring about agreements or carry out directives.

J

JOMO

JOMO stands for “Joy of Missing Out” and is usually used by no-coiners when they are happy that they are not involved in cryptocurrencies, typically when its prices are in decline or when a scam ICO has been revealed.

K

KYC

Know your customer. This is in reference to certain criteria exchanges have to meet during the verification process.  Knowing your customer is essential to an exchanges security, integrity and participation in upholding the law.

L

Ledger

This word can have multiple meanings within the crypto space. Used alone, Ledger is a brand of USB hardware digital wallet, which holds digital assets on its memory.  The Bitcoin network and other crypto networks can also be described as “Digital Ledger’s”. A digital ledger is a record of transactions on the blockchain.  For example a digital ledger of Bitcoin transactions.  A digital ledger is a way to help describe the workings of the blockchain.

Leverage

In the context of investing, leverage is the use of borrowed money to fund an investment. If a position, individual, or organization is 'highly leveraged,' it means they are utilizing a large percentage of borrowed money.

Lightning Network

The Lightning Network is a layer-two scaling technology that operates on top of blockchains like Bitcoin. It creates a private, two-way channel between users that enables multiple transactions to take place off the main blockchain. These transactions are subsequently recorded as one single transaction on the main blockchain. This process extrapolated over many transactions reduces network congestion and increases scalability.

Limit Order / Limit Buy / Limit Sell

Term that refers to orders that are placed by traders to buy or sell crypto when a certain price point is reached.

Liquidity

The degree to which a crypto can be bought and sold without impacting the overall price in the market.

Long

The term when a trader buys a cryptocurrency only to sell it at a much later time when the prices are valued higher.

M

Mainnet

A mainnet is a fully developed and released version of a blockchain network.

Market Order / Market Buy / Market Sell

Refers to the overall total capitalization of a cryptocurrency’s price.

Margin Call

A margin call occurs when the value of an investor's margin account—a type of account that lets investors purchase securities with borrowed money—falls below the broker's required minimum amount.

Masternodes

Refers to a server that is similar to a node but with added functionality, such as clearing transactions, participating in governance, and anonymizing transactions.

Merkle Tree

A Merkel Tree is a data structure composed of data-converting hashes that is utilized by blockchains for the secure verification of information.

MicroBitcoin (uBTC)

Refers to a unit that is one millionth of a Bitcoin.

Microtransaction

A model of business where small payments can be made in exchange for digital goods and services.

Miners

Miners, see “Mining” are a collective group of mining machines that work together to solve a mathematical problem while ensuring the blockchain network is true, decentralized, and immutable.  Miners can also “Pool” their mining hash rate (the rate at which they solve computational problems) in order to get rewards faster, then split them according to the computational power they contributed to the pool.

Mining

Mining in the crypto world means processing transactions, encrypting network data, ensuring that transactions are true, comparing blocks, and the list goes on.  But to simplify this mining crypto is using the computational power of your PC, Graphics card or ASIC machines (built specifically for mining) to solve mathematical problems in return for crypto rewards.  This assists in the decentralization of said crypto and ensures the security and truth of the blockchain.

Mining Contract

Mining Pool: A mining pool is a group of miners who combine their individual computing power in order to increase their chances of successfully mining a block of transactions.

Mining Reward

Mining rewards, also referred to as block rewards, are native assets of a network that miners receive for successfully mining blocks of transactions.

Mining Rig

A mining rig is a system used to mine cryptocurrency tokens.

Mixing Service

A service to improve the privacy of crypto transactions by “mixing” the crypto transactions with other unrelated transactions. This makes it more difficult to discern and track what the cryptocurrency was used for or who it belongs to.

Mnemonics

A memory remembering technique where letters or associations are used to help in recalling the information.

Mnemonic Phrase

In the world of cryptocurrency, also known as a seed phrase, is a list of words used in sequence in order to grant access to your crypto wallet and assets.

Money Transmitter/Money Transfer License

A service that provides money transfer services or payments whether it be a fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodities, or any other valuable goods.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)

A method for technical analysis where a trend is followed that shows the relationship between two price moving averages.

Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox was a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that lost more than 700,000 bitcoin in a 2014 hack. Created by Jed McCaleb in 2010, Mt. Gox was sold to Mark Karpeles in 2011 who operated it from Japan.

Multi-Signature Wallet (Multi-sig)

 A wallet which requires multiple keys to sign a transaction before it can be executed.

N

Network

Refers to all operating nodes in a blockchain network at any given time.

Node

In blockchain tech, a node is a computer that is connected to a blockchain network that serves a number of purposes essential to the maintenance of a distributed system.

Non-custodial

Non-custodial and custodial are classifications that are used to classify the services that a financial institution provides to their customers to manage securities or other assets, including crypto.

Nonce

A nonce (which stands for "number only used once") is a number that is added to all the data in a block prior to the hashing of that block in the Proof-of-Work mining process.

O

Off-Ledger Currency

Currency that is created outside of a specified blockchain, but is still accepted or used.

Offline Storage

The practice of storing cryptocurrencies in systems that are not connected to the internet.

On-Ledger Currency

A currency that is both minted and the blockchain ledger and also used on the blockchain itself, such as Bitcoin (BTC).

Online Storage

The practice of storing cryptocurrencies on systems that are connected to the internet.

One Cancels The Other Order (OCO)

An incident where two orders for crypto are placed at the same time, and a rule is enforced where if one of them is accepted, the other one is rejected.

Open/Close

The price at which a crypto opens and closes on a specified time period.

Open Source

A design philosophy where participants believe in the free and open sharing of information in pursuit of the greater common good.

Oracles

An agent that verifies information by bridging the real world and the blockchain by providing data to smart contracts.

Orphan Block/Transaction

An orphan transaction occurs when a transaction is included in a block, then the block is "dropped" - another miner on the crypto network successfully mined a succession of blocks, or extended the "block chain" in a way that didn't include the block. Without that block being included in the longest "block chain" competing on the network, the funds transacted are considered as not having been transacted at all - with the money returning to the wallet. Orphan transactions are common on smaller crypto networks with miners who control a large share of mining power but on larger ones, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, they are rare.

Overbought

When a crypto has been purchased by more investors over time, which results in a price increase for an extended period of time.

Oversold

When a crypto has been sold by more investors over time, resulting in its price decrease for an extended period of time.

P

Paper Wallet

A paper wallet is a physical piece of paper which has either printed or handwritten private keys and Bitcoin/crypto addresses on it.  This is completely offline and old school. This is a safe way to store Bitcoin/crypto if you have a safe and multiple copies of the paper incase one should fade/degrade.  The advantages of a paper wallet are the fact that it is very easily accessible by the owner and impossible to hack due to being completely offline.

Peer to Peer (P2P)

A peer-to-peer (P2P) network structure as it relates to blockchain technology is generally considered decentralized and is designed to operate in the best interest of all parties involved, as opposed to benefitting mainly a single centralized entity.

Permissioned Ledger

A ledger that has been designed to only be accessible to certain individuals who have special clearance or permissions.

Phishing

A phishing attack is a common computer-based attack method that is used to obtain sensitive information like email addresses, private key addresses, mobile phone numbers, and credit card details from an unknowing victim.

Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi works to lure would-be investors into a system which pays big profits to early adopters of the scheme with funding funnelling up from the people below them which they are encouraged to bring into the scheme.  It sells false pretence that profits are coming from investments or the sale of products when in actual fact it is the snowball effect of people paying joining fees etc that is funnelled up.  This eventually bursts or collapses when no more people join the Ponzi creating a waterfall or avalanche effect causing the vast majority of investors to be completely out of pocket.

Portfolio

A collection of cryptocurrencies or crypto assets that are held by an individual, hedge fund, financial institution, or investment company.

Pre-mine

Refers to the mining of a cryptocurrency asset - usually by the owners of the project or blockchain - before it goes live for the first time. The purpose of pre-mining is to allow the founders to possess a pool of funds that will be used to ensure the longevity of the project.

Pre-sale

A sale that takes place before an ICO is made available to the public.

Private Key / Secret Key

A personal key that serves as the counterpart for the Public Key to be used for decrypting information hashed with the public key.

Proof-of-Authority (PoA)

Originally created by the co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, a Proof of Authority, or PoA, is a consensus mechanism that uses identity as a stake to deliver fast transactions.

Proof-of-Burn (PoB)

A blockchain consensus mechanism that aims to bootstrap one blockchain network to another.

Proof-of-Developer (PoD)

Any verification that provides evidence of a real software developer who created a cryptocurrency to prevent an anonymous developer from making away with any raised funds without first delivering a working model.

Proof-of-Stake (PoS)

Proof of Stake (PoS) is emerging as one of the most widely used blockchain consensus mechanisms in existence today. PoS networks incentivize participants to stake native tokens in a network of validator nodes.

Proof-of-Work (PoW)

Proof-of-work is a concept which derives from mining.  Mineable cryptocurrencies use the Proof-of-work system to reward the work done by those network participants (miners) who use their hash-rate (computer power) to compete against one another to confirm the transactions in order to be rewarded in tokens.

Protocol

A set of rules that define the interactions on a network that usually involves a consensus and transaction validation on the blockchain.

Pseudonymous

Representing an individual or entity under a false name.

Public Address

A public address is a shortened version of a user’s public cryptographic key.

Public Blockchain

 A blockchain that can be accessed by anyone.

Pump and Dump (P&D) Scheme

A pump and dump scheme is fairly self explanatory.  It is when early investors in a stock or crypto artificially inflate the price of a stock/crypto token in order to entice investors to buy in. This in turn boosts the price of the asset and when it reaches parabolic price ranges the early investors sell large sums of the asset on the market for top price which in turn causes a sharp downturn in the assets price and investors now must hold on until it recovers. Which may never happen or they have to cut their losses and sell at a loss to exit.

Q

QR Code

A form of barcode in the shape of a graphical black and white square that contains information such as a wallet address.

R

Raiden Network

An off-chain scaling solution that is aimed to enable low-fee, near-instant, scalable payments on the Ethereum blockchain. Comparable to Bitcoin’s proposed Lightning Network.

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

Developed by J. Welles Wilder, an RSI is a form of technical analysis that serves as a momentum oscillator by measuring the change in speed and price movements. An RSI provides an indicator between zero and 100, where a crypto is considered overbought when it is above 70 and oversold when below 30.

Replicated Ledger

A copy of a distributed ledger in a network.

Ring Signature

A method of increasing anonymity by merging inputs of multiple signers with the original sender to authenticate a transaction.

ROI

Refers to the acronym for Return of Investment, a condition in which an investor or trader receives a sum that is equal to, or more than what was initially invested in.

S

Satoshis (SATS)

Named after the pseudonymous individual or group that created Bitcoin, Satoshis, or “sats,” are the smallest divisible unit of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The pseudonymous individual or group responsible for creating the Bitcoin protocol. Satoshi Nakamoto famously published the Bitcoin whitepaper in October 2008 and mined the first 'genesis' block on the Bitcoin network in January 2009.

Scam

A fraudulent attempt to steal cryptocurrency.

Scrypt

Scrypt is the hash function that converts an input of letters and numbers into an encrypted output that is used by the cryptocurrency Litecoin.

Second-Layer Solutions

Set of solutions built on top of a public blockchain to extend its scalability and efficiency for microtransactions or actions, such as Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

An independent agency of the US Federal Government that is responsible for enforcing federal security laws and regulations, regulating the security industry, and other related activities and organizations.

Seed Phrase

A seed phrase, also referred to as a “recovery phrase' is a 12, 18, or 24-word code that is used as a backup access mechanism when a user loses acess to a cryptocurrency wallet or associated private key.

Segregated Witness (SegWit)

A BIP that was aimed to fix transaction malleability on Bitcoin.

Selfish Mining

A mining technique in which a miner mines a new block but does not broadcast it to other miners. If the miner can find a second block faster than the other miners, then they would have created the longest public chain - which consequently invalidates all other blocks discovered in the time that it took to execute this action.

Sell Wall

A situation where a large limit order has been placed to sell when a crypto reaches a certain value.

Side Chain

A blockchain ledger that runs in parallel with to its primary blockchain, this secondary blockchain usually has a two-way link between the primary and the side chain.

Simplified Payment Verification (SPV)

A lightweight client used to verify blockchain transactions that works by downloading only the block headers and requesting proof of inclusion to the blockchain in the Merkle Tree.

SHA-256

A Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) that to secures data by utilizing a cryptographic mathematical operation to generate a unique 256-bit, 64-character random sequence of letters and numbers (called a hash) out of an input.

Sharding

A mechanism that is used to partition a blockchain network orother type of computer network or database. Its purpose it to distribute the network's computational and storage workload across a broader set of devices, or nodes, in order to increase the throughput and transaction speed of the entire system.

Short

A common trading technique in which a trader borrows an asset in order to sell it again with the expectation that its price will continue to decline. Once the price does decline, the short trader will then buy the asset at this lower price to return it to the original lender of the asset - making a profit with the difference.

Silk Road

An online black market that existed in the deep web which has since been shut down by the FBI. This network of black market apparently accepted bitcoins for its transactions.

Smart Contract

Computer programs that run within a blockchain protocol that automatically execute based on preset conditions. They execute a predefined set of terms automatically in a trackable and irreversible manner without the need for a third party.

Soft Cap

The minimal amount that an initial coin offering (ICO) wants to increase.

Soft Fork (Blockchain)

A change to the blockchains protocol where only previously valid blocks are made invalid. Old nodes will recognize the new blocks as valid, therefore a soft fork is backward-compatible.

Solidity

The programming language developers of Ethereum use for creating smart contracts.

Spoon (Blockchain)

A term that refers to a meta-protocol that exists on top of an existing blockchain.

Spot Market

A public financial market in which the trade of financial instruments or commodities are immediately settled and delivered. While the delivery of physical goods purchased may be slightly delayed due to real-world logistical considerations or business protocols.

Stablecoin

A stablecoin is a digital currency created with the intent of holding a stable value. Common examples of a stablecoin include the Tether (USDT), Goldcoin, Paxos Standard Token (PAX), and Binance USD (BUSD).

Staking

Staking is the process through which a blockchain network user 'stakes' or locks their cryptocurrency assets on a network as part of the consensus mechanism, thus ensuring the security and functionality of the chain.

Stale Block

A block that has been successfully mined but is not included in the current longest blockchain - usually caused by another block that was added before the block with the same height.

State Channel

A second-layer solution that reduces the total on-chain transactions necessary by moving the transactions off-chain and letting participants sign to the main chain after multiple off-chain transactions.

T

Taint

The percentage of crypto in a particular account that can be traced to another account.

Tangle

A blockchain alternative developed by IOTA using acylic graphs which only builds in one single direction and in a way that never repeats.

Technical Analysis/Trend Analysis (TA)

A method of evaluation that makes use of charts and financial instruments to create a statistical analysis of market activity, such as price and volume.

Testnet

An alternative blockchain used for testing purposes by developers.

Timelock / Locktime

A term used to describe a condition in which a transaction can only be processed at a certain time or block on the blockchain.

Timestamp

A stamp used to identify when a certain transaction has occurred. The stamp typically includes the date and time of day with an accuracy to fractions of a second.

Token Generation Event

Refers to the time in which a token is created and issued.

Tokenize

The process in which a real-world asset is converted into digital value called a token.

TOR

An cronym for The Onion Router, TOR is a free software that allows a user to communicate anonymously on the internet.

Total Supply

Refers to the total amount of cryptocurrency in existence in the present time.

Transaction Fee

A fee deducted for using the blockchain to transact.

TRON

Tron is a blockchain project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a decentralized Internet. While the project initially started as a decentralized entertainment platform with distributed storage technology, the project's ambitions have grown to closely resemble those of Ethereum.

TRONix (TRX)

TRX is the native token of the Tron blockchain protocol. While the token was initially used only to pay content creators for digital content on the Tron platform, TRX has evolved into a more broadly accepted payment method across Tron's evolving service ecosystem.

Trustless

A fundamental principle of a blockchain where no participant needs to trust any other participant for transactions to be enforced as intended.

Tumbler

An alternative term for a mixing service. 

Turing-Complete

Refers to the ability of a machine to execute calculations that any other programmable computer is capable of. An example of a Turing-Complete program is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

U

Unconfirmed

Refers to a state where a transaction has not been confirmed on the blockchain.

Unpermissioned Ledger

Similar to a public blockchain.

Unspent Transaction Output

Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) is the amount of cryptocurrency that remains after a transaction is executed. Each UTXO represents a chain of ownership, which is represented as a chain of digital signatures in which a transaction originator signs a message transferring ownership of their UTXO to the recipient's public key.

V

Validator

Within the context of blockchain technology, a validator is an entity responsible for verifying and approving transactions submitted by users and/or blockchain clients. Each blockchain protocol has its own parameters for what constitutes an acceptable validator and how these validators operate.

Vanity Address

A crypto address where a user can customize their public address with custom letters and/or numbers.

Vaporware

A crypto project that is never actually developed.

Venture Capital

A form of private equity provided to fund small, early-stage firms that are deemed to have high growth potential.

Virgin Bitcoin

A Bitcoin that has never been spent.

Volatility

Within a marketplace context, volatility refers to the degree of variation an asset's trading prices undergo relative to its mean price over a certain period of time. The more volatile the price of an asset is, the greater the frequency and number of its price changes.

W

Wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is a device or service that stores users' public and private keys, allowing them to interact with various blockchains and to send and receive crypto assets.

Wei

Refers to the smallest fraction of an Ether.

Whitelist

A list of interested participants in an ICO.

Whitepaper

A white paper is a document produced by blockchain projects which outlines the purpose of the technology they propose to create or have created, and describes how the technology will be implemented, typically in technical terms.

X

XPUB

An extended public key. You can think of this as a “view only” wallet. It allows you to see all the transactions, addresses, and balances in a specific wallet. This however does not allow you to spend the bitcoin at all. To be able to send, you need the private key. The XPUB does not hold your private key at all.

Y

YPUB

This is an extended public key that belongs to wallets following BIP49. This details a backward-compatible addressing scheme for Segregated Witness, or better known as Segwit.

Z

Zero Confirmation Transaction

Alternative phrasing for an unconfirmed transaction.

Zero-Knowledge Proof

Zero-Knowledge Proofs are a cryptographic method that provides users with a higher degree of privacy when engaging in digital transactions. In essence, zero-knowledge proofs enable one party to prove to another party that they know a specific value, without conveying any other information apart from the fact that they know that value.

Zk-SNARKs

Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK) is a type of cryptographic proof used to ensure privacy on blockchain-based distributed ledger systems.