51% Attack is a situation where one single attacker has more than 50% of the total network processing power. In such case, the attacker could perform a double spend, amongst other things. Bitcoin (and most other cryptocurrencies) is designed with the belief that a single attacker will never have more than 50% of the total network processing power.
An address is something to which and from which you can send and receive cryptocurrencies. It consists of a long series of numbers and letters. You can tell others about your address by just sharing the series or display a QR-code.
As an example, this is our donation addresses:
An algorithm is a problem-solving method. The problems solved by algorithms (or “algos”) are normally related to data processing or calculation. You can also use algos ti manipulate data in different ways. Examples of such manipulations could be insertion of new data items, searches for specific data items or sortings of specific data items.
Altcoin generally means any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin or Ethereum (although there are some people that still claim that Ethereum is an altcoin). For a Swedish explanation of the word “kryptovaluta” for the Swedes out there, see here.
Anarcho-capitalism is a philosophy in politics that thinks that you should remove centralized solutions (such as banks). When removing the centralized solutions, you should replace them with self-ownership, free markets and private property, and thus eliminate intermediaries. Among the early adopters of Bitcoin, anarcho-capitalism was a strong school of thought. This was because it was thought to empower the masses and give control back to them.
ANN is short for announcement and most commonly refer to announcements of a new ICO or a new product or service on the forum Bitcointalk.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) refers to a set of internationally recognized rules (for the European Union, the relevant legal basis is “Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC”, or, for short: AML IV). It is these international rules that require various comanies dealing with accepting or dealing with money to also have a KYC-procedure when on-boarding new customers or clients.
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. API is a set of rules, protocols and tools for creating software applications. The APIs themselves detail how different software components shall interact. For instance, what data to use and what actions a specific unit shall take. An example of an appreciated API is the API from Coinmarketcap.
Arbitrage means taking advantage of a difference in price of the same commodity on two different exchanges. For instance, if a cryptocurrency is being sold for USD 10.00 at Exchange A, and being bought for USD 10.50 at Exchange B, the arbitrage opportunity would be to buy the cryptocurrency at Exchange A and then immediately sell it at Exchange B. The arbitrage profits would then be USD 0.50.
Being Ashdraked is essentially a more detailed version of being Zhoutonged. It is when you lose all of your invested capital, but you do so specifically by shorting Bitcoin. The expression “Ashdraked” comes from a story of a Romanian cryptocurrency investor who insisted upon shorting BTC, as he had done so successfully in the past. When the price of BTC rose from USD 300 to USD 500, the Romanian investor lost all of his money.
ASIC is an acronym for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. An Application Specific Integrated Circuit is a specific type of mining equipment use to mine a specific cryptocurrency. In exchange for being tailor made for a specific purpose, an ASIC has significantly improved efficiency compared to a standard mining rig. It also uses far less power than a standard mining rig.
Ask Price is the price a seller is willing to accept for a cryptocurrency. Along with the price, the ask quote will generally also stipulate the number of units of such cryptocurrency willing to be sold at that price.
Astroturfing is the practice of really praising something (e.g. a new ICO), without also revealing that you have a personal interest in the relevant product/service. For instance, it is common that people behind an ICO go out on forums such as Bitcointalk.org and give a lot of credit to such ICO. This is to make it seem that the crypto community as a whole is in favor of the project.
Astroturf in the “normal world” is the brand name of a specific type of fake grass launched by Southwest Recreational Industries, Inc. (patented in 1967).
ATH means “all-time high”, as in “all-time price high.” It is the opposite of ATL. In the context of cryptocurrencies, it refers to the highest price milestone that any given coin or token has ever achieved.
ATL means “all-time low”, as in “all-time price low.” It is the opposite of ATH. In the context of cryptocurrencies, it refers to the lowest price milestone that any given coin or token has ever achieved.
An attestation ledger is a register or account book created for the purpose of providing support/evidence of individual transactions. Normally, an attestation ledger is used to verify that a transaction has been carried out, or to verify the authenticity of products or transactions.
A Bag is a subjectively large number of units of a specific cryptocurrency. How large the number must be in order to be considered a Bag is difficult to define as it varies from person to person. A Bag for person A might be very from a Bag for person B. Please also see our explanation of the expression Bagholder.
When the market is bearish, it is expecting that the price is going to decrease.
BIP is an acronym for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal. A Bitcoin Improvement Proposal is a document including technical specifications on how to improve the Bitcoin protocol. The author of the document presents it to the Bitcoin community as a proposal. Improvements could be essentially anything, typically new environments, features or processes. Proposed changes are a BIP, and the person behind the BIP is also responsible for collecting and documenting both positive and negative input from the community.
A Bitcoin ATM (or BTM) is just what it sounds like – An Automated Teller Machine (i.e., a cash machine) but instead of distributing cash from your bank account or credit card it distributes cash from your holdings of Bitcoins. To find your closest Bitcoin ATM, check out this Bitcoin ATM map.
A BitLicense is a license issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (the NYSDFS). New York State is the only American state so far that has established a license framework for cryptocurrency exchanges etc. While the ambition initially was to attract cryptocurrency exchanges to the state of New York, the effect has actually been quite opposite so far. One large cryptocurrency exchange with a BitLicense is Coinbase.
Block is a record of all or some of the most recent transactions in a certain cryptocurrency.
The Block Explorer is a tool that, inter alia, lets you review (or “explore”) the transactions that have been executed on the relevant blockchain. It can also be used to review network hash rate and more. You can find The Block Explorer tool here.
Block Height is the number of blocks on the blockchain prior to the relevant block. A block with only one block ahead of itself has a Block Height of one (1), whereas a block with 100 blocks ahead of itself has a block height of 101.
Blockchain is the classification of a technology. Blockchains are distributed ledgers, secured by cryptography. They are essentially public databases that everyone can access and read, but the data can only be updated by the data owners. Instead of the data residing on a single centralized server, the data is copied across thousands and thousands of computers worldwide.
Bollinger Band (short for BBands) means a margin around the price of a crypto that helps indicate when a coin is overbought or oversold. The Bollinger Bands, developed by legendary technical trader John Bollinger
Bots are automatic software tools that can do cryptocurrency trading for you, based on a pre-defined set of rules for buying and selling. For instance, you can set a Bot to purchase a certain cryptocurrency whenever its price has increased or decreased exactly X% in one hour. Many more alternatives are also possible. We recommend a Bot called Profittrailer.
Bounty is a sum of money offered as a reward for completing a specific task. The reward is normally given to the first person to satisfactorily complete the relevant task. There are several different types of bounties. One usual type is the “bug bounty” given to a person finding a bug on a company’s website or in a company’s product etc.
Brain Wallet refers to the concept of memorizing a passphrase. Such passphrase will be used to generate all your private keys and addresses. It should be noted that if you forget your passphrase then your cryptocurrencies are lost forever.
A Brute Force Attack (a “BFA”) is an attack where you by using the trial-and-error methods tries to find a code, key or password. For instance, if a password is a four digit code, a Brute Force Attack (overly simplified) would be to just try 0000, then 0001, then 0002, then 0003 etc. up until you have tried all possible numbers. Brute Force Attack are carried out by automated software.
BTD is short for Buy The Dip. When you add an F, and create the acronym BTFD, it stands for Buy The Fucking Dip. This is an expression used by cryptocurrency investors that believe that a downwards price movement is only temporary.
A Bubble is a market situation where investors in the market drive prices up above their “real value”. Following that, there is a market price correction where prices drop rapidly. Famous examples of Bubbles is the The Dutch Tulip Bubble (also known as a Tulipomania), 1634-1637 and the Dot.com Bubble (late 1990s). Some people argue that Bitcoin’s price development in Dec 2017-Jan 2018 had bubble-characteristics.
When the market is bullish, it is expecting that the price is going to increase.
A coin or a token is Burned when it is no longer possible to spend or use. A coin burn or token burn is a method of distributed consensus. The coin miners send the coins to be burned to a nonspendable address, also known as an “eater address”. The reason for doing so is that the more coins a miner burns, the more likely it is that he/she will be permitted to mine the next block.
The Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is a type of computing systems that reach consensus through a certain mechanism. This mechanism allows a certain number of components to fail, and imperfect information can also exist. Bitcoin is an example of a Byzantine Fault Tolerant cryptocurrency. The term derives from Leslie Lamport’s, Robert Shostak’s and Marshall Pease’s paper named “The Byzantine Generals Problem” published in 1982. Accordingly, the Byzantine Fault Tolerance has relevance also far outside the cryptocurrency world.
A Byzantine Generals’ Problem is a situation where you need consensus on a certain action or strategy from all relevant participants, but you can’t trust or verify the communication/messages from the other participants. An example is in a war where you have your allied armies in different locations and you will defeat the enemy forces if you all attack or retreat at the same time. However, if you receive communication that you will attack, but your allied armies have been deceptive towards you and retreat, you will all eventually lose. The term was initially phrased by Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak and Marshall Pease in their 1982 paper, “The Byzantine Generals Problem”.
In the cryptocurrency world, the Byzantine Generals Problem is the situation where network participants issue incorrect information to others about transaction taking place that have not really taken place. This could lead to network failure, if it hadn’t been for the Byzantine Fault Tolerance.
A Candle or a Candlestick is a form of price chart, showing the highest price, the lowest price and the opening and closing prices of a cryptocurrency during a certain period (normally a day). If the price is higher at the end of a trading day than the opening price such day, the candle will be green (or white) and if it is lower, the candle will be red (or black).
Chain Split is synonymous with Fork, and is accordingly a situation where a blockchain splits into two separate chains. Chain Splits generally happen in the crypto world when new governance rules are built into the blockchain’s code.
Circulating Supply is the approximate number of cryptocurrency units (such as Bitcoins) that are currently circulating in the public market. It does not include units that are still held privately by an ICO-team or similar. Bitcoin’s circulating supply at the time of writing this glossary post is 17,272,125 (the max supply is 21,000,000).
Client refers to the software application used to send and receive cryptocurrency transactions.
Close stands for “closing price” and is the last price for a certain asset when the relevant market closes. Closing price is not particularly relevant to the cryptocurrency world as the cryptocurrency markets never close. Closing price for a cryptocurrency is instead determined at a certain point of time each 24-hour period.
Cloud Mining is the concept of mining cryptocurrencies with processing power from somewhere else than your local computer. Mining Contract is another term for this type of action. As an example, a popular place to rent processing power from is Iceland, due to its low electricity prices. The geothermic activities in Iceland leads to an abundance of low-priced electricity. Miners can thus “rent power” from Iceland in order to further their own mining activities.
Cold Storage has nothing to do with temperature, but is the process of moving cryptocurrency ‘offline’, as a way of safekeeping your crypto-currency from hacking. There are a variety of ways to do this, but some methods most commonly used include: (i) Printing out the QR code of a software wallet and storing it somewhere safe, such as a safety deposit box, (ii) Moving the files of a software wallet onto a USB drive and storing it somewhere safe, or (iii) Using a hardware wallet.
Confirmations refers to the depth of the block containing your transaction in the blockchain. When a block is published it has a depth of 0 as it is the top block. As more blocks are published the previous blocks get deeper in the chain.
Consensus in the cryptocurrency world is what you have achieved when all of the participants in a certain network agree on something. Things that you can reach consensus one include (among other things): (i) transactions in certain blocks, (ii) order of blocks, and (iii) content of blocks.
A Consortium Blockchain is a specific type of blockchain. It has private owners and is not the result of a public ICO). The Consortium Blockchain is also privately operated. In a Consortium Blockchain, the people behind the blockchain can share information with each other that is not otherwise available to the public.
Correction is short for “Price Correction”. It refers to a movement in the price of a certain cryptocurrency that is most often negative. In order for a movement to qualify as a Correction, it needs to amount to 10% or more. A Correction adjusts for over-valuations or under-valuations by the market of a certain cryptocurrency.
CPU is an acronym for Central Processing Unit. You could say that the CPU is the brain of a computer. The CPU coordinates the different components of the computer that is in operation. CPU are often measured in terms of its speed, and the units for such measurement is gigahertz (GHz). The stronger your computer’s CPU is, the more successful will you presumably be when engaging in mining activities.
Crypto-jacking is the process of remotely using someone else’s computer without permission, in order to mine cryptocurrency.
A Cryptographic Hash Function is a specific type of hash function especially suitable for using in the cryptocurrency world. What makes it especially suitable for cryptocurrencies is that the function takes an input/message, and in response to such input returns a unique and fixed-sized alphanumeric string. One of many Cryptographic Hash Functions is the SHA-256 algorithm.
Cryptography is the practice of securing information. Securing information naturally includes the prevention of unauthorized access to such information. It is allegedly from this school/practice that the word “cryptocurrency” comes from.
If someone is a Custodial, it means that such person/entity stores private keys needed to e.g. access or dispose of cryptocurrency holdings. If an exchange also is a custodial, it means that such exchange holds the private keys that you need to access your account at such exchange.
A Cypherpunk is a certain type of activitist that doesn’t believe in the current state of society with respect to e.g. privacy, banking, information transmission and more. Instead, the Cypherpunks propose a more wide-spread adoption of e.g. blockchain technology to strengthen each individual’s privacy. The Cypherpunks’ “bible” is “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto” written by Eric Hughes in 1993.
DAG is an acronym for Directed Acyclic Graph.
DAICO is an acronym for Decentralized Autonomous Initial Coin Offerings. It is a type of capital raising, originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin. DAICOs have many features different from regular Initial Coin Offerings, but the most prominent feature is that the investors in a DAICO can take back their funds if the relevant project team does not fulfil certain conditions. Read more about the differences between DAICOs and ICOs here.
DAO is an acronym for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. A DAO can (at least theoretically) run itself without any involvement of individuals and can thus be completely autonomous. It can do so by being based on various smart contracts. Read more about DAOs here.
The Dark Web is the portion of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. In order to access the Dark Web, you need to have certain browsers (such as the Tor Browser), certain access codes, invites, or similar.
DDoS is an acronym for Distributed Denial of Service. In a DDos Attack, the attacker tries to make a network, machine, system or website unavailable by overloading it. The attacker accomplishes the overload by sending such a high number of requests to the recipient system that the system can no longer respond to “real requests”.
A Dead Cat Bounce occurs when the price of a cryptocurrency temporarily increases, after having suffered a major decrease. A Dead Cat Bounce is thus not an indicator that the price will continue to increase.
Decryption is the process of making data that was previously unreadable due to encryption readable again.
Most exchanges charge deposit fees when you deposit fiat currency on the exchange. This fee is sometimes a fixed fee (triggered every time you make a deposit), and sometimes a percentage of the total deposit value. Deposit fees can be particularly high when you deposit via credit card (for the exchanges accepting credit card deposits at all).
A Depth Chart in the cryptocurrency world is a graph showing how many limit sell orders and limit buy orders that exist. It usually only shows a certain cryptocurrency at a certain exchange. The Depth Chart thus shows such cryptocurrency’s liquidity at such exchange. By reviewing the Depth Chart, you will find the likely market appetite for a certain buy or sell order.
A Derivative is an instrument priced based on the value of another asset (normally stocks, bonds, commodities etc). In the cryptocurrency world, Derivatives accordingly derive its values from the prices of specific cryptocurrencies. For more information on Derivatives, see here.
A Derivatives Market is a market where you can trade Derivatives.
Deterministic Wallet is a wallet that you need to backup only once. It creates all your bitcoin addresses and private keys, from a random number called a “seed”. Your wallet can be recovered from the seed, if the wallet file is accidentally deleted.
A Digital Commodity is simply a commodity in digital form, with some form of relative value. Bitcoin (and altcoins) are examples of Digital Commodities.
Your Digital Identity is information relating to you that is represented digitally. This can according to Techopedia include:
- Usernames and passwords
- Private keys
- Online search activities, like electronic transactions
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Medical history
- Purchasing history or behavior
Distributed Consensus is a consensus (i.e., an agreement) between a number of different computers in a network. The Distributed Consensus makes it possible for the network to work without any need for a central authority.
A Distributed Network is a network in which you can spread or store processing power or data (as relevant) across a number of decentralized nodes (thus eliminating the need for any centralized authority).
DLT is an acronym for Distributed Ledger Technology. The Distributed Ledger Technology is the technology behind Distributed Ledgers.
Dolphin is a “moderately large” holder of cryptocurrency assets. Their ownership of cryptocurrency assets is larger than that of a “fish/minnow”, but not sufficiently large to be Whales.
Dominance is the index that measures how much of the Market Cap of all cryptocurrencies that is made up of Bitcoin’s Market Cap. Other words for Dominance are BTC Dominance or Bitcoin Dominance. Accordingly, the Dominance measures Bitcoin’s dominance over all other cryptocurrencies. At the date of writing this (29 September 2018), Bitcoin’s dominance was 51.26%.
Double-spending is successfully spending the same money more than once.
dPOS stands for Delegated Proof-of-Stake and is a type of mechanism used to achieve consensus. Where dPOS is effective, users vote for “delegates” that produce blocks on the relevant blockchain. The voting rights carried by a user is determined by such user’s stake in the relevant project/matter. dPOS strives to be a more effective and environmentally friendly type of consensus protocol than the other alternatives out there.
Dump is the action of divesting all your holdings of cryptocurrency assets.
Dust Transactions are very small transactions. They overflood the relevant network, and lowers its overall speed as the network has to process all the small transactions. This takes up processing power from the network. The transactions are normally intentionally made by people looking to damage the network.
DYOR is an acronym for “Do Your Own Research” and is possibly the most important dogma in the cryptocurrency world. The meaning is that you should never trust an ICO-project team or anyone else without first verifying any statements made with your own research.
EEA stands for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (not the European Economic Area). The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is a group of different people/companies that work together with the same ambition: commercialization and usage of ETH, primarily for business purposes. The list of all its members is viewable here.
EIP is an acronym for Ethereum Improvement Proposal, just as BIP is an acronym for Bitcoin Investment Proposal. The EIPs set out the technical standards (protocol specifications, contract standards, client APIs etc.) for the Ethereum blockchain.
ELI5 is an acronym for “Explain it Like I’m 5”. ELI5 can be stated by someone in e.g. a cryptocurrency forum when someone introduces a new type of cvryptocurrency technology or cryptocurrency product.
ERC-20 is a technical standard for Ethereum based tokens. ERC stands for “Ethereum Request for Comment“. The technical standard defines how people can interact with the token, and thus stipulates how they can be transferred, burned, mined etc. A large majority of the Ethereum based tokens out there today are ERC-20 compliant.
ERC-721 tokens are (different from the ERC-20 tokens) non-fungible. This means that a ERC-721 token cannot be used as money and can thus not be exchanged with another cryptocurrency on an exchange either. ERC-721 are mostly used as collectibles (a little like totally unique hockey cards). ERC-721 tokens were introduced in 2017.
Escrow is an arrangement where an intermediary or third party receives something from someone (party A), for the purpose of transferring that something to someone else (party B). Normally, the relevant transfer will not be carried out by the Escrow Agent unless certain conditions are met. In a typical stock transaction, money is transferred from Party A to the Escrow Agent to be released to Party B if Party B also transfer the relevant stocks to Party A. In the cryptocurrency world, automated smart contracts are often used to determine whether certain conditions are met.
Exchange means a website where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Step 1 when trading crypto is to choose the right exchange. To find the right exchange for you, use our Exchange Finder.
Faucet is a site that gives out free coins in order to get newbies started.
Fiat currency means currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity. Examples of Fiat currency is USD and EUR. The value of fiat currency is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Fiat is Latin for “let it be done.”
Fish is a person who owns a small amount of cryptocurrency assets. Another word for describing the same thing is “minnow”. When the holdings grow larger, a Fish can evolve to a Dophin and ultimatelly also a Whale.
Flipping has no connection to “Flipping Someone Off” but is an investment strategy. In this investment strategy, something is bought with the purpose of reselling it a short time later. The term is most used in the housing investment world, where shabby houses are bought, renovated and then sold on to a higher price. In the cryptocurrency world, the term is often used to describe the process of investing in tokens in an ICO, and then quickly selling the relevant tokens when they have been admitted to trading at an exchange.
FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out. In the cryptocurrency markets, the expression is most often used to describe the feeling that you need to get on the train when the price of something starts to skyrocket.
When doing a Fundamental Analysis, you not only analyse the price changes and Resistance and Support of a certain cryptocurrency, you look at the a wide variety of factors relevant to the cryptocurrency. These factors include, but is not limited to, demand for the cryptocurrency, supply of the cryptocurrency, the technology behind the cryptocurrency, upcoming upgrades of the technology behind the cryptocurrency, news surrounding the cryptocurrency etc.
Futures or “Futures Contracts” are financial instruments where you agree to buy or sell something at a certain price at a certain point of time in the future. For instance, if the price of a certain cryptocurrency is USD 100, and you believe that the price of such cryptocurrency will sky-rocket, it can be a good idea to buy a Long Future. By doing so, you don’t need to invest the full purchase price now but can do so at a later stage.
Gains is essentially the same as winnings or profit. It is what all cryptocurrency investors wants to get…
Gas is a measurement of how much processing that is required by the Ethereum network to process a transaction. Simple transactions, like sending ether to another address, typically do not require much gas. More complex transactions, like deploying a smart contract, require more gas.
Gas Price means the amount of ether to be spent for each gas unit on a transaction. The initiator of a transaction chooses and pays the gas price of the transaction. Transactions with higher gas prices are prioritized by the network.
Git is a distributed revision control and source code management system focusing on speed. It enables software developers to work together as a team remotely from anywhere in the world. Git is a free software. For more information, see Git.
GitHub is a web-based hosting service for projects that use the Git revision control system. It is available here.
Going Long means a margin trade that profits if the price of the relevant cryptocurrency increases.
Going Short means a margin trade that profits if the price of the relevant cryptocurrency decreases.
Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency is just what it sounds like – cryptocurrency backed by gold. The most famous actor in this area is Vaultoro. Vaultoro is an exchange where you can trade your Bitcoin for gold, and vice versa.
GPU is an acronym for Graphics Processing Unit. It can be used to play games or mine cryptocurrencies.
Halving is when the total number of cryptocurrencies you receive as reward for mining a complete block reduces with 50%. For Bitcoin, this happens every new 210,000 blocks mined.
Hard Fork occurs when there are a sufficient number of clients on the network that disagree on the rules about how blocks are created and recorded in the blockchain. It leads to a split in the chain, one set of clients follow one branch and another set follows the other. To fix hard forks, some action must be taken by the holders of the relevant cryptocurrency.
Hardware Wallet means a device that can securely store cryptocurrency. Trezor and Ledger Nano S are examples of great hardware wallets, but check out our Cryptocurrency Wallet List to see which wallet is the right one for you.
A Hash is when you: (i) perform a hash function, (ii) the input data is arbitrary, (iii) the output data has a fixed length but looks random in all other respects, and (iv) you need a cipher to recover the data from the fixed length output data. However, if you use the same algorithm, the fixed length output data will always be the same when the input data is the same.
Hash Rate is a unit of mining performance expressed as follows:
1 h/s = 1 hash per second
1 Kh/s = Kilohash per second. 1,000 h/s
1 Mh/s = Megahash per second. 1,000 Kh/s (1,000,000 h/s)
1 Gh/s = Gigahash per second. 1,000 Mh/s (1,000,000,000 h/s)
1 Th/s = Terahash per seond. 1,000 Gh/s (1,000,000,000,000 h/s)
Hidden Cap is what you call it when it has not been announced how much capital an ICO-team is intending to raise from the public in their ICO. It has been claimed that Hidden Caps is more fair towards smaller investors, as the big investors (Whales) then cannot agree among themselves how much they should invest in order to achieve a – in their opinion – proper ownership of the tokens distributed through the ICO.
HODL stands for Hold On for Dear Life, and describes the process of not selling cryptocurrency in spite of market movements.
Hot Wallet is a wallet that is accessible via the web or another network connection. Hot Wallets are vulnerable to many online attacks and are not as secure as their Cold Wallet (Cold Storage) counterparts.
Hyperledger is a project started by the Linux Foundation in 2015. The aim of the project is to promote and support the development of distributed ledgers in the blockchain space through collaborative efforts.
A Bounty is a sum of money offered as a reward for completing a specific task. When a company launches an IBO (acronym for Initial Bounty Offering), it invites parties to – during a limited period of time – perform certain tasks. Tasks can include marketing, translation work or finding bugs. In exchange for performing such tasks, the task-performing participants normally receive a certain allocation of tokens. Different from a normal ICO, however, an IBO does not entail investment of capital (merely investment of time).
ICO means “Initial Coin Offering” and is similar to an “IPO” in the non-crypto world. Read more about the difference between ICOs and IPOs here. In an ICO, startups issue their own token in exchange for ether. This is essentially crowdfunding on the ethereum platform.
When something is Immutable, it means that it can’t be altered (now or ever).
JOMO is an acronym standing for Joy of Missing Out. It is the direct opposite of FOMO. In the cryptocurrency markets, the expression is most often used to describe the feeling that you are happy to you didn’t “get on the train” when the price of something starts to plummet or when it is revealed that a certain ICO that they didn’t participate in was a scam.
KYC is an acronym for Know Your Customer. It is legal requirements to make a reasonable effort to confirm your costumers true identity. This process is intended to help prevent money laundering.
The meaning of “Lambo” is exactly what you would expect. It simply stands for “Lamborghini”, the Italian supercar brand. The term is mostly used as a trophy cryptocurrency traders is dreaming to get when being successful enough in their cryptocurrency investments. Check out which Lambo you want to dream about on their official website.
A Ledger in the cryptocurrency world is a record of all transactions having occured in a e.g. a certain cryptocurrency. Ledgers cannot be retroactively changed, but only supplemented with records of new transactions.
Leverage is a loan usually offered to investors by a cryptocurrency exchange or broker so that they can invest a larger amount of money than what they currently have access to. In that way, you can increase your exposure in a certain investment. In other words, you borrow money to increase your buying power (generally you pay interest on the amount borrowed, but not always).
The Lightning Network is a payment protocol that is “on top” of an existing blockchain. The Lightning Network is allegedly a solution to the scalability problems suffered by Bitcoin. The Lightning Network will allegedly make it possible for transactions to occur in a fast and scalable way between participating nodes.
Limit Order means an order placed by traders to buy or sell a cryptocurrency when the price meets a certain amount. They can be thought of as ‘for-sale’ signs. These orders are what are bought and sold against when traders place market orders.
Liquidity (or market liquidity) is an asset’s ability to be sold without causing a significant movement in the price and with minimum loss of value. Liquidity is characterized by a high level of trading activity. Assets that can be easily bought or sold are known as liquid assets.
MACD stands for Moving Average Convergence Divergence, which is a trend indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices.
Margin Call is a “call” made by a lender, broker or exchange to the person who has made the margin trade. The call is made when the margin falls below the minimum required to cover the credit risk of the lender, the broker or exchange. At such point, the position is automatically closed and the margin is lost.
Margin Trading means the act of adding leverage to your trades. When margin trading, you borrow money against your current funds to trade cryptocurrency “on margin” on an exchange. In other words, you are borrowing money to increase your buying power (generally you pay interest on the amount borrowed, but not always).
Market Order means a simple purchase or sale on an exchange at the current price. Market buys purchase the cheapest ETH available on the order book, and market sells fill the most expensive buy order on the books.
Masternodes are similar to Full Nodes (i.e., it means that you have the entire history of a specific blockchain on your server), but it also performs a number of other functions. These functions can include to clear instant transactions, to increase secrecy/privacy of transactions, to take part in governance and voting and to enable budget systems. Masternodes initially became popular after having been used by the cryptocurrency Dash.
Max Supply is an approximate estimate of how many units of a certain cryptocurrency that will be able to ever exist in such cryptocurrency. See also Circulating Supply.
A Merkle Tree is a form of structure in Cryptography. In this structure, every “leaf node” is marked by the hash of a data block. In contrast, every “non-leaf node” is marked by the hash of its “child nodes”. This structure makes it possible to verify blockchains in an efficient and secure manner, because every change spreads upwards the tree. This ultimately means that you can verify something by simply looking at the top hash of the Merkle Tree.
MEW stands for MyEtherWallet, one of the most popular free online open-source wallets.
Microtransactions are – unsurprisingly – small payments. These small payments are normally made in exchange for certain digital goods and services. A typical example is an item in a game or a page in an ebook.
Mining Rig means a computer specially designed for processing proof-of-work blockchains. They often consist of multiple high-end graphic processors (GPUs) to maximize their processing power.
A Mixing Service (or Tumbler) is a service that you can use in order to increase anonymity and privacy. This is possible because the Mixing Service allows you to mix a specific transaction that you don’t want anyone to identify with totally unrelated transactions, making the relevant transaction much harder to track.
A Mnemonic Phrase is a list of secret words (often random) you can use in sequence to gain access to cryptocurrency assets. Accordingly, it is a type of password. Most Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets use Mnemonic Phrases. An example of a Mnemonic Phrase is:
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Mnemonics is another word for “memory aid”. A memory aid is essentially any type of learning technique that helps you remember something. See Mnemonic Phrase.
Mooning means – in the crypto world – the price of a cryptocurrency going up to astronomical levels.
Multi-sig is a system that requires multiple cryptographic authentication keys.
No-Coiners are people with no coins, meaning that they hold no cryptocurrency assets. However, in order for someone to be classified as a No-Coiner, such person must also believe or hope that the cryptocurrency market will decrease in value so that the people that do in fact hold coins will lose money (or at least don’t make any money that the No-Coiner would have made had he/she held coins).
Non-Custodial is an adjective normally describing a certain security setup. Where an exchange or wallet has a “non-custodial setup”, the user holds his/her own private keys directly (and not through a third party such as the actual exchange or wallet). This is the opposite of a Custodial Setup.
Nonce is a random number created when a miner hashes a transaction. This number will only be used “once”, thus the noun “Nonce”.
OCO is an acronym for One Cancels the Other Order. This describes a situation where there are two simultaneous orders for a certain cryptocurrency and – in such situation – if one of such orders is accepted, the other order will be automatically cancelled.
An Off-Ledger Cryptocurrency is a cryptocurrency that is created outside of the blockchain on which it is based, but that the relevant community still accepts.
On-Ledger Currency is – in contrast to an Off-Ledger Currency – a cryptocurrency that is created on the relevant blockchain. There are many examples of On-Ledger Currencies, the most known being Bitcoin.
Open-Source is an adjective typically describing code or software. Open Source software is software that the rights holder releases under a license which gives the general public the right to review, change and distribute the software relatively freely.
An Option is an investment contract that gives the holder of the Option a right – but not an obligation (thus an “option”) – to buy (call option) or sell (put option) a certain asset at a certain price. Certain Options give you the right to exercise the Option whenever (before expiry of the contract), and other Options are only permitted to exercise during a specific date. The former are known as American Options, and the latter are known as European Options.
An Oracle is a person that provides the blockchain with certain information from the real world. For instance, if a Smart Contract has been designed to do something specific when the weather temperature drops below a certain level, the person that lets the blockchain know that the weather temperature has dropped below such level is referred to as an Oracle.
Orphaned Blocks is the term for certain blocks following a Soft Fork or Hard Fork. Whenever a Soft Fork or Hard Fork occurs, the blockchain is split into two paths. One of these chains will eventually be considered the valid one, and the other will be the invalid chain. Blocks that are in an invalid chain are called Orphaned Blocks.
OTC is an acronym for Over The Counter. This is off-exchange trading that is done directly between two parties.
Overbought is – in contrast to Oversold – a concept describing the process of a cryptocurrency being excessively purchased. When many investors buy a certain cryptocurrency during a consecutive period, and there is no objectively justifiable reason for such purchases, the cryptocurrency is Overbought. You can then normally expect a subsequent period of selling.
Oversold is a concept describing the process of a cryptocurrency being excessively divested. When many investors sell a certain cryptocurrency during a consecutive period, and there is no objectively justifiable reason for such divestments, the cryptocurrency is Oversold. You can then normally expect a subsequent period of buying.
Paper Wallet is a way to store cryptocurrency. It is done by printing the addresses and private keys directly on a piece of paper (or any other material).
A Permissioned Ledger is a ledger that is permissioned where its participants are preselected or subject to gated entry on satisfaction of certain requirements. Such requirements could for instance be that a participant must satisfy KYC and AML requirements before being given entry. It could also be a requirement that he/she should be approved by an administrator of the blockchain before being granted entry. A permissioned ledger may use a consensus protocol for determining what the current state of a blockchain should be, or it may use an administrator or sub-group of participants to do so.
PoA is an acronym for Proof-of-Authority. Proof-of-Authority is a way to achieve consensus on the blockchain. When the blockchain achieves consensus through Proof-of-Authority, it uses identity as a stake.
PoB is an acronym for Proof-of-Burn. Proof-of-Burn is a way to achieve consensus on the blockchain. You can use the Proof-of-Burn consensus mechanism when you want to connect a new blockchain (with e.g. better energy efficiency) to an old blockchain.
PoD is an acronym for Proof-of-Developer which is just as it sounds: a proof that a specific developer exists. PoD can be comforting to have as it makes it less likely that an anonymous developer will go underground after having fraudulently raised capital.
Ponzi Scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors.
POS stands for Proof of Stake (not Piece of Shit…) and is the proposed future consensus algorithm to be used by Ethereum. Instead of mining in its current form, people that own ETH will be able to ‘lock up’ their ether for a short amount of time in order to ‘vote’ and generate network consensus. The plan is that these stakeholders will be rewarded with ETH by doing so. Another famous POS blockchain is LISK.
The Protocol is the rule book upon which you base a certain network and its internal interactions. The Protocol controls everything from consensus mechanisms, validation of transactions, participation in voting and more.
A Pseudonym is a fake name. In the cryptocommunity, people behind scam-ICOs can use pseudonyms to falsely praise their upcoming ICO. Not all pseudonyms are used for the purposes of deception however. Satoshi Nakamoto is also a pseudonym.
A QR Code is a square shaped box including a pattern in white and black. The pattern is readable by machines, smart phones, iPads etc. In the cryptocurrency world, the most common usage of QR-codes are when you want to share a wallet address with someone else.
The Raiden Network is quite similar to the Lightning Network. It is a scaling solution (off-chain) for Ethereum. The purpose of the Raiden Network is to make it possible to have instant, cheap and also scalable payments on the Ethereum blockchain.
When speaking about the “Rank”, people normally refer to a certain cryptocurrency’s market capitalisation (in relation to other cryptocurrencies). A cryptocurrency with rank 10 accordingly has the 10th highest market capitalisation of all the cryptocurrencies in the world.
Resistance is the opposite of support, and is a trading term denoting a price level that a certain cryptocurrency rarely or never will exceed. If Bitcoin’s resistance would be USD 20,000, the price of Bitcoin could go up to USD 20,000 (maybe even several times), but not exceed USD 20,000.
A Reverse Indicator is someone you should always “bet against”. If Mr. Smith is a Reverse Indicator, when Mr. Smith purchases a lot of Zoin Coins for instance, because he believes that the price of Zoin Coins will go up, then you should sell all of your Zoin Coins. Reverse Indicators are always wrong in their cryptocurrency price predictions.
A Ring Signature is a certain method of enhancing privacy. This is done by combining the inputs of several signatories, with the input of the original sender. When a transaction can only be authorized by way of Ring Signature, privacy and security is increased.
RSI is an acronym for Relative Strength Index, being an indicator looking at the magnitude of recent price changes. The RSI is used to analyse whether a certain cryptocurrency is oversold or overbought, which in turn makes it possible to analyse whether it is an appropriate time to buy or sell.
Scrypt is a PoW-algorithm constituting an alternative to SHA-256. Scrypt is used in Bitcoin mining. When you mine through Scrypt, you rely more on memory than central processing power. The rationale behind this is to even out the playing field between “regular miners” and miners using ASICs (as the users of ASICs otherwise have a great advantage over non-ASICs miners). By evening out the playing field, the hope is that it will increase network participation and energy efficiency.
SEC is an acronym for Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is an American authority with the purpose of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitating capital formation. The SEC “strives to promote a market environment that is worthy of the public’s trust”. In cryptocurrency, the SEC’s most important function to date has been to determine whether a certain issued cryptocurrency is a “security” or not for the purpose of capital markets laws.
Second-Layer Solutions is a set of solutions that are built on top of a public blockchain. The reason for doing so is to make the relevant blockchain more scalable and efficient, in particular for microtransaction. Lightning Network is one of many examples of Second-Layer Solutions.
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The Seed enables quick backups or restorations of a Hierarchical Deterministic Wallet.
SegWit is short for Segregated Witness, which is a BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal). This particular BIP was designed to make Bitcoin transactions less affected by pressure on the network. Previously, when you changed the “witness” information (meaning the signatures) on a certain block, it would also change the so called transaction ID of such block. This would also change the block’s subsequent hash. By the introduction of SegWit, signatures can be segregated (thus “SegWit”). This, in turn, means that block sizes can be smaller and Second-Layer Solutions can be supported.
Selfish Mining is mining where a miner mines a new block without broadcasting it to the relevant network. The reason for doing so is that if the selfish miner also manages to find a second block faster than any other miner, he/she has created the longest public chain. If he/she has created the longest public chain, all other blocks that have been mined in the meantime will be invalid.
Sharding is a scaling solution for blockchains. Every node in a blockchain network typically houses a complete copy of the blockchain. Sharding is a method that allows nodes to have partial copies of the complete blockchain in order to increase overall network performance and consensus speeds.
Shilling/Pumping means strongly advertising a cryptocurrency. If a cryptocurrency is promised to cure cancer or be the second coming of Jesus, it’s being shilled/pumped.
A Shitcoin is a coin with no obvious value or usage area. There is no objective list of Shitcoins though, different people have different opinions on what is “shit” and what isn’t.
A Side Chain is a blockchain ledger running in parallel to a primary blockchain. A little like a “Side Chic” running in parallel to a primary chic (a wife). The Side Chain operates independently of the primary blockchain. They both have their own protocols and their own ledger mechanisms.
Sig (or Signature) is a cryptographic authentication key.
Silk Road was an online non-indexed black market, only accessible through the Dark Web. At Silk Road, you could buy drugs, weapons and various illegal services with payments in Bitcoin. Silk Road was shut down by the FBI in October 2013.
Smart Contract means a code that is deployed onto the Ethereum blockchain, often directly interacting with how money flows. Simplistically put, a normal transaction allows you to send money from A to B. Smart contracts allow you to send money from A to B, on the condition that C happens.
Sockpuppet is an online identity used for the purposes of deception.
The Soft Cap is the minimum amount that a team behind an ICO wants to raise in the relevant ICO. If the ICO doesn’t manage to raise the capital required to meet the Soft Cap, it may discontinue the ICO. See also Hard Cap.
Soft Fork is a situation where two or more competing blocks are published at the same height in the blockchain. These kinds of forks will solve themselves without any intervention from holders of the relevant cryptocurrency.
Software Fork is the procedure of splitting an open-source software project into two projects by copying the original project and developing it independently from that point onwards.
Software Wallet means a storage for cryptocurrency that exists solely as software files on a computer. Software wallets can be generated for free from a variety of sources. Compare and review all cryptocurrency wallets in our Wallet List to find the best wallet for you.
Solidity is one of the most popular languages that smart contracts can be written in on Ethereum.
A Spot is a term for describing when you buy or sell e.g. a cryptocurrency now, and pay now (as opposed to Futures or Options).
Spot Market is the “regular market”. A Spot trade is a trade you make where you pay/settle immediately, as your normally do (in contrast to Futures or Options). Accordingly, the Spot Market is any market where you execute Spot trades.
Spread is the amount by which the Ask Price exceeds the Bid Price. This is essentially the difference in price between the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay for a cryptocurrency and the lowest price for which a seller is willing to sell it.
Stable Coin means a cryptocurrency with extremely low volatility that can be used to trade against the overall market. A “stable coin” is a cryptocurrency that is often pegged to another stable asset, like silver, gold or a fiat currency such as US dollar. It’s a currency that’s global, but not tied to a central bank and has a lower volatility than other cryptos.
Here are some examples on stable coins out circulating:
Staking is the process of participating in a PoS system. When you participate, you put your tokens in a security for acting as a validator to the blockchain. In exchange for putting your tokens in as security, you receive rewards.
A Stale Block is a block that has been successfully mined, but for some reason is not a block in the longest blockchain. The reason for this is usually that another block at the same Block Height was added to the blockchain before the Stale Block.
A State Channel is a Second-Layer Solution that moves transactions “off-chain”. The State Channel does that by lowering the number of on-chain transactions required. Participants can then sign to the main-chain after several off-chain transactions.
Stop Loss-order (or Stop Order) is an order designed to limit an investor’s loss on a security position. Setting a stop loss order for 10% below the price you paid will limit your loss to 10%. This strategy allows investors to determine their loss limit in advance.
Support is the opposite of resistance and is a trading term referring to a certain price that a cryptocurrency historically does not fall below. If Bitcoin’s support would be USD 5,000, it would mean that the price of Bitcoin rarely or never falls below such level.
TA stands for Technical Analysis (some call it Trend Analysis), and is the process of examining current price charts of e.g. a specific cryptocurrency in order to predict which way such cryptocurrency will move next.
Taint is another word for the percentage of a certain cryptocurrency in a certain account, that you can trace to another account.
Tangle is an alternative blockchain model. It is developed by IOTA. The Tangle model uses so called DAGs. DAGS only builds in one direction. Due to that, DAGs never repeat themselves and are quantum-computing resistant.
Testnet is a blockchain in a testing phase where you are not able to transfer cryptocurrencies to different recipients. This is different from a Mainnet, which is a blockchain in operation where you can make such transfers.
The Flippening has nothing to do with iCloud leaks of celebrity photos but refer to a potential future event wherein Ethereum’s market cap surpasses Bitcoin’s market cap, making Ethereum the most ‘valuable’ cryptocurrency.
“This is Gentlemen” comes from a typo when someone intended to write “This is it, gentlemen”. Today, when someone expresses “This is Gentlemen”, it normally is an introduction to good news.
When a transaction has a Timelock, it means that it can only be executed during a certain time.
A transaction’s Timestamp is a specification of when the transaction occurred. The Timestamp has both date and time of day in it and is accurate down to hundreds or sometime even thousands of a second.
TLT is an acronym for Think Long Term and represents an investment strategy where you’re not looking for the quick profits. Rather, you have a long-term investment horizon (months to years).
Tokenomics is the distribution and creation of certain tokens, and how they are put in place in the relevant token ecosystem. Factors such as: (i) how many tokens that can be mined, (ii) how many tokens that have been pre-mined, and (iii) how many tokens that are allocated through pre-sale and public sale, are important factors in a company’s tokenomics.
Tor is a browser that you can use to, inter alia, access the Dark Web. Its main feature is that it makes it possible to communicate fully anonymously. Tor is actually an acronym for The Onion Router which was the name of the original software project leading up to the browser. To download Tor, go to this link.
The Total Supply is the total number of units of a certain cryptocurrency that are outstanding and issued right now, subtracted with the total number of burned units. See also Circulating Supply and Max Supply.
Trading Volume is synonymous with Volume. It is the number of cryptocurrencies sold/bought during a certain period of time, multiplied with the price such cryptocurrencies were sold/bought for. For instance, if 10 tokens have been sold during a relevant time, and the price in all trades were USD 100 per token, the trading volume was USD 1,000. Trading Volume is most often measured in 24 hour-periods, but also often in 7-day periods or 30 day-periods.
When something is Trustless, it means that no person needs to trust any other person in order for something (such as a transaction) to be executed in the way it is meant to be. Trustless normally refers to a property of a blockchain.
Tumbler is synonymous with Mixing Service. Accordingly, a Tumbler) is a service that you can use in order to increase anonymity and privacy. This is possible because the Tumbler allows you to mix a specific transaction that you don’t want anyone to identify with totally unrelated transactions, making the relevant transaction much harder to track.
Turing-Complete is an expression that comes from the English mathematician/cryptanalyst Alan Turing. When a computer (a programming language) is Turing-Complete, it can mathematically solve all conceivable problems that are at all capabable of mathematic solutions (not questions such as “what is the meaning of life”), provided that it is given enough time and memory space. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is Turing-Complete.
TX stands for Transaction.
Unconfirmed, in the context of cryptocurrency transactions, is a situation where a transaction has not been confirmed on the blockchain. Consequently, such transaction has not received any Confirmations and is not yet a part of the relevant blockchain.
An Unpermissioned Ledger is – in contrast to a Permissioned Ledger – a ledger where anyone can download the software, submit messages for processing and/or be involved in the process of authenticating, verifying and reaching consensus. While an unpermissioned ledger will typically use a consensus protocol for determining what the current state of a blockchain should be, it could also use another process to determine that state. One way of using another process could be to use an administrator or sub-group of participants. Such systems are typically controlled by no-one and the participants are usually pseudonymous.
UTXO is an acronym for Unspent Transaction Output. The Unspent Transaction Output is – just as you can imagine – such part of a transaction that has not been spent. Only the UTXO can be spent in other future transactions. It’s similar to how regular cash works!
Vaporware is another word for a cryptocurrency project that for some reason never became reality.
A Virgin Bitcoin is simply a Bitcoin that has never been spent.
Volume is the number of cryptocurrencies sold/bought during a certain period of time, multiplied with the price such cryptocurrencies were sold/bought for.
Volume is most often measured in a 24 hour-period.
Wallet – in this context – refers to the place where you store your cryptocurrency assets. There are also a number of different wallets: Brain Wallets, Deterministic Wallets, Hardware Wallets, Paper Wallets, Software Wallets, etc. These can in turn also be divided into Hot Wallets and Cold Wallets (cold being wallets that are “offline”, meaning that you can’t access it via internet). Check out our comprehensive Cryptocurrency Wallet List to find more information on all the different wallets or read more about the different wallet types in our guide Security Measures.
Wash Trade is the concept of fraudulently selling and buying to yourself. By doing so, you normally want to trick the market into believing that the current market price of a certain cryptocurrency is in fact the price that you sold/bought the cryptocurrency to/from yourself.
Watchlist is a certain functionality that some cryptocurrency exchanges offer. With the Watchlist-functionality, you can select certain cryptocurrencies whose respective price developments you want to follow more closely. These will then be displayed in your Watchlist.
Whale means someone that owns so much cryptocurrency that he/she has the power to alone substantially affect the price of such cryptocurrency (by e.g. issuing a sell order). As a side note, it can be worth mentioning that even if 50 Cent hadn’t lied about his cryptocurrency holdings, he would still not have been big enough to count as a Whale.
White Paper for cryptocurrencies is essentially the cryptocurrency world’s equivalent of the stock market’s prospectuses. In the White Paper, you will normally have a fairly detailed description of the project, details on the project team members, road map, timeline, details on tokenomics and more.
Whitelist is the place where people interested in an ICO sign up to show their interest in the relevant ICO. Often, only people who have signed up to a Whitelist will be allocated any tokens in the initial token distribution.
YABC means “Yet Another Bitcoin Company” and is a term indicating that there is really nothing special with this specific company and that it is just trying to surf the Bitcoin-wave.
YTD is an acronym for Year To Date. If someone on 23 October 2018 asks you about Bitcoin‘s development YTD, they want to know how Bitcoin has developed during the period 1 January 2018 – 23 October 2018.
Zero Confirmation Transaction is synonymous with Unconfirmed Transaction. Accordingly, a Zero Confirmation Transaction is a situation where a transaction has not been confirmed on the blockchain. Consequently, such transaction has not received any Confirmations and is not yet a part of the relevant blockchain.
Zero Knowledge Proof is a method in cryptography. When a situation accepts the method of Zero Knowledge Proof, one party can demonstrate that a certain transaction or event took place, but without having to reveal any details of such relevant transaction or event.