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 Pirate Bay’s Monero-address:
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.
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.
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.
DAG is an acronym for Directed Acyclic Graph.
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.
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).
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.
Double-spending is successfully spending the same money more than once.
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.”
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.
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.
GPU is an acronym for Graphics Processing Unit. It can be used to play games or mine cryptocurrencies.
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. Compare and review all cryptocurrency wallets in our Wallet List to find the best wallet for you.
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)
HODL stands for Hold On for Dear Life, and describes the process of not selling cryptocurrency in spite of market movements.
HODLACL stands for Hold On for Dear Life And Complain a Little, and describes the process of HODLing while also complaining about e.g. volatility. The term was phrased by us here at Cryptowisser.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
MEW stands for MyEtherWallet, one of the most popular free online open-source wallets.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Sell wall/Buy wall means the current limit buy and sell points, as presented in a depth chart. The graphical representation on the depth chart looks like walls.
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.
Sig (or Signature) is a cryptographic authentication key.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
TX stands for Transaction.
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.
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.