We put together A to Z glossary of terms around blockchain and cryptocurrency terminology, buzz words, slang and abbreviations for you.
For those who are getting into the space, or would just like to use this for reference, this information should be a really good way to familiarise yourself with most of the lingo (let us know if we have missed anything). You can explore them in more detail as and when you need to, it can take a little bit of time to get your head around some of the terminology and technology but its a fun learning curve.
|A 51% Attack|
|A cryptocurrency address is a place where the users coins are stored. From this address you can receive and spend transactions. These addresses lie on the blockchain. You can use this address many times over and is made up of a unique string typically over 30 characters long.|Addresses A cryptocurrency address is a place where the users coins are stored. From this address you can receive and spend transactions. These addresses lie on the blockchain. You can use this address many times over and is made up of a unique string typically over 30 characters long. Airdrop A marketing method where the cryptocurrency provider can give away coins or reward the users by referring news and event with their contacts and network. Algorithm In mathematics and computer science an algorithm is a structured sequence of well-defined instructions, typically to solve or perform a computation task. ATL / All Time High Highest price of a cryptocurrency ATL / All Time Low Lowest price of a cryptocurrency Altcoins All other coins other than bitcoin are classed as Alt coins (Alternative), as bitcoin was the first to be established. AML / Anti-Money Laundering Laws which are aimed to prevent criminals laundering money through cryptocurrency. ASIC Also known as an application Specific Integrated Circuit. A unique computer hardware solution designed to mine cryptocurrency. Arbitrage A clever and ‘legal’ way of buying and selling cryptocurrencies on different exchanges due to their individual ‘margin’ buy and sell differences. Atomic Swap Exchanging one cryptocurrency for another at current rates. You do not need to buy or sell for this process to be carried out.
|Having a large bag of cryptocurrency.|Bear/Bearish A declining price movement which could be in days, weeks, months etc. Bear Trap Traders which agree to sell at a specific time so the market drops due to panic sell. They then buy back at a lower price, creating additional gains as the price recovers in value. Bitcoin The first ever cryptocurrency. Created by an anonymous entity called Satoshi Nakamoto. The first ‘peer to peer’ decentralised electronic cash system. Block A Block holds a piece of historical data of a transaction on a blockchain. This transaction cannot be reversed and can be viewed in realtime at any time. Block Explorer These are typically pieces of software that can view the transactions of a blockchain, They are great for analysis for trends, coin supply and network hash rate for example. Block Height This is how high the blocks are connected together, they increment up, the first being called a Genesis block (0). Block Reward A payment to the miner who verifies the block by calculating the hash. The transaction exposes new coins which are rewarded to the miner (A segment of this). Blockchain The blockchain is a decentralised ledger, which is saved on thousands of computers around the world. Each time the block is filled up (capacity depends on the blockchain), the block is connected up to the last block which was verified. It would be almost impossible to shut the blockchain down unless you shut the internet down as there is no master copy like you have in traditional banking environments. BTFD / Buy the F**king Dip A good time to buy on the low price of a cryptocurrency. Bull/Bullish A increasing price movement which could be in days, weeks, months etc. Burned Cryptocurrency that has been discontinued, eradicated from the system. This is no longer spendable, and is considering to be removed from circulation. Buy Wall A buy wall happens when a large order is placed at a certain value. The demand can out strip supply at that point in time, when the order had been fulfilled.
|CAP / Market Capitalisation|
|A total value of all a company’s shares of stock. This is worked out by multiplying the price of a stock by its total number of outstanding shares.|Central Ledger A centralised ledger, typically how a bank operates. this has all the financial records in house. Chain Linking A way of transferring one cryptocurrency to another. Typically the two blockchains log the transaction on their own blockchains. Cipher Terminology of encrypting and decrypting information. Circulating Supply Cryptocurrency which is available to be traded. Some are not released, burnt or reserved for a future timescale. Cold Storage Security option to have your cryptocurrency offline. Typically a Paper Wallet. Confirmed A transaction which has been accepted by the network, and added to the blockchain. Consensus A verification process to validity that a transaction has been approved by all the nodes on the network. Consensus Process Without nodes we can not prove consensus. These nodes maintain the decentralised ledger. Consortium blockchain A commercially owned network. but equally transparent. Cryptocurrency
A digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange. It uses cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptographic Hash Function Converts an input transaction into a string thats registered on a blockchain. Different cryptocurrencies have different methods for registering these. Cryptography Encrypting and decrypting information in a secure algorithmic manner.
|DAO / Decentralised Autonomous Information|
|Run by software on a computer in an automated manner, such as that it is not solely managed by people.|dApp / Decentralised Application Not operated or managed by a centralised source. Is normally open source, which uses the block chain for stored data. Decryption The reversal of encryption, it converts ineligible information which has been encrypted, back into plain text. Deflation A cryptocurrency which decreases in demand, this normally lowers its value. Depth Chart A transparent graph which display bid (buy orders) and ask (sell order) prices on a chart. This can give you additional information such as buy and sell walls. Deterministic Wallet A wallet that creates multiple keys from a seed. You can recover your seed if you loose your wallet. You can generate many variations of key from this seed, which makes it easier to store. Difficulty The transactions that are all trying to be confirmed at the same time divided by the total power of the live nodes. The higher the demand, the higher the cost for transacting. Digital Commodity A digital asset which has value but hard to get. Digital Currency An electronic form of money transferred over a network, as a medium of exchange. Digital Signature An authentication confirmation generated by your encrypted public key. Distributed Ledger A decentralised ledger, spread over the internet as blockchain technology with multiple mirrored nodes. Double Spend Trying to spend / send the same cryptocurrency at the same time (Byzantine Generals’ Problem). Dump Selling your cryptocurrency coin in one hit. Dumping Traders or speculators who sell at the same time, either through fear or collectively as a team, which ultimately creates a quick downward trend in the price. Dust Transaction Flooding the network with minor transactions. DYOR ‘Do Your Own Research’.
|Turning plain text into information using a disguised way writing code using a cipher.|ERC Ethereum Request for Comments’ part of the Ethereum ecosystem. ERC-20 A token based on the Ethereum network, that you can transact with. Other cryptocurrencies also rely on this token, by using its integrated technology. Escrow The middle man of a transaction (third party) who holds funds until the agreement is fulfilled by both parties. Ethereum One of the main ‘ALT’ coins which competes with Bitcoin. They also have a slightly decentralised model where they can create dApps and also create smart contracts. EVM / Ethereum Virtual Machine This sits in the cloud as a virtual machine, it is used by all the nodes on the network creating a level of abstraction between the executing code and the executing machine. Exchange A place to trade cryptocurrencies. Also a way of exchanging fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies. A place to hold your coins (not recommended) Their pricing structure differs from exchange to exchange.
|FA / Fundamental Analysis|
|A way of checking the core structure of a company, including directors, products, share price, market opinion and environmental factors. This can give you price opinion on whether to buy or sell, in addition to technical analysis.|Faucet A way of obtaining cryptocurrency for joining a service, website or product. Fiat Legal tender terminology for government entities, such as the pound, dollar, euro or yen. FOMO Also know as ‘Fear Of Missing Out’. A psychological trait for most speculators. Fork A duplicate blockchain used as a new strain of technology by a group of individuals running at the same time on the same network. Soft forks can be for internal use to fix a security flaw for example. a Hard fork is a much bigger process. Frictionless If there is no hindrance on the Network. FUD A negative term on a cryptocurrency coin or the general market, putting the frighteners on a situation can sometimes be called ‘Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt’. Full Node A completely downloaded blockchain containing the whole transaction history. A good way to support a system and help verification and security. Futures Contract A pre-approved contract between two parties when a price is allocated. Perfect for when a buyer goes short and a seller goes long.
|The computation power to complete a transaction on the Ethereum network. If you do not have enough Gas the transaction will be rejected, if it is less, the difference will be refunded.|Gas Limit How much a user is prepared to pay for a transaction on the Ethereum network. Gas Price The higher the Gas price the faster your transaction should go through as the miners will want to process this, as it is more advantageous for them. Genesis Block The first block generated on a blockchain. Gwei Gwei is also called nanoether, or simply nano based on the Ethereum network which denotes the ninth power of the fractional ETH.
|Every 210,000 blocks, or roughly every four years, the total number of bitcoin that miners can potentially win is halved.|Hard Cap The maximum amount of coin offerings an ICO will put on offer to raise money to develop the cryptocurrency technology. Hard Fork When the blockchain splits into another version. Both versions can now co-exist with each other if the community supports them both, but they are two completely different chains. The values of each can also vary based on supply and demand. Hardware Wallet Representative of a USB Stick that stores your cryptocurrency in an encrypted form. It is one of the most secure ways to hoard your cryptocurrency. Hash Hashing in blockchain refers to a process of inputing an item of whatever length, which then reflects an output item of a fixed length. Hash Rate The speed at which a cryptocurrency mining machine operates. The faster the hash rate the more chance of solving a block on a blockchain to receive an award. Blocks are mathematical puzzles to solve which are highly complex, a better hash rate equals better opportunity. Hashing Power Hash rate of a computer measured in several factors such as: KH/s, MH/s, GH/s, TH/s, PH/s and EH/s. HODL Hold on for dear life
|Initial coin offering – see below.|Initial Coin Offering Cryptocurrency coins up for sale to raise money for development, typically in the beginning of a new launch.
|Joy of missing out|
|Know your customer. A verification process to identify a customer. Typically a legal obligation process from a financial institution.|
|If somebody is getting rich quickly, they often say ‘Lambo’ as if to say they are going to purchase a super car like a Lamborghini.|Ledger A financial record of transactions which cant be changed only appended, with additional transactions. Leverage Financial leverage is the use of borrowed money (debt) to finance the purchase of assets. Lightning Network The Lightning Network is a ‘Layer 2’ payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Limit Order/Limit Buy/Limit Sell A rule to either buy or sell at a certain price. Liquidity How easy it is to buy or sell without impacting the overall market price. Locktime Accumulating cryptocurrency in the hope that it will rise in value over the long term.
|Moving Average Convergence Divergence.|Margin Bear Position Taking a position on the hope of a down trend by going short. Margin Bull Position Taking a position on the hope of a up trend by going long. Market Capitalisation The total number of coins in supply multiplied by the price. MARKET CAP = SUPPLY x PRICE Margin Trading Buying more than you can afford using leverage provided by an exchange. Market Order A Market Order does not wait until a certain price to buy or sell, it does so at the price of the time the transaction order is made. MCAP Market Capitalisation. Mining Computer power which solves encryption challenges and is granted new fractions of the cryptocurrency in return. Mining Contract A process to rent out the hashing power of a mining hardware farm over a set period. Mining Pool More than one miner which combines their computing power together to try and help complete the transactions required to start a new block in the blockchain. The rewards are distributed between those in the Mining Pool proportionately based on power contribution. Moon A term to describe a major price movement upwards. Moving Average Convergence Divergence Also called MACD a technical analysis of a cryptocurrency’s value into the future. MSB Money Services Business Multipool Mining If a miner which moves from one cryptocurrency blockchain to another for cryptocurrency gain. Multi Signature (Multi Sig Wallets) A secure process to have more than one user provide their passcode in order for a transaction to go through.
|A network of Nodes which contributes to the operation of a specific blockchain.|Node A computer that is connected to a blockchain’s network is commonly called a Node. Nonce When a miner hashes a transaction, a random number is generated, this is called a Nonce.
|One Cancels the Other Order|One Cancels the Other Order When two orders for cryptocurrency are placed at the same time. The one that gets accepted cancels the other. Oracles Smart contracts on a blockchain are stored on a network. They can only be accessed through an Oracle. The Oracle is software that sends the data to and from the smart contract and the outside world. Overbought Many orders of a cryptocurrency which end up being saturated, after an initial increase, the price normally comes down. Oversold Cryptocurrency which keeps on getting sold, some worry whether it will bounce back.
|Having your private key on a physical piece of documentation is referred to a Paper Wallet. Sometimes referred to as Cold Storage.|P2P Peer to Peer Peer to Peer A transaction between two or more computers which has no centralised network (no middle man). PND Pump and Dump Pre-Sale A period before an ICO goes public, selected people have the opportunity to purchase cryptocurrency. Private Key A string of numbers and letters that are used to access your wallet. These should not be disclosed to anyone but you. Proof of Authority (PoA) A group of specific Nodes given the authority to approve. This is a much faster method than proof of work. Proof of Stake (PoS) The reward given to miners for providing their computational power to the network. Proof of Work (PoW) Computational power from a miner that shows their effort to approve a transaction. If this gets hashed by the miner then they receive a reward. Protocols Rules which defines how data is exchanged, parsed and sends commands across a network. Public blockchain A blockchain that can be accessed on a full Node on ones computer. Public Key A unique wallet address, which appears as a long string of letters and numbers. You can send and receive cryptocurrency with this. Pump An upward price movement, the price can be pushed up by whales or big communities working together. Pump and Dump Purchasing lots of one type of cryptocurrency to push the price up. Selling up when the times right to maximise your profit.
|A bad loss on a trade.|Relative Strength Index A form of technical analysis to determine the momentum of price change over time. Ring Signature An anonymous transaction on a blockchain, without identifying which of the Nodes requested the transaction. RSI Relative Strength Index
|Technical Analysis|Technical Analysis A trading tool to look at historical data on a cryptocurrency to gauge a trade and/or its possible future price. Test Net A cryptocurrency which tests out a new blockchain either before launch or an additional version. A Test Net does not use a live network that may effect a current one in use and will not effect its value. Timestamp A moment in time when a transaction was encrypted. It is proof that the data in the transaction is accountable. Token The ‘coin’ of a cryptocurrency is a Token. This can be owned, bought and sold. Tokenless Ledger A distributed ledger exists but does not need a currency in which to operate. TOR Term of Reference. Transaction The value of cryptocurrency when moved from one wallet to another on a blockchain network. Transaction Fee The fee given to the miners involved in successfully approving a transaction on the blockchain. An an exchange can also take a cut of the overall transaction fee. Turing Completeness Most modern programming languages are Turing-complete.This means that a system is able to recognise or decide other data-manipulation rule sets.
|An unconfirmed state has not been appended to the blockchain.|Unspent Transaction Output Output of a blockchain transaction that has not been spent. UTXO Unspent Transaction Output
|The fluctuation in an asset’s price.|
|A unique code, which represents its ‘address’ on the blockchain. The Wallet address is public, but may have a number of Private Keys making up the balance.|Whale An wealthy investor or trader who can manipulate the market. Whitelist Before the launch of an ICO, people can sign-up and register their interest to purchase, The list of these parties is called a whitelist. White paper Technical information of a cryptocurrency explaining the roadmap in its success.
|Zero Confirmation Transaction|
|An Unconfirmed transaction.|