Block Explorer

Websites (available for most cryptocurrencies) that allow users to search an address or transaction ID to view its details.

$5 Wrench Attack

Even millions of dollars worth of security won't protect an individual if someone threatens to hit them with a $5 wrench unless they give up their passwords. The best defense is keeping quiet about your cryptocurrency holdings.

2FA

Two Factor Authentication. A protective measure that uses one-time passwords to prevent keyloggers from gaining unauthorized access to accounts.

51% Attack

A hypothetical attack in which a malicious individual gains control of more than half of a cryptocurrency’s hashing power and is then able to re-write old blocks, allowing double-spend.

Altcoin

Alternative Coin. Bitcoin is known as the first and foremost cryptocurrency, so any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin is an altcoin.

Andreas Antonopoulos

A famous advocate of Bitcoin who has given speeches and presentations about Bitcoin all over the world.

Accredited Investor

An investor who has a net worth of over $1 million and/or an annual salary over $200,000-300,000.

Address

A unique, private alphanumeric identifier used to access and transfer cryptocrruency. 

AML

Anti-Money Laundering. AML laws and restrictions require exchanges to obtain personal information about their customers and their activities.

ATH

All-Time High. The highest price a cryptocurrency has ever reached.

ATL

All-Time Low. The lowest price a cryptocurrency has ever reached.

ASIC Miners

Highly specialized computing machines that are far more efficient for mining than CPUs and GPUs. Jihan Wu (a Chinese businessman) is responsible for creating and selling many ASIC Miners.

Batched transaction

A transaction that combines multiple transactions into one for increased efficiency and decreased fees.

BTC

Bitcoin’s ticker symbol.

BIP

Bitcoin Improvement Protocol. New feature proposed for Bitcoin are BIPs.

Bear Trap

A short drop in a cryptocurrency’s price that makes investors think the price will continue falling. Instead, the price rises significantly following the drop, fooling the “bears.”  

Bitcoin Core

The original Bitcoin wallet, considered to be among the safest wallets available.

Bitcoin Cash

The first successful hard fork of Bitcoin that allows the protocol to grow and scale by removing its block size limit.

Bit

1 Bit is equal to 1/1,000,000 of a Bitcoin. Not to be confused with the computer science definition in which 1 bit equals 0.125 bytes.

Bitcoin

The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency, launched in 2009. Bitcoin remains the most influential and widely recognized coin. All other cryptocurrencies are known as "altcoins," simply because they are not Bitcoin.

Bitcoiner

Someone who uses Bitcoin regularly or is heavily involved in its technology.

Bitcoin.org

The unofficial website of Bitcoin Core.

Bitmain

The largest distributor of ASIC miners, run by Jihan Wu.

Bull Trap

A short rise in a cryptocurrency’s price that makes investors think the price will continue to rise. Instead, the price falls significantly following the rise, fooling the “bulls.”  

Big Blocker

An individual who believes that increasing Bitcoin’s block size would improve its scalability. Roger Ver is the most notable Big Blocker.

Block

A segment of data recorded on the blockchain that can contain transactions and other information.

Blockstream

A company led by cypherpunk Adam Back that promotes second layer scaling solutions for Bitcoin.

Block Reward

The payment given to a miner for securing a blockchain that uses POW (Proof-of-Work) consensus

Block Height

The total number of blocks on a blockchain since the genesis block (first block) was mined.

Bullish

Optimistic about the future of a cryptocurrency’s price.

Bull

A trader or speculator who believes cryptocurrency prices will rise.

Bull Market

A market in which most (or all) prices are rising.

Bearish

Pessimistic about the future of a cryptocurrency’s price.

Bear

A trader or speculator who believes cryptocurrency prices will fall.

Bear Market

A market in which most (or all) prices are falling.

Casascius Coins

No longer in production, these were physical coins created by Mike Caldwell that have private Bitcoin keys.

Centralized

Controlled by one group or within one certain area.

Change Address

Addresses created to hold the remaining balance when users spend less than a full input. Mostly used in hierarchical deterministic wallets that can create an unlimited number of addresses.

Circulating Supply

The volume of coins being held and spent at a given time for a given cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency

Digital money that uses cryptography.

Cryptography

Code making, breaking and studying.

Coin Control

An aspect of the Bitcoin Core wallet that allows users to specify which coins they wish to spend and which Change Addresses any remaining balance will be sent to.

Coinbase (Exchange)

The first exchange that allowed individuals to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Transaction

A trade on a popular cryptocurrency exchange.

Cold Wallet

An offline wallet for holding cryptocurrencies. Considered more secure than hot wallets.

Confirmations

Verifications of consensus by miners and/or nodes. After an individual sends payment on a blockchain, confirmations are required before the recipient can accept payment. 

Consensus

A general agreement among participants using and mining a cryptocurrency.

Crypto

Cryptocurrency.

Cypherpunks

Advocates of using strong encryption to evade government spying. Cypherpunks were heavily involved in the early development of Bitcoin.

Cypherpunk’s Manifesto

A paper written by Eric Huges that outlines Cypherpunks’ philosophy and vision. This Manifesto was a big influence on many early cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Days Destroyed

A metric for measuring bitcoin inactivity. Each day a Bitcoin remains unspent is another day added to its total number of Days Destroyed.

Darknet

A network that requires special software (like TOR) to access. Websites on the Darknet are much more difficult to shut down than normal websites. The Darknet was one of the first communities to use cryptocurrencies for transactions.

dApps

Distributed Apps. Applications without centralized control.

DAG

Directed Acyclic Graphs. Also referred to as “Tangle.” DAG is an alternative to the “chain of blocks” architecture used in many crypto projects.

Dice

An over/under guessing game that uses random number generators to output results, allowing individuals to bet using cryptocurrencies.

Distributed Network

Uses nodes spread out across many different locations to achieve decentralization.

Dump

The act of selling cryptocurrency.

DPoS

Delegated Proof of Stake. A consensus mechanism that has a blockchain's nodes vote on the correct version of the blockchain. 

Double Spend

A famous problem that occurs when cryptocurrency is spent more than once. Miners and transaction finality ensure that double-spend cannot occur.

Dogecoin

A cryptocurrency that uses the “Doge” meme with a cult-like following.

Ethereum

A cryptocurrency created by Vitalik Buterin that runs on Ether (ETH). Ethereum was the first blockchain-based technology to make smart contracts and decentralized applications possible.

ERC20 Token

A token issued on the Ethereum platform.

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Ether (ETH)

The native tokens of the Ethereum platform. Required in order to send transactions or execute smart contracts.

Faucet

A website that sends users small amounts of cryptocurrency intermittently and make money by advertising other services.

Free Society

A hypothetical society in which no one is forced to do anything against their wishes and all actions are voluntary.

Fiat

Paper money issued by governments as default currency. The US Dollar, Japenese Yen, Chinese Yuan, and Euro are all fiat currencies.

FOMO

Fear of Missing Out. Investors with FOMO buy cryptocurrency (emotionally rather than logically) for fear of missing out on profits.

Fast Money

A CNBC show on which cryptocurrencies are frequently discussed.  

FUD

Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. The emotional (rather than logical) belief that cryptocurrency prices will fall.

Fungibility

The idea that all units in a money supply are exactly equal. Fungibility is considered to be an essential aspect of effective currencies by many economists.

Founders’ Reward

A percentage of block reward that is paid to the founders of a cryptocurrency rather than to its miners. Zcash is a cryptocurrency with a Founders’ Reward.

Fork (Hard)

A change in a cryptocurrency’s software that makes it incompatible with the original version. For example, any block size increase in the Bitcoin protocol constitutes a hard fork.

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Fork (Soft)

A change in a cryptocurrency’s software that does not make it incompatible with the original version.

Gas

A fee which must be paid to execute network transactions.

Genesis Block

The first block mined on a blockchain.

Hardware Wallet

A physical device that stores private keys.

Hash

Output emitted from an algorithm for maintaining consensus on a blockchain.

Hard Cap

The maximum amount of money a cryptocurrency’s founders will accept while raising money in exchange for early coins on their platform.

Hash Rate

The number of hashes a miner performs over a given period of time.

HODL

First made popular in a post by a drunken Bitcoiner who advocated buying but not selling Bitcoin, it is now a meme to intentionally misspell “hold.” Hodlers see huge potential in the future of a cryptocurrency and don’t plan on selling anytime soon.

Hot Wallet

An online wallet for storying cryptocurrencies. Considered less secure than cold wallets.

Input

Created each time coins are sent to an address.

Incoming Connection

A request for communication from one node to another node.

ICO

Initial Coin Offering. An event in which a cryptocurrency project “goes public,” selling early coins in exchange for funds.

Immutable Ledger

The term used to refer to blockchains to describe the way in which blocks cannot be changed after they are recorded.  

IRS

Internal Revenue Service. A US tax collection agency that demands information from cryptocurrency exchanges for various reasons.

Jihan Wu

CEO of Bitmain, the largest distributor of cryptocurrency mining machines.

KYC

Know Your Customer. Information gathered by cryptocurrency exchanges in compliance with AML (Anti Money Laundering) laws.

Long

A bet that a cryptocurrency’s price will rise.

Lightning Network

A network layer that functions on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and allows for a huge number of low-fee microtransactions.

Keylogger

Software that records every button press of an individual’s keyboard. Often used to hack into accounts by recording passwords.

Lambo

A cryptocurrency meme, short for Lamborghinis. When investors' coins' prices go to the Moon, they can buy Lambos.

Tangle

A consensus method that allows users to transact anonymously and requires relatively little electricity. An alternative to PoW (Proof of Work) and PoS (Proof of Stake). 

Market Cap

The total value of a cryptocurrency. Calculated by multiplying a coin’s price by its total supply.

Margin Call

A trade in which an investor sells their position to repay the lender of a loan.

Mainnet

The version of a protocol that uses real money. A cryptocurrency is generally considered to be “live” after the first Mainnet block (the genesis block) is mined.

mBTC

A sub-unit of Bitcoin: 1000 mBTC equal 1 BTC.

McAfee

John McAfee (the creator of McAfee antivirus) is a cybersecurity mogul who is known for promoting cryptocurrency and speculating about altcoins.

Mnemonic

A series of words that can be used to recover an account or wallet.

Miner Fee

A fee paid to voluntary participants for using their computing power to verify transactions. When a miner mines a block they get a block reward as well as all the transaction fees in it.

Monero

A cryptocurrency that is very popular on the Darknet because it is considered to be more anonymous than Bitcoin and similar coins.

Moon

A cryptocurrency meme that refers to the skyrocketing of a coin's price. When Hodlers’ coins go to the Moon, they can all buy Lambos.

Miner

An individual that volunteers computing power to verify transactions on a blockchain in exchange for block rewards.

Mining

The process by which new coins are created as transactions on a network are verified.

Mining Pool

Groups of miners that work together, combining their computing power to mine blocks and proportionally split profits.

Mt. Gox

A cryptocurrency exchange led by Mark Karpeles that allegedly lost millions of dollars in user funds.

Node

A computer that runs a cryptocurrency’s software and validates transactions.

Orphan

A block that is no longer a part of the original blockchain because it was not verified by the majority of miners.

Output

A grouping of addresses that receive coins in a cryptocurrency transaction.

Outgoing Connection

The initiator of communication on a cryptocurrency network.

Opsec

Operations Security. Refers to how well assets are protected.

Paper Wallet

A physical piece of paper containing a private key, a public key, and often corresponding QR codes.

P2P

Peer-to-Peer. Refers to networks in which individuals connect to each other rather than a central authority.

Peer to Peer

Decentralized networks in which individuals interact with each other directly.

Peer

If you are running a full node, a “peer” is some else also running a full node.

Phishing Attack

A social attack in which a malicious individual masquerades as a trustworthy person in an attempt to fool the victim into giving up personal information (like passwords).

Provably Fair

Outputs of an algorithm that can be examined and verified. This term is commonly used in cryptocurrency gambling.

Proof of Stake

PoS. A method of minting new coins and securing a platform by allowing users to stake their coins and receive more coins as a reward. Introduced as an energy efficient alternative to PoW (Proof of Work).

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Premine

A portion of the total supply of a cryptocurrency reserved for its founders. These funds are often marked as funds to pay developers or fund future ventures, but cryptocurencies with premines are generally viewed as less legitimate and fair those without premines.

Pre-Sale

A public or private offering of tokens to interested investors, generally offering a cheaper price than the coin’s ICO price. Pre-sales are commonly seen as marketing gimmicks.

PoS

Proof of Stake. A consensus mechanism in which individuals use their holdings of a cryptocurrency to secure the platform in exchange for rewards.

Private Key

Private addresses used to spend cryptocurrencies.

Privacy

Freedom from surveillance.

Privacy Coin

Any cryptocurrency that focuses on maintaining private transactions between users. Examples are Dash, ZCash, and Monero.

Proof of Work

PoW. A consensus mechanism for verifying transactions with computing power that creates new coins in the process.

PoW

Proof of Work. A consensus mechanism for verifying transactions with computing power that creates new coins in the process.

Public Key

An address that individuals share with others to receive cryptocurrency.  

Pump

A rapid rise in a cryptocurrency’s price.

Pump and Dump

Occurs when a cryptocurrency’s price shoots up and then quickly crashes. Pump and dumps are often coordinated manipulations of the market by groups of individuals for profit.

 

Roger Ver

Often referred to as Bitcoin Jesus, he was the first major Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investor.

Trader

An individual who buys and sells cryptocurrency.

Testnet

An identical version of a protocol that uses fake money to discover bugs without the consequences such bugs would have on a Mainnet protocol.

Non-accredited Investor

An individual that trades cryptocurrencies but does not have a high net worth or high salary, and is not elgiible for certain investment opportunities.

Unstoppable Code

Software that changes an environment irreversibly after its release. For example, once Bitcoin’s code was launched and distributed amongst many machines, it virtually could not be stopped.

Utility Token

A unit of currency consumed in a process. For example, an arcade token that gets used when a game is played or a coin like BNB Binance token, which is used to pay exchange fees.

UTXO

Unspent transaction output. For example, if an individual receives 1 BTC and holds it, they possess a UTXO.

Seed

A type of password that an individual can use to recover their wallet.

Satoshi

The pseudonym of the original creator(s) of Bitcoin. Also the smallest sub-unit Bitcoin can be divided into: 1 Satoshi = 1/100,000,000 of a Bitcoin.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The annonymous person or group that created Bitcoin.

Scam

A fraudulent endeavor. In the cryptocurrency world, this often refers to the practice of fooling investors in some way.

Scamcoin

An altcoin that is marketed as technology with potential, but is really just sold to make money with no promise of a future use case.

SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commision. A regulatory US agency responsible for the investigation and shut down of several cryptocurrency-related projects.

Signaling

An indication of support for a feature, often sent out by miners to inform the general public of their opinion.

Small Blocker

An individual who believes that the blocks in Bitcoin should be kept small so that anyone can run a full node.  

 

Soft Cap

The minimum amount of funds that a cryptocurrency's founders wish to raise in an ICO. If an ICO does not meet its soft cap, it will often be canceled until a later date.

SPV mode

Simplified Payment Verification. Allows wallets to function by letting them connect to local nodes that have full copies of the blockchain rather than requiring download of the full blockchain (like Bitcoin Core).

Speculator

An individual who predicts future prices of assets and makes bets based on their predictions.

Shapeshift

A popular exchange service created by Eric Voorhees that allows individuals to trade most altcoins anonymously for a small fee.

Shitcoin

A derogatory term used to describe altcoins that are based on faulty technology or have little promise for the future.

Trezor

The first hardware wallet, created by a Bitcoiner called “Slush.”

TOR

The Onion Router. A web browser that allows users anonymous access to darknet sites.

Turing Completeness

A computing system that can perform a whole set of computational functions is considered “Turing Complete.”

Tx

Transaction.

Vanity Address

Addresses that hold cryptocurrency. Instead of random alphanumeric strings, however, users with vanity addresses can choose specific words and phrases for their addresses, similar to vanity license plates,

Virgin Coins

Coins which haven’t ever been spent. Virgin coins were mined and left alone.

Wallet

Software or devices that contain public and private keys for storing cryptocurrencies

Wallet.dat

The filename which stores public and private keys for a full node.

Whale

A very wealthy individual capable of making large trades.

White Paper

A technical document that outlines a project’s features, technology, and vision.

Whitelist (ICOs)

A list of registered and approved participants in an ICO. Whitelists are used to exclude non-accredited investors in order to better comply with regulations.

XBT

Ticker for Bitcoin used on Kraken and some other exchanges. Same as BTC.

Zk-SNARKs

Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge. Zk-SNARKs is a technology which allows cryptocurrencies to shield transaction information from uninvolved parties.

Algorithm

A process for solving a mathematical problem. In blockchains consensus algorithms are used to verify transactions.

Central Ledger

An irreversible list of all transactions that have ever occurred on a platform.

Cryptographic Hash Function

A method of encoding inputs to create unique outputs, especially for creating digital fingerprints.

DAO

Decentralized Autonomous Organization. An organization governed by smart contracts founded to allocate funds to cryptocurrency projects.

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance

A consensus mechanism that uses professional nodes to broadcast a version of the blockchain. If two thirds or more of the nodes agree, that block is written onto the chain. 

Delegated Proof of Stake

DPoS. A consensus mechanism that has a blockchain's nodes vote on the correct version of the blockchain. 

Distributed Ledger

A list of transactions that exists on every computer that elects to run blockchain software.

Difficulty

A measure of how much hashing power (computing power) is required to find the next block on a blockchain. Difficulty increases over time on blockchains.

Digital Signature

A unique, encrypted output that cannot be duplicated. Useful for creating digital identities and confirming authenticity.

EVM

Ethereum Virtual Machine. A testing environment on the Ethereum network for executing smart contracts and promoting security.

Fork

A change in the original code of a software.

Haskell

A programming language used to develop several cryptocurrencies (including Cardano and Nanocoin).

Hybrid PoS/PoW

A consensus mechanism that employs both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work algorithms.

Multi-Layer

When a blockchain features several levels for scalability and encryption purposes, it can be said to be "Multi-Layered."

Multi-Signature

A feature that requires several keys to authorize a single transaction, especially for dividing responsibility among separate parties.

Oracle

A third-party entity capable of transmitting reliable information to a blockchain so that smart-contracts can be executed.

Scrypt

An algorithm used by some Proof of Work consensus mechanism.

SHA-256

Secure Hash Algorithm 256. An algorithm used by some Proof of Work consensus mechanisms (most notably, Bitcoin's).

Smart Contracts

Agreements between two parties that self-execute when their terms are met and automatically cancel when their terms are not met.

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Solidity

A programming language used to create smart contracts.

Transaction Fee

An amount of value that must be paid to transfer value on a blockchain.

Airdrop

An event in which individuals that hold existing cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) are given tokens of a new cryptocurrency.

Angel Investor

Wealthy individuals who contribute significant funds (usually over $1,000,000) to emerging projects.

Arbitrage

The practice of buying and selling the same coins on different exchanges at the same time to take advantage of price differences.

Bitcoin Network

The first blockchain-based peer-to-peer protocol that allows its users to store and transfer wealth.

Bitcoin Protocol

The first blockchain-based network that allows its users to store and transfer wealth.

BitcoinJS

A new version of the Bitcoin Protocol devloped using the Javascript programming language.

BitcoinQT

A Bitcoin wallet that gives its users an aesthetically pleasing interface while still employing the core Bitcoin protocol.

Bollinger Bands

A tool used to identify moments when an asset's price is relatively high or relatively low to inform trading decisions.

Darksend

An aspect of the Darkcoin crpytocurrency that allows users to make anonymous transactions.

DDoS Attack

Distributed Denial of Service Attack. A means by which a malicious individual shuts down another individual's internet connection by overloading it with requests.

DDoS

Distributed Denial of Service. A means by which a malicious individual shuts down another individual's internet connection by overloading it with requests.

Deepweb

Parts of the Internet that are not accessible through ordinary means, like search engines.

Deflation

The limiting or decreasing of a cryptocurrency's supply, which usually drives its price up.

Inflation

The process of increasing a cryptocurrency's supply, which usually drives its price down.

Exchange

Online platforms on which individuals can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Demurrage

A tax on cryptocurrency holdings that encourages spending coins because they are constantly being destroyed.

Desktop Wallet

Software that allows its users the ability to store cryptocurrency on their personal computer.

Deterministic Wallet

Software for storing cryptocurrency that offers decreased risk of losing funds because of its ability to generate unlimited addresses from a single starting point, or "seed."

Dust Transactions

Transfers of value that are too small to be sent due to the proportionately high fee incurred. 

Escrow

A third party used to facilitate transactions and increase security.

ETF

Exchange Traded Fund. A group of assets that can be bought or sold as a single asset.

Frictionless

A term used to describe the way that cryptocurrencies remove many of the inefficiencies and hassles inherent in alternative methods of transferring payment.

GPU

Graphics Processing Unit. Hardware that can be used for mining some cryptocurrencies.

Halving

The process of intermittently decreasing the block reward given to cryptocurrency miners by 50%.

Kimoto Gravity Well

An algorithm used to adjust mining difficulty so that all miners are given a fair chance at earning block rewards.

Laundry

Cryptocurrency that has had its origins intentionally obscured to hide evidence of illegal activities.

Leverage

Borrowed money used to trade assets.

Litecoin

A cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin known primarily for its decreased block time, which (theoretically) allows for faster transactions.

Liquidity

The measure of how quickly an asset can be exchanged for usable currency.

Liquidity Swap

A type of exchange used to make it easier for individuals to exchange assets for usable currency.

Margin Trading

The practice of borrowing money to buy and sell assets.

Market Order

A pre-planned trade set to execute if a cryptocurrency reaches a certain price.

Merged Mining

The process of allowing two different cryptocurrencies using the same consensus algorithm to be mined simultaneously. 

Micro-transaction

A very small payment made possible with digital currencies.

Mining Algorithm

A mathematical problem that is solved by participants of a blockchain to verify transactions in exchange for block rewards.

Mining Contract

An agreement that allows individuals to sell their computing power for the purposes of verifying transactions on a blockchain.

Minting

The process by which users on a PoS blockchain verify transactions and receive new coins for their participation.

Mixing Service

A third party that enables anonymous transactions by grouping payments together, obscuring their sources.

Mobile Wallet

Software that allows individuals to store their cryptocurrencies on handheld devices.

Money Laundering

A method of intentionally obscuring the source of illegally-obtained funds.

Multisig

A feature that requires several keys to authorize a single transaction, especially for dividing responsibility among separate parties.

Namecoin

A cryptocurrency that allows data (and transactions) to be written onto its blockchain.

Network Effect

The quality by which cryptocurrencies become more useful as more people use them.

NFC

Near-Field Communication. Enables devices located close to each other to transmit data without the need for internet connection.

Nonce

An arbitrary number that is used only once in cryptography to make replay attacks impossible.

Off Blockchain Transactions

Transfer of value that takes place outside of a blockchain for reduced fees and quicker transaction time.

OTC Exchange

Over The Counter Exchange, also known as Off-Exchange Trading. Trades that occur between two parties rather than using a centralized exchange.

Open Source

A term used to describe software that is made available online so that any individual can view its code and submit improvements.

Zero Confirmation Transaction

Payment that has been broadcast but is still pending inclusion on a blockchain.

Zerocoin

A cryptocurrency that uses the Bitcoin protocol but offers increased anonymity in transactions.

Venture Capitalist

An individual that invests in an emerging project with the hopes of earning a large return on their investment when the project succeeds.

Wire Transfer

An electronic transaction in which value is sent from one party to another.

Volatility

A measure that describes how rapidly an asset tends to fluctuate in price.

Velocity of Money

A measure used to describe the rate at which currency is exchanged from transaction to transaction.

Total Coin Supply

A measure that describes how many coins of a given cryptocurrency can exist (after all mining is completed, if applicable).

Timestamp

A sequence of numbers used to identify the moment in time that a transaction occurred.

TCP/IP

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A set of protocols that allow multiple computers to communicate.

Peercoin

A cryptocurrency that uses both PoW and PoS in its consensus mechanism to offer increased security.

Taint

A measure that describes the strength of association between an address and earlier transaction addresses.

SegWit

Segregated Witnesses. A protocol implemented by Bitcoin to increase transaction speed. SegWit allows more transactions to be written into a single block on a blockchain.

Remittance

Transfer of currency across a large distance, usually across borders.

QR Code

A code containing information that can be read by a device with a camera.

Quantitative Easing

A method of increasing monetary supply (and lowering interest rates) by introducing new money to the market from a central authority.

Ripple

A platform that connects banks, payment providers, and digital asset exchanges to provide frictionless transactions.

Self-Executing Contract

Smart Contract. An agreement between two parties that carries itself out once its terms are met.

Stale Block

A block that has been worked on by a miner but is not included in the blockchain because another miner successfully completes another block first.

Sidechain

A platform that function alongside of an existing blockchain protocol, allowing transactions to occur off of the main blockchain. Sidechains can be customized to allow features like faster transaction time and increased anonymity.

Signature

A mathematical mechanism for combining a public address with a private address to ensure authenticity and prevent forging.

Silk Road

An online black market on the Darknet best known as a place individuals could buy and sell illegal goods and services. One of the first communities to use Bitcoin as currency.

Price Bubble

A situation that occurs when an asset's market value is far higher than it's actual worth, making a sharp drop in price imminent.

Proof of Burn

A consensus mechanism for verifying a blockchain in which miners send coins to an unspendable address

Proof of Existence

A process of storing information that cannot be changed or deleted.

Blockchain

A digital, distributed ledger which contains data for all the transactions that have ever taken place using a given cryptocurrency.

Vitalik Buterin

A highly respected programmer responsible for writing Ethereum's white paper and co-creating Ethereum's technology.

Digital Asset

Any non-physical object of value, like a document, an audio file, or a logo, that can be owned and controlled.

Digital Identity

A set of data used to represent an entity on a network or on the Internet.

Decentralized

Disitributed amongst its users rather than controlled by one group or within one certain area.

Scalability

A measure of how easily a cryptocurrency will be able to handle more users and increased transactions.

Trade Volume

A measure of how frequently and how heavily a cryptocurrency is bought and/or sold during a given time period. 

Block Size

The amount of data that can be stored in one block of a given blockchain. For example, the Block Size limit of Bitcoin is 1MB. Larger block size allows for more transactions per block. Thus, it’s not that transactions are “faster” or “slower”. It’s that transactions may be seemingly faster because the network is handling more transactions at a time.

Blockchain 2.0

A term used to describe cryptocurrency projects that facilitate programmable transactions rather than simply acting as methods to store and transfer value. Projects like Ethereum are known as Blockchain 2.0 contracts because they allow their users to create and execute smart contracts and develop decentralized apps.

IPO

Initial Public Offering. An event in which a company “goes public,” selling early shares of their business in exchange for funds.

Roadmap

A plan that sets goals and deadlines for a project's future development.

Coin

A cryptocurrency that relies solely on its own technology to function.

Token

A cryptocurrency created using another platform (like Ethereum). Tokens operate by using the technology of the platform on which they were created.

Proof of Importance

A consensus mechanism used by NEM. PoI operates similarly to PoS. In PoI, nodes "vest" currency to participate in the creation of blocks.

Masternode

A node (device running the full software of a cryptocurrency) that fulfills more purposes than regular nodes - such as increasing privacy, providing instant transactions, and participating in governance.

PoI

Proof of Importance. A consensus mechanism used by NEM. PoI operates similarly to PoS. In PoI, nodes "vest" currency to participate in the creation of blocks.

Plasma

A scalability solution for Ethereum that allows more transactions per second by introducing additional blockchains to the main Ethereum blockchain. 

ASIC-Resistant

A term used to describe coins that do not require expensive equipment for mining. If a coin is ASIC-resistant, its mining is thought to be more fair and decentralized than coins that are not ASIC-resistant.

XBRL Data

eXtensive Business Reporting Language. A language for defining and exchanging financial data that makes extracting useful data from a large body of data easier.

Z-Score Formula

A formula that uses data to make predictions about how financially secure businesses are.

Trading Pair

A feature of cryptocurrency exchanges that makes it easy for individuals to buy one cryptocurrency with a different cryptocurrency. For example, a BTC/DASH trading pair allows an individual to buy DASH with BTC or vice versa.

Digital Asset Array

DAA. A collection or portfolio of assorted cryptocurrencies. For example, one Digital Asset Array could contain BTC, ETH, and DASH.

Smart Media Token

A digital asset on the Steem blockchain that can be launched by any user for the purpose of monetizing online content and encouraging positive user participation.

node.js

A popular framework for JavaScript code to be written in. 

JavaScript

A popular programming language.

Blockchain Bloat

A condition that affect cryptocurrencies when the data stored reaches very large sizes due to increasing numbers of users and transactions. When blockchain bloat gets severe, transaction speed suffers.

Burn

A mechanism that destroys an amount of coins or tokens, thereby decreasing the total coin supply of a cryptocurrency. 

Forging Reward

An amount of coins paid to users for participating in PoS consensus.

Desktop Client

An application created to run on a user's PC.

Circulation

Free movement of coins between individuals.

API

Application Programmer Interface. A type of toolkit provided for developers for creating applications.

NeoContracts

Digital agreements between users on NEO's platform that are carried out automatically when their terms are met.

Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF)

A group of businesses and organizations working together to build a globally-accepted identity verification system. The DIF uses blockchain technology to create a system that doesn't require a centralized authority for purposes of identification.

Block Lattice

A blockchain scaling solution in which every user account has its own blockchain. Block lattices reduce blockchain bloat by storing transaction data separately from a cryptocurrency's main blockchain.

Staker

An individual that volunteers to lock some of their coins or tokens up to verify transactions on a blockchain in exchange for staking rewards.

Atomic Swap

The exchange of one coin or token for another coin or token that takes place without the need for a third party. Atomic Swaps rely on smart contracts to ensure both parties hold up their end of the agreement.

Distributed Autonomous Company

An organization that operates to earn profits for its shareholders (coinholders) by creating value for the free market.

UIA

User-Issued Assets, Tokens that can be created on the BitShares network.

TPS

Transactions per second. A measure which describes how fast a cryptocurrency can handle its users' transactions.

SmartCoins

Price-stable cryptocurrencies that achieve stability through pegging their value to another asset, like the US dollar.

RFID Chips

Radio Frequency Identification chips. RFID chips are attached to physical objects to make them easier to identify and track.

Parent Chain

A cryptocurrency's main blockchain which connects its sidechains or subchains.

Subchain

A blockchain that runs separately from a cryptocurrency's main blockchain, using the native currency to carry out transactions. Subchains help scalability by reducing the amount of data stored on a cryptocurrency's main blockchain, often called the "parent chain."

AI

Artificial Intelligence. As machines advance in intelligence, they are capable of learning from their environments and completing more complex tasks.

Machine Learning

The ability of machines and computers to integrate data and learn from it without being programmed to do so.

Supercomputer

A computer that is far more powerful than an ordianry computer due to its superior performance.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address. A series of numbers and periods used to identify computers communicating through a network.

I2P

Invisible Internet Project. A network layer that facilitates anonymous, censorship-resistant communication between users.

dPoW

Delayed Proof of Work, the consensus mechanism used by Komodo. dPoW allows one blockchain to take advantage of the security and hashing power of a second blockchain (Bitcoin, in Komodo's case). 

Quantum Computing

An advanced form of computing that allows extremely complex problems to be solved very quickly. For cryptocurrency, quantum computing is important because once it is advanced enough, it may be capable of hacking private keys.

Supply Chains

All processes involved in delivering products and services from their providers to their customers.

PoST

Proof of Stake and Trust. A consensus mechanism used by Waltonchain that relies on token holders (nodes) to verify transactions while retaining information about nodes' past performance to give higher rewards to the most reliable nodes.

SwiftTX

A feature of PIVX that allows users to complete transactions instantly without needing to wait for confirmations.

Ephemeral Layer

An extremely secure messaging functionality offered by QRL.

Dynamic Reserve Pool

A feature which allows KyberNetwork to maintain high levels of liquidity. The DRP keeps reserves of cryptocurrencies and establishes rates of exchange between them, allowing any user to easily trade one crypto for another.

MyEtherWallet

A popular online wallet that supports Ether and most ERC20 tokens.

Reserve Manager

An individual that contributes their tokens to Kyber Network's Dynamic Reserve Pool to improve the platform's liquidity.

Staking

The act of locking up one's coins or tokens to help verify transactions for cryptocurrencies with Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms. Stakers earn staking rewards for providing this service.

Quantum Resistant Tokens

QRTs. Customizable tokens that can be created using Quantum Resistant Ledger. QRTs are resistant to attacks from quantum computing.

IoT

Internet of Things. The system that will digitally connect physical objects, making them identifiable and trackable online.

Sharding

The process by which a full database is split into smaller databases called shards. Sharding helps with the scalability of cryptocurrencies.

DEX

Decentralized exchange. A platform (which isn't controlled by any single authority) that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Two-Factor Authentication

Commonly known as 2FA. A measure of security used for protecting accounts. 2FA requires users to have not only a username and a password to login, but an extra piece of information, as well.

XMR

The native currency of Monero.

SmartBridge

A feature of the ARK cryptocurrency which allows separate blockchains to connect with each other and communicate.

Cloud Computing

The usage of remote servers (rather than personal computers) to store, manage, and process data.

Jumblr

A feature of Komodo that offers its users private payments. Jumblr works by exchanging the cryptocurrency being used for payment and mixing it among other cryptos prior to the making an anonymous transaction.

BarterDEX

Komodo's Decentralized Exchange which connects all of its independent blockchains and allows atomic swaps.

Brave

A free, open-source web browser that aims to provide its users the best possible user experience by blocking trackers, hiding advertisements, respecting user privacy, and even offering a built in tipping mechanism that allows users to reward content creators.

Proof of Provenance

PoP for short. A consensus mechanism used by DigixDAO to track the movements of physical assets, identify their ownership, and ensure their security.

Tokenize

The practice of creating digital assets that represent real-world physical assets.

Bag Holder

A regretful investor who bought a crypto (or cryptos) believing they would appreciate in value. Instead, the crypto decreased in value and the investor is left "holding bags."

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