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The most comprehensive dictionary online of blockchain and cryptocurrency-related terms, buzzwords, and slang. From HODL to NFT, these are the terms you may or may NOT need to know.

More than half of these terms are highly technical, so this resources should be used by crypto beginners for reference, only!

  • 51% attack: A hypothetical situation where more than half of the computing power on a blockchain network is controlled by one person or group, thus allowing them to dictate which transactions are verified. This would allow them to prevent other users from completing confirmed transactions and cause havoc within the system, and double-spend coins.
  • 51% attack protection: A protection mechanism implemented by several cryptocurrencies that require more than 50% of their total hashing power working together as one entity (which would make it difficult for attackers since they’d need even more resources and time) or if this threshold is below 100%, having an additional safeguard feature where at least 66% must agree with every transaction before sending, making them unable to double-spend anything without others noticing until these changes are made on the chain permanently.
  • “AFK”: Away From Keyboard; used on social media platforms like Twitter where users share their trading activity but only want to receive messages while they’re logged into their account (and not away doing other things). AFKs usually trade for more extended periods of time than those who are active on their feeds.
  • Airdrop: An event where a blockchain project distributes free tokens or coins to the community.
  • Air gapping: The act of keeping digital information or machinery isolated from unauthorized access in order to enhance security.
  • Altcoin: Any cryptocurrency that is an alternative to Bitcoin, or sometimes referring to any cryptocurrency that is an alternative to Bitcoin or Ether (Ethereum).
  • “AML”: Anti-Money Laundering, a legal framework used by governments worldwide to stop financial crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and more.
  • “Ape” or “Apeing in”: An ape or one who “apes in” refers to someone buys a token or NFT shortly after it launches without previously conducting proper research.
  • “ATH”: All-Time High, the highest value reached by an asset at any point in its history.
  • Bag holder: A derogatory term to describe investors who are still holding certain assets that have dropped significantly in value since their purchase price.
  • Bearish: When investors or traders see a bearish trend, they expect a price to decrease and would recommend selling coins/tokens.
  • Bear market: A market in which prices fall and negative sentiment is rife; this could lead to a drop-off in demand while buyers wait for lower prices.
  • Bitcoin: The first decentralized cryptocurrency released in 2009.
  • Bitcoin maximalist: A person who defends bitcoin against all other crypto assets.
  • Blockchain: A type of decentralized public ledger which contains records/transactions and forms the basis for how many cryptocurrencies work, using cryptography to link together blocks in a chain so that each block is linked with the previous one chronologically, preventing any tampering or revisionist history from occurring since it would be recognized immediately by other users on the network.
  • Blocks: Each block on a blockchain represents a collection of transactions that have taken place. As the transactions are validated, they are compiled into the blockchain permanently. Blocks include a timestamp and are built in such a way that they cannot be changed once recorded.
  • Block height: When discussing blockchain networks such as BitcoinBTC), this term refers to how many blocks make up their total height/length starting from block #0, also called its genesis block, which was mined during the first round of updates to this network.
  • Block reward: A type of monetary incentive provided by cryptocurrencies whenever an individual mines a block successfully. Coins/Tokens are not created out of thin air. Still, rather they must have gone through mining first before being awarded as such since it requires computational resources and electricity costs to mine them effectively. This is how miners make their profits, doing the work necessary in ensuring proper security measures are put in place so that these tokens cannot easily be hacked or stolen from them.
  • Block size limit: The maximum amount of data that can be included in a block, measured in bytes. Bitcoin’s is hard-coded at one megabyte while Ethereum’s was recently increased to around 20% of that number (to roughly 12.66 MB), with plans for it to increase further over the coming years.
  • Bollinger bands: A technical indicator used by traders to measure market volatility consisting of three lines plotted at standard deviation levels above and below a centre line.
  • Bounty / Bug Bounty: A task that is offered to the community in exchange for a reward upon completion. Bug Bounties could be to audit a project’s smart contract, create marketable content, market research, etc.
  • “BTD”: Buy The Dip; this means buying coins/tokens when the price drops and they’re cheap.
  • Bullish: When investors are bullish, they expect a price to go up in the future and would be comfortable buying coins/tokens at these levels because they believe it will increase even more.
  • Bull market: A market in which prices are rising, and investors expect even better returns.
  • Casper: Ethereum’s proof-of-stake protocol upgrade (ETH 2.0), designed to replace the proof-of-work as mentioned earlier and improve the scalability of the network while also enhancing security by making it less costly for an attacker to attack the network.
  • Centralized: A system of power where a central authority has control over the execution of operations. Often associated with a dictatorial style of rule and a single point of attack.
  • Centralized Finance (CeFi): Centralized finance is a system where financial institutions are centrally controlled by a government or a small group of private individuals. This system is in contrast to a decentralized finance system, where financial institutions are decentralized and controlled by the market. Remember the Voyager and Celsius bankruptcy fiasco from 2022? Well maybe you don’t. But both companies are perfect examples of a “cefi” or “centralized” financial system. On centralized exchanges like Celsius, the company has custody over your crypto assets.
  • Chaffing: The practice of purposely sending false signals between nodes on a network using fake IP addresses so that they only see information that has already been seen by another node or set of nodes before, thus making consensus impossible for any new data being added onto the chain; this works against 51% attacks where attackers try to introduce invalid blocks into the chain since other miners will not recognize these blocks because they cannot make sense out of what they are seeing due to chaffing.
  • Cold Wallet / Cold Storage: A type of wallet that stores crypto assets offline (e.g. hardware wallets, paper wallets).
  • Coin: A coin is any layer one cryptocurrency (i.e. it has its own proprietary blockchain).
  • Coinless protocol: A decentralized network where all incentive mechanisms are built into the protocol itself and not as an additional layer on top of it (like Ethereum). The purpose is to create fully autonomous systems with no need for central management.
  • Confirmation: This is how many transactions have been processed/validated and added to its ledger so far since it began existing, either through mining or other means, including private ones off-chain. Confirmed transactions cannot be reversed without cooperation from others involved with keeping records on the network’s shared ledger (see consensus). Cryptocurrencies need at least six confirmations before they can be considered finalized but more often than not, only take one depending on their protocol ruleset, such as BitcoinBTC).
  • Consensus: The process that a decentralized network goes through when agreeing upon the validity of transactions and when deciding which transactions should be included in a block.
  • Crowdsale: The process of selling crypto coins or tokens through crowdfunding, usually done before a new blockchain-based project launches its token/coin on the market so investors can take part in early bonuses and incentives.
  • Cryptoart: A product which has a piece of art embedded on the front, and private keys to an address holding a digital currency or other token. These typically hold less value than traditional cryptocurrencies since they don’t have a price set by markets, but are considered collectables that can be bought as gifts for others. Many of the more pixelated NFTs are examples of ‘cryptoart’, while higher quality NFTs are not (because the NFT’s image is not hosted directly on the blockchain).
  • “Crypto Bro”: Guys who are very into crypto, often beginners, and often disproportionately over-confident when it comes to crypto, in conjunction with their actual subject matter knowledge and experience. Used in a sentence, “Crypto bros often get rekt by shitcoins; IYKYK.”
  • Cryptocurrency: A form of digital asset that uses cryptography as its main security measure to control the creation of additional units and verify transactions on its decentralized network.
  • Crypto derivatives: A financial instrument that derives its value from an underlying asset. They are usually contracts traded between two parties based on the price of a certain item, rate or index at some future date.
  • Cryptoeconomics: The combination of cryptography, information theory, computer science, and game theory creates secure economic systems that incentivize proof-of-work consensus models through mechanisms such as decentralized control, immutability, and trustless transactions.
  • Cryptography: The use of cryptographic protocols or mathematical techniques to encrypt messages sent between parties which are then decrypted using a key for security purposes.
  • “Cryptojacking”: The unauthorized use of someone’s computer (often a work computer) to mine cryptocurrency.
  • Crypto kitty: An internet meme that became popular in late 2017 and early 2018, referring to an online game where players could breed cartoon cats with special traits using Ethereum-based cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH).
  • Crypto-native assets: Digital tokens on a blockchain platform that derive their value from the decentralized consensus formed among all/majority of users, rather than coming from an external source like fiat money or company stock. Examples include Ether, Binance Coin (BNB), and Basic Attention Token (BAT).
  • “Cryptosis”: Cryptosis refers to someone who strives to absorb every bit of information about crypto and won’t stop talking about it.
  • Dead coin: A project that was launched with intentions of being used as a digital currency but failed.
  • Decentralized: When something does not have any central control but rather operates independently through peer-to-peer networks and consensus algorithms instead, transactions cannot be reversed once confirmed on blockchains that do not have any central authority or place of residence since they are decentralized.
  • Decentralized applications (dApps): DApps are essentially software programs built and hosted on blockchain technology, providing users with various functions through peer-to-peer action rather than depending on traditional intermediaries such as governments or banks. Decentralized apps are frequently used to execute decentralized finance (DeFi) operations.
  • Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO): A company or business that is run by smart contracts and governed by its token-holding community.
  • Decentralized exchange (DEX): A system that allows for the trust-less, peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies without a third party or intermediary taking fees along the way.
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi): Pushes the development of alternative decentralized blockchain-based financial applications to enable peer-to-peer transactions without third parties. DeFi apps include lending platforms, exchanges, prediction markets and many more solutions built on top of various protocols like Ethereum or Bitcoin.
  • “DeFi Degen”: A DeFi Degen, or decentralized finance degenerate, is a trader interested in risky, niche, unaudited crypto projects. DeFi Degens often focus their investment on meme tokens and joke projects, and the term is often associated with pump and dump price schemes.
  • “Diamond Hands”: Slang term which refers to individuals who are not easily scared by market fluctuations and hold longterm, even when prices drop, because they believe in the longterm value and/or utility of their investment.
  • Difficulty: A parameter (value) used to maintain an average time between creation of blocks. If the time between the created block is too fast, difficulty is increased to slow creation time, whereas if the time between has become too large, difficulty is decreased.
  • Digital gold: Different cryptocurrencies are sometimes compared to actual gold based on their storage and appreciation. Bitcoin is sometimes referred to as digital gold.
  • Distribution: The selling of coins, especially by whales who hold large amounts to stabilize prices and avoid crashing them.
  • Distributed ledger: A type of database that is spread out across several nodes in different locations and countries so that it can remain decentralized as well as transparent to those involved with keeping records on it; every single node will hold a complete copy which is updated regularly through consensus algorithms when new transactions take place. This also allows for faster processing speeds since multiple copies are already available rather than one central authority who has to distribute them from scratch if something does go wrong. It should not be confused with distributed computing, though both use similar techniques but ledgers record data while computations perform actions based on said data. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is another term used for this concept.
  • Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA): is the practice of investing a fixed dollar amount on a regular basis, regardless of the share price. It’s a good way to develop a disciplined investing habit, and being more efficient in how you invest and potentially lower your stress level—as well as your costs. You can dollar cost average into and out of projects, by buying small amounts over time, or selling small amounts over time.
  • Double-spend: When someone tries to send a transaction, but ends up sending it twice since they did not wait for the first one to be confirmed on-chain; this is often done by those with malicious intent and can lead to losing funds if you fall victim to phishing scams that trick users into paying them.
  • Dumping: The process of offloading large quantities of coins onto exchanges all at once which drives down prices because there is more supply than demand for that particular cryptocurrency.
  • “DYOR”: Do Your Own Research; this means that all crypto investors should do their own research on a project before investing in it.
  • Encryption: A process of encoding information in a way that cannot be easily deciphered without the aid of a decryption method (e.g. key, algorithm).
  • Entry and exit points: These are the points at which an investor decides to buy or sell a particular coin/token.
  • ERC-20: A technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain which ensures that all tokens and transactions comply with certain rules (such as how many decimal points to use).
  • ERC-721: The Standard Ethereum uses for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on their blockchain network.
  • Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): A Turing complete virtual machine that helps run smart contracts on Ethereum’s blockchain by keeping track of their state and allowing them to be executed simultaneously across the entire network through consensus. It also calculates gas prices before transactions are conducted so as prevent users from spamming it with infinite loops or useless code which would make it incredibly difficult for others to use since every computational step requires a fee paid in Ether.
  • Etherscan: A web tool that lets you explore transactions, wallets, and other aspects of Ethereum’s blockchain. It also provides various charts to visualize said data as well as a list for those who want to track specific activity on the network.
  • Exchange: Platforms that allow users to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies for other digital currency or traditional currencies like US dollars or euros. Cryptocurrency exchanges are a vital part of the crypto ecosystem, providing users with access to crypto funds.
  • Fear and greed index: A technical indicator that measures market sentiment based on the prices of seven different assets.
  • “Fiat”: Fiat refers to regular money, or any legal tender declared by the government; this can be backed up by its economy and has an institution that regulates it (central bank). For example, the Great British Pound (GBP) and United States Dollar (USD) are both fiat currencies.
  • Fiat gateways: A cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to deposit fiat currencies such as the dollar or euro into their account for trading purposes.
  • Flippening: The moment when a cryptocurrency’s market capitalization (or the total value of its tokens in circulation) surpasses that of another crypto.
  • “FOMO”: Fear Of Missing Out; the acronym that was coined to describe a phenomenon when investors buy or sell an asset based on others’ actions, causing them to miss out on more profitable opportunities.
  • Fork: A software update that is not backwards compatible with previous versions of the same cryptocurrency protocol, creating an entirely new branch from block 0.
  • “FUD”: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt; the acronym that was coined for cryptosphere discussions.
  • FUDster: A person who spreads FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about a specific coin or blockchain project, often for self-benefit.
  • Fundamental Analaysis: A method of evaluating the value of a given asset, as well as estimating its future performance. In the context of crypto projects, it takes into account such factors as the technological and innovative value of a product, the team behind it, or the token distribution model and its use cases.
  • Futures: A contract to buy or sell an asset at a later date with the price agreed upon today. Investors use these as both a hedge against risk and a tool for profit.
  • Gas: The name given to the transaction cost of running a smart contract, functions on Ethereum and other similar platforms. It is paid in units called Gwei, which are a billionth of an Ether.
  • Genesis block: The first block in the Blockchain, usually hardcoded into the coin’s system which is used to bootstrap its network.
  • “Gn”: A slang way of saying good night, common in crypto circles.
  • “Gm”: A slang way of saying good morning, common in crypto circles.
  • Gwei: A small denomination of ETH. 1 ETH = 1,000,000,000 Gwei. Gas fees on the Ethereum network are measured in Gwei.
  • Halving: The process by which Bitcoin mining rewards are reduced by 50% every four years; this is done to create scarcity and control the total supply (since no more than 21 million Bitcoins can ever be mined). Many blockchains use periodic halving events to help maintain the longterm value of their token in the context of supply and demand.
  • Hard fork: A software update that is not backwards compatible with previous versions of the same cryptocurrency protocol, resulting in the creation of an entirely new branch from block 0.
  • Hardware wallet: Also known as cold storage/wallet, it’s essentially a USB stick that can be used for offline transactions and keeping your private keys safe. It’s considered more secure than most other forms of wallets since they’re harder to access if you lose them. There are different types including paper and digital ones but each has its own pros and cons.
  • Hash: A fixed-length string which can represent data of arbitrary size. A hash function converts any data (even images, videos, or an entire website) into an output like 0xdeadb33f and will produce the same output for any input. If the input is changed even slightly, the hash output will change as well.
  • Hash function: A specific algorithm that maps data of any size to a fixed size output, also referred as a cryptographic function since they are often used for encryption and other security purposes where it cannot be reversed through computation alone; hashing takes an inputted string/file/document and outputs the same thing every single time so long as its original content has not been altered even if just by one letter or space character. This process is irreversible, making working backwards to discover what was used next nearly impossible unless someone had access to the private key associated with each transaction on blockchain networks containing these hashes written into their blocks instead. Every cryptocurrency’s hash algorithm must meet certain requirements before being approved into existence.
  • Hedging: The use of two different strategies in order to reduce the risk involved with one strategy. For example, you could hedge by taking a long position and shorting it simultaneously; this would result in your exposure being less than if you just went long or short on that particular asset/trade alone.
  • “HODL”: An intentional typo for the word “hold” originally posted by an anonymous user on the Bitcointalk forum, which the crypto community later turned into slang for holding a cryptocurrency long term despite market volatility.
  • Hot wallet: Any cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet and therefore at a higher risk of being hacked; they’re not recommended for long-term storage, but rather as a way of sending/receiving funds where necessary.
  • ICO: Initial Coin Offering: The very first offering for public purchase and sale of tokens or digital assets for a newly born blockchain project.
  • IDO: Initial decentralized offering, which is similar to an ICO but lets users interact with the project before it goes live.
  • IEO: Initial Exchange Offering: This is when a coin is sold for the first time via a digital currency exchange.
  • Immutability: The property that describes the fact that information added to the blockchain is final; it cannot be amended. Transactions are irreversible, only an opposite transaction can be executed.
  • Inflation: An economic condition where the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and the purchasing power of a currency falls.
  • “IYKYK”: This acronym is short for ‘if you know, you know.’ It implies that a post or message will only make sense to a select few people. The acronym can also be used ironically to mock someone sharing commonly known information.
  • KYC: Know Your Customer, which refers to the process of obtaining and verifying personal identification information from customers for business purposes before allowing them access to services or products.
  • Lambo: Slang term used in reference to a Lamborghini is often an indicator of how quickly someone expects to become rich given the current market conditions. It’s also often used ironically to convey the opposite: that someone has lost a lot of money during bearish periods.
  • Layer One: All cryptocurrencies with their own proprietary blockchain are layer one ‘coins’.
  • Layer Two: All cryptocurrencies that are built on top of preexisting blockchain ecosystems are layer two ‘tokens’.
  • “LFG”: LFG is short for ‘let’s f–ing go!’ and is used to express excitement about a project.
  • Lightning network: A proposed solution that aims to speed up transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain by moving them off the main chain. The network is a decentralized system of pre-funded channels where people can make transfers without having to wait for global consensus and confirmation from miners, thus allowing faster settlement times.
  • Limit order: An instruction an investor gives when placing a buy or sell order on the market; it sets the maximum price they are willing to pay (for buy orders) or the minimum amount for which they will agree to sell (orders).
  • Liquidity: The availability of liquid assets to a market or company, such as a central exchange.
  • Mainnet: The mainnet is an original blockchain, as opposed to a testnet (sandbox environment, such as Ethereum Virtual Machine or NEAR’s Aurora protocol) or other parallel chain. A mainnet coin is one that is running on its main blockchain.
  • Margin Trading: This is a method of trading that involves using borrowed funds. Compared to ordinary trading, it provides access to greater sums of money, allowing traders to leverage their positions and maximize their profits, while exposing them also to higher risks.
  • Market capitalization (Market Cap): The total value of the circulating supply of a cryptocurrency, calculated by multiplying its current price with its total supply.
  • Market order: A kind of limit order that is placed without specifying the price at which it should be executed.
  • Memecoin: A digital currency that doesn’t have any inherent value and is used for social media purposes.
  • Mimblewimble: A proposed upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol, consisting of a number of separate changes which aim to improve privacy and scalability without compromising on the latter. One main change it introduces is Confidential Transactions, which allows for both amounts and other metadata from transactions to be hidden. It was first suggested by Tom Elvis Jedusor (the alias of Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort) in 2016. Mimblewimble is often associated with Litecoin, an early hard fork off of Bitcoin.
  • Miner: An individual or group of people who use their computing power to confirm transactions on the blockchain network, receiving rewards in exchange for this service.
  • Mining: The process of creating new cryptocurrency units by solving complex mathematical problems, which are then verified and added to the blockchain network; miners usually receive a reward for their work in the form of these coins they mine.
  • Mining difficulty: The process in which miners must use their computing power to solve complex cryptographic puzzles before verifying transactions and earning mining rewards. The difficulty level serves as an indicator of how competitive mining is at any given moment in time.
  • Mining rigs: Dedicated computers used for mining cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin etc. These are custom-built machines designed specifically for the purpose of mining coins through finding solutions to complex mathematical problems so they can be added to public ledgers. They tend to have multiple graphics cards installed along with specially designed processors and cooling systems which helps them mine better than your average computer would be able to do alone.
  • “Moon”: A slang term to describe a crypto price going up astronomically.
  • Multi Sig Protocol: A wallet (often used as a crypto project or company’s treasury) that requires multiple digital signatures in order to be given access.
  • “NFA”: Not Financial Advice. Similar to DYOR (do your own research), it’s a disclaimer tagged onto posts that reminds the reader that the writer is not advising you to do something. A lot of the time, if you deleted this disclaimer, the post could read as financial advice.
  • NFT: Short for non-fungible tokens; digital assets which are unique and can’t be replaced by generic items like coins or diamonds.
  • “NGMI”: NGMI stands for ‘not gonna make it.’ In crypto, it is often used as a prediction of future failure as the result of a poor decision (such as selling the bottom despite all market indications that a token’s value is on an upward trend). It can also be used as a label to ridicule people who have taken a stance against crypto or who fail to understand basic crypto concepts.
  • “No Coiner”: No-coiner is a derogatory term for someone who is highly critical of crypto and believes that cryptocurrencies have little to no value, or are just fads or ponzis. No-coiners feel that crypto is guaranteed to fail, and consequently do not hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or any other digital currency in their portfolio.
  • Node: A connected computer that is part of a network, the Blockchain in this case. All nodes are equal and each one can be used to broadcast messages across the entire system.
  • Node Validator: An active participant in a network’s Proof of Stake consensus. The individual must stake (delegate) a certain amount of coin/tokens to verify transactions. If a validator violates protocol, it can incur a substantial financial penalty through the staked tokens.
  • Node Validator Node: A node validator node is a special type of full node that participates in “consensus.” By participating in consensus, validator nodes become responsible for verifying, voting on, and maintaining a record of transactions.
  • Nonce: A nonce is a random whole number that miners in proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin iterate over to solve the cryptographic puzzle that allows them to add a new block and earn the block reward. A miner’s goal is to find a nonce where the SHA-256 hashed output begins with a certain number of zeroes. This allows PoW networks to adjust the mining difficulty, requiring more zeros if blocks are being mined too fast.
  • “Normie”: A person with a traditional mindset and little or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies.
  • On-chain: In blockchain technology, “on chain” refers to transactions that are recorded on the blockchain. These transactions are visible to everyone on the network and can be verified using the blockchain. If I sent ETH from my wallet to your wallet, that transaction would be considered on-chain.
  • On-chain governance: A system in blockchain technology where token holders vote and make decisions on proposed changes or upgrades to improve the network’s performance without compromising its security.
  • Oracle: An entity that acts as an aggregator of outside data to further communicate with a smart contract or network.
  • “Paper Hands”: Slang term which refers to individuals who are easily scared by market fluctuations and sell when prices drop, causing further drops in value.
  • Peer to peer (P2P): A system where two parties can conduct financial transactions with each other without involving a third party, like a bank. The Blockchain is an example of this since it connects nodes in its network directly to one another and allows them to share data/transactions freely between themselves.
  • Permissioned ledger: A distributed ledger where only certain members are allowed access; this is usually determined by a set of rules or an access control layer.
  • Pizza: One of the first bitcoin transactions to ever take place. In 2010, a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz offered to pay 10,000 Bitcoins (valued at around $40 at the time) for two pizzas from Papa John’s.
  • Private key: A cryptographic key that allows users to send cryptocurrency from their wallet, but cannot be used to receive funds. They’re unique and usually consist of 64 characters which you use for decrypting your wallet or making digital signatures.
  • “Probably Nothing”: An ironic way of saying that something is probably very important. It’s often in quotation marks, mocking disbelievers of crypto who dismissed its rise as ‘probably nothing’.
  • Protocol: Regulatory guidelines set to manage the transmission and exchange of data or crypto assets on a particular blockchain network.
  • Proof of Authority (PoA): A consensus mechanism where validators are required to demonstrate possession of a certain amount or type of stake before being allowed into nodes on the network for verifying transactions; it’s been implemented by various blockchain networks including POA Networks (based on Ethereum), and Oyster Pearl (based on IOTA Tangle): to name a few.
  • Proof of Burn (PoB): A type of consensus algorithm that requires users to “burn” or exchange some tokens by sending them to an unspendable address, thus proving they are real and active participants in the network.
  • Proof of Coverage (PoC): Proof of coverage is used by Helium ($HNT) and some other small layer one blockchains. The algorithm uses radio waves to validate Hotspots are providing legitimate wireless coverage to an area, and that the coverage is providing value to the network. It is a novel and very niche consensus algorithm protocol.
  • Proof of Reserves (PoR): Proof of reserves shows whether customer funds are safe, meaning that sufficient funds are backing all deposits. Crypto companies may publish periodic proof-of-reserves audit results or have a real-time track of reserves available on their website. Unlike other listed terms, PoR is not a consensus algorithm protocol.
  • Proof of Stake (PoS): A type of validation that requires members/nodes to prove ownership over a certain amount of cryptocurrency to guarantee their right to vote on transaction validation.
  • Proof of Work (PoW): The consensus algorithm used to validate transactions on the blockchain, which requires users to solve complex computational puzzles to add new blocks onto the chain.
  • Public key: A cryptographic key that allows a user to receive cryptocurrency from another user, but cannot be used to send funds. They’re unique and usually consist of 64 characters to encrypt your wallet or make digital signatures.
  • Pump and dump: The process of buying and selling a coin on the market to raise its price and attract other users, followed by profit-taking. The sudden rise in price prompts others to jump in and buy too, and the original group will then sell (dump) the assets to turn a quick profit, leaving those who bought late often incurring heavy losses.
  • Quantum-proof: A blockchain that is resistant to attacks coming from quantum computers. Quantum computers are still not fully functional but they’ve reached a stage where it’s believed they can be implemented in the future, which would make current encryption methods like SHA-256 (which Bitcoin relies on) vulnerable against them because of their ability to break through cryptography codes much faster than traditional computing.
  • Ransomware: A form of malware that infects computers and encrypts files, holding them hostage until the owner pays to get access back.
  • Regulation: Rules created by a government to enforce compliance with laws and standards for certain businesses or industries.
  • “Rekt”: A slang term used to describe a situation where an investor becomes “wrecked” by losing all their money due to trading or other factors within the market.
  • Return on investment (ROI): The percentage of investment returns over an initial investment. It’s often used to measure the performance of a particular cryptocurrency or trading strategy, where higher numbers indicate better results.
  • Rugpull: A fraudulent cryptocurrency strategy in which crypto developers desert a project and flee with investors’ money.
  • Satoshi Nakamoto: The pseudonym of the creator(s) behind Bitcoin, their true identity still remains a mystery today despite several attempts to solve this ongoing riddle.
  • “Sats”: Sats is short for Satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin (BTC), named after the elusive creator of the coin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Just like fiat currency, cryptocurrencies can also be divided into smaller units. As such, it’s helpful to think of Sats as you would cents to a dollar. Whereas 1 dollar equals 100 cents, 1 Bitcoin equals 100 million Satoshis.
  • Scalability: The capability of a system, network or process to handle a growing amount of work, be it products being sold online by an e-commerce store or increased transaction volume on a blockchain network without compromising safety/integrity or performance/speed requirements in any way from its original form when it was first created.
  • Scalping: The process of buying and selling a coin/token multiple times on the same day within short timeframes in order to profit from small price fluctuations over that period. These often occur when there is low volume, but many exchanges have daily limits for how much you can trade, so some traders will try to take advantage of these periods by making repeated trades throughout them.
  • Seed Phrases: An alternate representation of a private key. Private keys are usually expressed as a long string of alphanumeric text, however, a seed phrase simplifies a private key by encoding it as a list of 12, 18, or 24 words. Seed phrases are used to back up and restore cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Segregated witness (segwit): A soft fork upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team and activated in 2017; it increases network capacity (transactions per second), fixes transaction malleability, and reduces UTXO bloat.
  • Sell wall: A large order on an exchange that is meant to push down the price of a cryptocurrency by discouraging others from buying it while also preventing those who want to sell from doing so unless they get a lower price.
  • Scrypt: An alternative proof-of-work algorithm designed by Colin Percival for Tarsnap online backup service in an effort to make it more difficult to perform large scale custom hardware attacks (which was possible with bitcoin because its SHA256 hash function could be run on commodity hardware). It’s been adopted by many altcoins since then due to the increased cost involved when using ASICs rather than GPUs/CPUs, including Litecoin and Dogecoin.
  • Sharding: A process that involves splitting a blockchain network into smaller groups of nodes called shards, each responsible for processing transactions in parallel. This is supposed to alleviate the pressure from other components such as CPU or GPU so more computational power can be used on solving cryptographical puzzles and attaining consensus.
  • Shilling: a type of hype where someone heavily promotes a cryptocurrency by using social media or their influence to draw attention towards it, often with no regard for the quality of the said coin.
  • “Shitcoin”: A derogatory term used to describe cryptocurrencies that are poor in value and likely to fail.
  • Sidechain: A separate but interoperable blockchain that runs in parallel to the main chain and which enables assets to be transferred between them. Usually, it allows for faster transactions with lower costs since they aren’t included in the more extensive network.
  • Smart contract: A piece of code that is executed on the blockchain after certain conditions have been met; this allows developers to create decentralised applications without having to build the blockchain from scratch.
  • Soft fork: An upgrade to a blockchain protocol where only previously valid transactions are made invalid.
  • Solidity: Programming language that is used to build applications and write smart contracts on Ethereum.
  • SPAC: Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are a type of security created by fusing together multiple different asset classes into one. For example, SPACs can be used for registering an initial public offering (IPO) where the company itself doesn’t actually exist yet but will in the future once it’s become profitable enough to go through with its plans and meet all requirements needed before doing so.
  • Stablecoin: A cryptocurrency designed to minimise price volatility, usually by pegging its value or supply against a physical asset such as fiat currencies like the US dollar or metals like silver and gold.
  • Staking: When you stake coins, you are effectively locking them away in a digital wallet for the purposes of maintaining the network. You are rewarded with more coins/tokens when your wallet is staking, but it also means that you cannot trade these coins while they’re locked up.
  • Stop order: An instruction given by an investor when placing a buy or sell order on the market; it sets a condition where they will automatically close their position if this condition is met (when the market reaches a certain rate).
  • Technical Analysis (TA): Technical analysis refers to the process of studying price charts and using various market indicators to determine the state of the market. This is a deep area of study for expert traders, who aim to use technical analysis to their advantage when trying to predict future market movements.
  • Testnet: A simulation environment used to test the behavior of a developing application on the Ethereum network.
  • Tokenless ledger: Also known as “pure” or “transaction-only” blockchain, a type of distributed ledger that doesn’t require native currency to operate.
  • Tokenomics: The study of how different variables within an economy impact each other and affect the decision making process. It is a branch of economics that looks at how different classes of assets, which have a monetary value attached to them, affect the dynamics within an economy.
  • Tokens: A unit of value used for various purposes within a crypto ecosystem. Tokens can represent any asset, from commodities like gold or coffee beans, to loyalty points, real estate, or even other cryptocurrencies. Unlike coins, tokens are always layer two cryptocurrencies (i.e. they are built on preexisting blockchain ecosysems, as opposed to having their own proprietary blockchain).
  • Token sale: The process of selling digital tokens or coins to raise funds for a blockchain project before it goes live and generates revenue.
  • Total value locked (TVL): The total value of coins locked in a masternode divided by the number of existing masternodes at that point. Since there is no way to know how many will be created or destroyed, TVL provides an estimate for this figure and can give some indication as to which projects are undervalued and overvalued (however it’s important to note that TVL is not a perfect indicator and should be taken with a pinch of salt).
  • Transaction fee: The sum of money paid to miners to confirm transactions into blocks and add them to the Blockchain network. It isn’t part of the amount being transferred but rather an additional charge set by users sending tokens via smart contracts (which send tokens automatically). In other words, this is how much you pay your miner when making a cryptocurrency transfer over any given timeframe.
  • Transaction fee market: The mechanism which allows users of a blockchain platform who are not validators/miners themselves, yet still want their transactions confirmed quickly, to voluntarily increase fees as an incentive for miners to prioritise them over others. This is done via bidding at auction within blocks so that all transactions with the same or similar fees get accepted and included into a said block before those with lower fees do.
  • Transaction malleability: The ability to slightly modify a transaction before propagating it across the network to make it easily detectable; this can lead miners/validators to see different versions of the said transaction depending on their location within the blockchain. Segwit addresses this problem since signatures are no longer included with the transaction data itself.
  • Transaction pool: The central component of nodes within a blockchain where all pending/unconfirmed transactions are stored until they’re mined into blocks . This is usually done one at a time but can happen concurrently depending on whether there are multiple available or not.
  • Trust-less: A term used to describe a system that doesn’t require trust in any party because it uses encryption and consensus mechanisms for security.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): A method of confirming a user’s claimed identity in which two separate components are required. Usually, something they know (password) and possess (security token).
  • Validator: An active participant in a network’s Proof of Stake consensus. The individual must stake (delegate) a certain amount of coin/tokens to verify transactions. If a validator violates protocol, it can incur a substantial financial penalty through the staked tokens.
  • “Vaporware”: Vaporware refers to a blockchain or software project that is still a concept and does not yet have a working product. A vaporware project may be promoted for months or even years before being made available to the public. In some cases, it may never even be developed.
  • Virtual Automated Market Makers (vAMMs): A variant of programmable smart contracts which are designed to automatically create their own market for cryptocurrencies. They do this by placing limit orders to buy or sell tokens at specific prices, thus providing liquidity in the market during times when there are no active buyers/sellers.
  • Volatile market: A market where prices are fluctuating rapidly, so it’s harder to predict what will happen next.
  • Volatility: The opposite of stability, volatility refers to an asset’s tendency to vary in price. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, which is to be expected for such a young market and can be the main appeal for crypto traders.
  • “WAGMI”: WAGMI stands for ‘we’re all gonna make it.’ The acronym is widely used by the crypto community to inspire both positivity and confidence in a project. It is also used to encourage the community to support each other and not to lose hope, even during market corrections (seasonal dips in the marketing that occur every 3–4 years in crypto).
  • Wallet: A digital location used to store crypto funds by storing private and public keys that provide access to your cryptocurrency holdings.
  • Wallet address: The public key of a cryptocurrency wallet that is used to receive funds.
  • Wallet seed phrase: This is a list of words used to generate deterministic keys for wallets; it can be thought of like a private password or pin number for your crypto funds. It’s vitally important you keep them safe since if someone has access, then they could easily withdraw all your tokens.
  • Wash trading: This is when investors create artificial trading activity to appear as if they are doing business, but in reality, it’s fake, and there is no actual, legitimate buying or selling occurring; this occurs most often with exchanges themselves who buy and sell their own tokens between each other to make them look like actual trades, driving up value artificially which can lead people to think that an asset will continue increasing before plummeting once all these fake transactions have been uncovered.
  • “Weak hands”: Slang term which refers to individuals who are easily scared by market fluctuations and sell when prices drop, causing further drops in value.
  • Web3: We had the first generation of the internet (web1), where all you could do was read information as an end-user. Then we morphed into the second wave of the internet (web2) where we could read and write our own content, like blog posts and Tweets. Now, the internet is entering its third evolution, where end-users can own their content and creations. This evolution is called Web3. We aren’t fully there yet — the average Internet user is still heavily reliant on third-parties to complete everyday computer tasks.
  • “Wen Lambo”: This translates to ‘When will you buy a Lamborghini?’ It’s often used ironically to mock people who are focusing only on a coin’s price. In the early days of crypto, many crypto investors purchased Lamborghinis as a status symbol to prove their success in the market. Following that, Lamborghinis became synonymous with a crypto’s success, with many people in the community using the crypto slang phrase ‘Wen Lambo?’ to ask when a crypto investment will be worth enough to buy a Lamborghini.
  • “Wen Moon”: When the price of a cryptocurrency rises, it goes ‘to the moon’ (i.e. very high). Crypto traders might also refer to the ‘Lambo’ — a price at which one can buy a Lamborghini. You might see traders asking Wen Moon? or Wen Lambo? when they vent their impatience about the lack of a meteoric price rise of a cryptocurrency project in which they have invested.
  • Whale: Slang term used in reference to an investor who has a substantial amount of capital to invest, typically one looking to make significant investments.
  • Whale watching: Slang term used in reference to analyzing investors’ activity for clues that they are about to pump or dump coins.
  • Whitelist: A whitelist is a list of approved participants for a particular ICO or NFT mint. Participants are given early and/or private access by ‘whitelisting’ their wallet addresses ahead of an ICO or NFT mint. When an NFT project has a “premint”, that usually means they are only allowing sales to whitelisted addresses for a given time period. “Public mints” are available to anyone with a compatible wallet address.
  • Yield Farming: The migration of funds from one protocol to another in search of maximum yield opportunities per mechanisms such as: Liquidity Mining, Fund Leverage, and risk choice.
  • Zero-knowledge proof: A proof that provides evidence of the truthfulness of a statement without revealing any additional information beyond what is already known. This makes it possible to prove possession of knowledge or secret keys, while keeping them hidden.
  • Zk-SNARKs: A type of zero-knowledge cryptography which allows someone to prove that they know something without giving away any additional information apart from the fact that it’s true.

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