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Crypto glossary

  1. Address: An address is an unique identifier that represents a possible destination for a cryptocurrency transfer.
  2. Airdrop: An airdrop is a distribution of a cryptocurrency token or coin, usually for free, to numerous wallet addresses.
  3. Altcoin: An altcoin is any digital currency other than bitcoin.
  4. Arbitrage: Arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.
  5. ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit): A type of hardware used for bitcoin mining. ASICs are designed specifically for mining and are more efficient than general-purpose hardware.
  6. ASIC mining: ASIC mining is a form of cryptocurrency mining that uses specialized hardware designed for the specific purpose of mining cryptocurrencies. ASIC miners are known for their high efficiency and speed.
  7. Atomic swap: An atomic swap is a technology that enables the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another without the need for a trusted third party.
  8. BaaS (blockchain-as-a-service): BaaS is an acronym for blockchain-as-a-service which is inclusive of cloud-based solutions that enable users to build, host, and operate their own blockchain apps and smart contracts.
  9. Bear market: A bear market is symbolic of a market where prices are falling over a sustained period of time.
  10. Bitcoin: Bitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency.
  11. Bitcoin ETF: A Bitcoin ETF is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of bitcoin, allowing investors to trade and invest in bitcoin without directly buying and holding the cryptocurrency.
  12. Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP): A Bitcoin improvement proposal is a design document that introduces features to the Bitcoin protocol. They cover a wide range of technical updates, protocol changes, network upgrades, or protocol usage best practices. 
  13. Blockchain: A blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  14. Block finality: Block finality refers to the specific point when the transaction has been added to the blockchain and is now irreversible. Meaning that once a transaction has been validated and recorded, it cannot be altered or tampered with. 
  15. Block reward: A block reward is the reward given to a miner or group of miners for solving the cryptographic problem required to create a new block on a blockchain. This reward consists of newly minted coins and transaction fees.
  16. Bull market: A bull market is one in which prices are rising, encouraging buying.
  17. Central bank digital currency (CBDC): A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a digital form of central bank money that is different from balances in traditional reserve or settlement accounts.
  18. Cold storage: Cold storage is the offline storage of cryptocurrencies, typically involving hardware non-custodial wallets or paper wallets.
  19. Consensus algorithm: The consensus algorithm is a digital mechanism used in computers and blockchain networks to achieve agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes or multi-agent systems.
  20. Cross-chain: When events occur cross-chain, it is referring to the interaction and interoperability between two different blockchains, allowing for the transfer of data and value. This can lead to cross-chain swaps.
  21. Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency is the overarching label for all digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security.
  22. Cryptography: The practice and study of techniques for secure communication even in the presence of third parties is called cryptography.
  23. DAO (decentralized autonomous organization): A DAO is referring to an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government.
  24. Dapp (decentralized application): A decentralized application is an application run by many users on a decentralized network with trustless protocols.
  25. Day trading: The practice of buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day such that all positions are closed before the market closes for the day.
  26. DeFi (decentralized finance): Spanning many financial services, including lending, borrowing, and trading, DeFi is able to provide similar financial transactional functions without traditional centralized intermediaries.
  27. Difficulty level: In crypto mining, the difficult level is a measure of how challenging it is to find a hash below a given target. The difficulty level varies to ensure a constant output of new coins.
  28. Distributed ledger technology (DLT): Distributed ledger technology is the name of the different digital systems for recording transactions in which the data is maintained across multiple locations/nodes or distributed among multiple participants. It's another word for blockchain.
  29. Double spend: The risk that a digital currency can be spent twice. This is a potential problem unique to digital currencies because digital information can be reproduced relatively easily.
  30. ERC-20 (Ethereum token standard): A technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for implementing tokens.
  31. ERC-721 (Ethereum token standard for NFTs): A standard for representing ownership of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where each token is unique.
  32. ETF (exchange-traded fund): An ETF is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product. They are traded on stock exchanges and give investors the ability to gain exposure to price movements without directly holding an asset.
  33. Ethereum: Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. These are used to create applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, fraud, or third-party interference — as long as they are coded correctly.
  34.  Ethereum virtual machine (EVM): The Ethereum Virtual Machine is the name of the central runtime environment that handles all the executable tasks on the blockchain like smart contracts, transactions, node management, and other Ethereum network executable tasks. 
  35. Exchange (cryptocurrency exchange): A cryptocurrency exchange is the name of a platform where cryptocurrencies can be traded.
  36. Exit scam: A type of scam where a cryptocurrency promoter collects funds for an investment, product, or service that they never intended to deliver and then disappears with the money.
  37. Fake exchange: A fake exchange scam is where fraudsters set up a website that looks like a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange to trick users into depositing funds.
  38. Fiat currency: A fiat currency is a government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity, like gold or silver.
  39. Fork (hard fork/soft fork): A fork is a change in a blockchain network's code. There are two types of forks in cryptocurrency: soft forks and hard forks. Hard forks may cause the original blockchain to diverge into two, potentially creating a new cryptocurrency.
  40. Gas (Ethereum): Gas is the official unit that measures the amount of computational effort required to execute specific operations on the Ethereum network.
  41. Halving (Bitcoin halving): During a bitcoin halving event, the number of bitcoins (BTC) that enter circulation roughly every 10 minutes, known as block rewards, is reduced by half.
  42. Hash: An encrypted output of a fixed length that is produced through a hash function.
  43. Hash function: A hash function is a function that converts an input (or 'message') into a fixed-size string of bytes. The output is typically a 'digest' that represents the input data.
  44. Hash rate: The number of hashes being crunched by all bitcoin miners globally. A higher hash rate means greater competition among miners.
  45. Hot wallet: A hot wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet.
  46. ICO (initial coin offering): An ICO is a type of funding using cryptocurrencies, often used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks.
  47. ICO scam: An ICO scam is a fraudulent initial coin offering, where scammers create a fake ICO to lure investors into sending money to a nonexistent project.
  48. Immutable: An immutable property on the blockchain is referring to where once data has been written to the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted.
  49. KYC (know your customer): The KYC process is a process used to verify the identity of clients by businesses, particularly in financial sectors.
  50. Layer 1: Layer 1 is the base layer of a blockchain containing the infrastructure where the secondary protocols for blockchain are built. 
  51. Layer 2: A Layer 2 protocol is a secondary framework or protocol that is built on top of an existing blockchain system and within the Layer 2 network of that blockchain system. The main goal is to solve the transaction speed and scaling difficulties that are being faced by the major cryptocurrency networks.
  52. Ledger (blockchain ledger): A blockchain ledger is the record-keeping system that stores data in blocks that are linked together in a chain.
  53. Lightning network: A "Layer 2" payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin). It enables fast transactions.
  54. Liquidity: The liquidity of an asset determines whether it's possible to buy or sell an asset in the market without affecting the overall market price.
  55. Liquid staking: Liquid staking is the process by which a user receives a liquid staking token (LST) when they stake their tokens. These LSTs can be traded on certain DeFi platforms. 
  56.  Malware: Malware is the term for malicious software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent, often used to steal private keys and to gain access to funds.
  57. Margin trading: Margin trading is the term for the act of trading assets using funds provided by a third party. In the crypto market, it involves borrowing funds to increase the size of a trading position.
  58. Market cap (market capitalization): The market cap is the total value of all coins of a particular cryptocurrency.
  59. Mempool: A Mempool (memory pool) is a mechanism used by a blockchain for storing unconfirmed transactions waiting to be added to a block.
  60. Merkle tree: A Merkle tree is a structure in cryptography in which each leaf node is a hash of a block of data, and each non-leaf node is a hash of its children. This is used in blockchains for efficient data verification.
  61. Mining: Mining or cryptocurrency mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the blockchain public ledger, and also the means through which new coins are released.
  62. Mining pool: A group of cryptocurrency miners who combine their computational resources over a network to mine a block or find a transaction. The rewards are distributed proportionally to each member's contribution.
  63. Node: A node is a single computer connected to the blockchain network.
  64. Non-fungible token (NFT): A non-fungible token (NFT) is the name of a unique token that typically represents a piece of art.
  65. Order book: The order book for a traded asset is the ledger containing all outstanding orders – instructions from traders to buy or sell cryptocurrency which is constantly updated.
  66. Oracle: An oracle is a source of data that blockchain-based smart contracts rely on to execute under specific conditions.
  67. Phishing: Phishing is a  fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, seed phrases, and wallet details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication.
  68. Private key: A private key provides access to crypto held in a wallet. A private key can be represented as a seed phrase.
  69. Proof of stake: Proof of stake is a type of consensus algorithm by which a cryptocurrency blockchain network aims to achieve distributed consensus through having validators stake their tokens.
  70. Proof of work: A proof-of-work system ties mining capability to computational power. Blocks must be mined, which is a computationally intensive process.
  71. Public key: A public key is the address of a crypto wallet that can be shared publicly without giving away access to the wallet. It is used for sending money to the wallet.
  72. Pump and dump scheme: A pump and dump scheme is a manipulative scheme that involves inflating the price of an owned cryptocurrency to attract unsuspecting buyers, then selling off the overvalued currency.
  73. Pyramid scheme: A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.
  74. Restaking: When tokens that are staked on one network are used as a stake for another network. When a token is issued in return, this is called liquid restaking.
  75. Rug pull: A rug pull is a specific kind of investment scam where cryptocurrency developers abandon a project and run away with investors' funds.
  76. Satoshi: The satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin, equivalent to 100 millionth of a bitcoin. It is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.
  77. Scalability: The term scalability refers to the capability of a cryptocurrency to handle a growing amount of transactions.
  78. SEC (Security & Exchanges Commission): The SEC is the U.S. government agency responsible for enforcing federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry, including cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  79. Seed phrase: A seed phrase is a unique group of words generated by your cryptocurrency wallet that give you access to the cryptocurrencies associated with that wallet.
  80. SegWit (segregated witness): The term SegWit refers to an upgrade to the protocols that changed the way data is stored on the Bitcoin blockchain. It was implemented to improve the scalability of Bitcoin.
  81. Sharding: Sharding is when database partitioning separates very large blockchains into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts. Splitting up the network into different shards can allow scaling across layers and segments of the chain.
  82. Sidechain: A sidechain is a separate blockchain that is attached to its parent blockchain using a two-way peg.
  83. Sim swapping: A type of fraud that occurs when a scammer manipulates a victim's phone carrier into switching the victim's phone number to a SIM card held by the scammer, to intercept two-factor authentication requests.
  84. Smart contract: A smart contract is a specifically written piece of computer code that can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value.
  85. Stablecoin: A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency tied to a fiat currency, typically the dollar.
  86. Staking: The action of staking is where one is actively participating in transaction validation on a proof-of-stake blockchain.
  87. Swaps: A swap is a term for a financial derivative in which two parties agree to exchange the cash flows or liabilities from two different financial instruments.
  88. Token: A token is the unit of value issued by a tech or crypto project, representing a utility or an asset, or both.
  89. Tokenization: The tokenization process is where digital rights are converted from an asset into a digital token on a blockchain.
  90. Tokenomics: Refers to the economics of a cryptocurrency token, including its distribution, ownership structure, supply, and how it is used within the blockchain ecosystem.
  91. Uniswap: Uniswap is a decentralized exchange that lets anyone swap cryptocurrencies for one another.
  92. Validator: In a proof-of-stake blockchain, a validator is a participant responsible for storing data, processing transactions, and adding new blocks to the blockchain.
  93. Wallet (digital/crypto wallet): A crypto wallet is a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchain to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance.
  94. Wallet scam: A wallet scam is the creation of fake wallet apps or websites which steal cryptocurrency stored within them.
  95. Whale: A whale is the term used to describe individuals or entities that hold large amounts of cryptocurrency. Their actions can have a significant impact on market prices.
  96. Whitepaper: A whitepaper is an authoritative report that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter.
  97. Yield farming: Yield farming is a practice in DeFi to maximize returns by lending or staking cryptocurrency.
  98. Zero-knowledge proof: A method by which one party can prove to another party that they know a value, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know that value.
  99. 51% attack: A 51% attack is a situation where more than half of the computing power on a blockchain network is controlled by a single individual or concentrated group, which can lead to network disruption.