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.

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.

AI | Artificial Intelligence

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

Address

A unique, alphanumeric identifier used as destination for transferring cryptocurrencies. 

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.

API

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

ATL

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

Algorithm

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

Airdrop

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

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.

Angel Investor

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

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.

Arbitrage

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

BarterDEX

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

Bitcoin Network

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

BIP

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

Bull

A trader or speculator who believes cryptocurrency prices will rise.

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.

Bitcoin Protocol

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

BNB

BNB (Binance Coin) is an ERC20 token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. The token has multiple forms of utility, essentially being the underlying gas that powers the Binance Ecosystem. Most important, it can be used to pay for trading fees on the exchange, obtaining the equivalent of a 50% discount on trades during the first year, 25% during the second year and so on.

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.”  

Bitconnect

a high-yield ponzi scheme in the cryptocurrency market, guarantee profits to investors. Customer losses are estimated to have exceeded $1 billion and was shut down in January 2018.

Bull Market

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

BitcoinJS

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

Bitcoin Core

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

Block Explorer

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

Bearish

Pessimistic about the future of a cryptocurrency’s price.

Bear

A trader or speculator who believes cryptocurrency prices will fall.

BitcoinQT

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

Bitcoin Cash

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

Bear Market

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

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."

Bollinger Bands

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

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.

Bankroll

The amount of money one has available to him/her.

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.

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.

Bitcoiner

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

Blockchain Bloat

A condition that affects 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.

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.

Bitcoin.org

The unofficial website of Bitcoin Core.

Burn

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

Backtest

Backtesting is the method of running your trading strategy on historical data to find out how well it would have performed.

Bitmain

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

BitcoinTalk

A forum of myriad boards where enthusiasts and experts alike can go to discuss various cryptocurrency related topics.

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 time

The time it takes to mine a new block.

Batched transaction

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

Blockchain

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

Block Height

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

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.

BTC

Bitcoin’s ticker symbol.

Bullish

Optimistic about the future of a cryptocurrency’s price.

Consensus

A general agreement among participants using and mining a cryptocurrency.

Crypto

The shorthand form of 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.

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.

Collateral

An asset, of any kind, that a lender will accept to secure a loan. If the borrower doesn't pay back the loan -- the lender keeps or sells the asset.

Cryptocurrency

Digital currency that uses cryptography. Bitcoin & Altcoins are all types of cryptocurrency. 

Coin

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

Cryptography

Code making, breaking and studying.

Circulation

Free movement of coins between individuals.

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.

Central Ledger

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

Coinbase Transaction

A trade on a popular cryptocurrency exchange.

Cryptographic Hash Function

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

Cold Wallet

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

Cloud Computing

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

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. 

Cold Storage

In the cryptocurrency sphere this term refers to storing cryptocurrency in a location that is offline and thus inaccessible by anyone on the internet.

Dogecoin

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

Digital Asset

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

Digital Signature

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

Digital Identity

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

Distributed Autonomous Company

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

Digital Asset Array

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

Decentralized

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

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.

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.

Darksend

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

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.

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.

dApps

Distributed Apps. Applications without centralized control.

DDoS

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

DAG

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

Deepweb

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

Dice

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

Deflation

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

Desktop Client

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

DEX

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

DAO

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

Distributed Network

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

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. 

Demurrage

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

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). 

Dump

The act of selling cryptocurrency.

Delegated Proof of Stake

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

Desktop Wallet

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

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.

DPoS

Delegated Proof of Stake. 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.

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."

Double Spend

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

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.

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.

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.

EVM

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

ETF

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

Ephemeral Layer

An extremely secure messaging functionality offered by QRL.

ERC20 Token

A token issued on the Ethereum platform.

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ERC20

The predominant standard for creating smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Others may include ERC 721, ERC888, and more

Ether (ETH)

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

Exchange

Online platforms on which individuals can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Encryption

Transforming data into unrecognizable code that can only be decoded with the exact decryption key.

Fork

A change in the original code of a software.

Frictionless

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

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.

Forging Reward

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

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.

Fundamental Analysis

The analysis of the economic and political factors that affect the intrinsic value of an asset

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.

GPU

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

Github

An open-source database for developers to create and share computer coding with a large community.

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.

Haskell

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

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.

Hybrid PoS/PoW

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

Halving

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

Hot Wallet

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

Hodler

Someone who does not sell, but holds on to his coins. "HODL"  was originally a typo but it gained the status of a funny backronym: “Hold on for dear life”.

Hashgraph

Hashgraph is a consensus alternative to blockchain. It uses a gossip protocol to spread transactions across the network by sending data to randomly chosen neighbors.

Hedging

The act of protecting an asset from risk. A hedge can protect against losses or even offset against gains.

Hashing Power

The power of a mining rig. Similar in concept to the Horse Power of a vehicle.

Input

Created each time coins are sent to an address.

Incoming Connection

A request for communication from one node to another node.

Illiquidity

When an asset (i.e. coin) cannot be easily bought or sold due to a lack of buyers or sellers in a market. If there are only a handful of buyers or sellers the price may be substantially higher (due to few sellers charging a premium) or substantially lower (due to a few buyers demanding discounts).

IPO

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

ICO

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

IoT

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

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.

Inflation

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

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.

JavaScript

A popular programming language.

Jihan Wu

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

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.

Kimoto Gravity Well

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

KYC

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

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.

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.

Long

Purchasing a coin with the expectation to sell it at a higher price sometime in the future for a profit. Basically profiting from the rising price of an asset.

Lightning Network

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

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.

Market Cap

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

Mining Rig

A mining rig is a computer used for mining cryptocurrencies. The rig might be a dedicated computer or it could be a computer that fills other needs too.

Margin Call

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

MyEtherWallet

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

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.

Multi-Layer

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

mBTC

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

Multi-Signature

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

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.

Machine Learning

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

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.

Margin Trading

The practice of borrowing money to buy and sell assets.

Mixing Service

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

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.

Mining

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

Market Order

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

Mobile Wallet

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

Mining Pool

A group of people online who agree to combine their mining rigs into one for more collective mining power. They split rewards evenly based on each person's mining power.

Merged Mining

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

Money Laundering

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

Mt. Gox

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

Micro-transaction

A very small payment made possible with digital currencies.

Multisig

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

Mining Algorithm

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

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.

node.js

A popular framework for JavaScript code to be written in. 

NeoContracts

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

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.

Node

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

Namecoin

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

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.

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.

Ouroboros

Cardano's Proof-of-stake algorithm. It is used to randomly pick the next node to produce a block in. Ouroboros divides physical time into epochs, and then slots. Slot leaders have the sole right to produce one block and are chosen from the group of stakeholders.

Oracle

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

Opsec

Operations Security. Refers to how well assets are protected.

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.

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.

Ponzi scheme

a fraudulent type of operation where a company attracts investors to send money, with expected profits in return. The company pays back investor profits using later investors’ money. Once the company can no longer attract new investors, then payments cannot be made to clients, the company collapses and investors lose money.

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.

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.

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 keys are used to spend cryptocurrencies.

Pseudonymous

Pseudonymity is an almost anonymous state in which users have a unique identifier that is different from their real name.

Privacy

Freedom from surveillance.

Permissioned System

A permissioned system is a private and closed system. Not anyone can join the network freely.

Privacy Coin

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

Permissionless

Permissionless refers to public blockchains (like Bitcoin) - anyone can generate an address and transact BTC.

Parent Chain

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

Proof of Work

The consensus algorithm introduced by Bitcoin. PoW requires miners to compete against each other to add new block and earn rewards.

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.  

Paper Wallet

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

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.

 

P2P

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

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.

Peer to Peer

Decentralized networks in which individuals interact with each other directly.

Proof of Importance

Proof-of-Importance is a consensus algorithm similar to PoS. Nodes "vest" currency to participate in the creation of blocks. Unlike PoS, Proof-of-Importance quantifies a person’s support of the network. NEM is using Proof-of-Importance.

Proof of Burn

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

Peer

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

Passphrase

Similar to a password but often longer. Where a password is generally a single word -- a passphrase can be a combination of words.

PoI

PoI stands for Proof-of-Importance. It is a new consensus algorithm that requires users to stake currency to participate in the consensus. Compared to PoS, it adds importance to staking. Thus, it takes into account one’s involvement in the network. PoI was introduced by NEM.

Proof of Existence

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

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).

Plasma

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

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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Peercoin

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

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.

Quantum Resistant Tokens

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

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.

Remittance

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

RFID Chips

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

Ripple

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

Reserve Manager

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

Roadmap

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

Reddit

A site that aggregates a nearly endless range of topics. Subreddits exist within Reddit to focus on specific topics.

Roger Ver

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

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.

SwiftTX

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

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.

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.

Scalability

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

SmartCoins

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

Satoshi Nakamoto

The anonymous person or group that created Bitcoin.

Short

Selling, before buying, and intending to repurchase the stock at a lower price to realize the profit from a coin/asset decreasing in value. Basically profiting from the falling price of an asset.

Scam

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

Self-Executing Contract

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

Stablecoin

Any cryptocurrency pegged to a stable asset for the purpose of reducing price volatility.

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.

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.

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."

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.

SEC

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

Sidechain

A platform that functions alongside 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.

Signaling

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

Scrypt

A memory-intensive hash function designed discourage hacking attempts by requiring large amounts of RAM. It is used by Litecoin, as an alternative to SHA-256.

Signature

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

Small Blocker

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

 

Sharding

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

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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Security

A financial instrument (stock, bond, etc) that has monetary value and can be bought, sold, and traded.

Supercomputer

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

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.

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.

Solidity

A programming language used to create smart contracts.

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).

Shill

Typically a person posing as a legitimate user of a product but who is, in fact, being paid or otherwise compensated to promote said product.

Staking Rewards

An alternative to mining rewards. Staking rewards are earned by putting a certain amount of your cryptocurrency up as a 'stake' to confirm transactions. Rewards are given for doing this.

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.

SmartBridge

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

Shitcoin

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

Supply Chains

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

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.

Taint

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

Trustless

The ability of a system to be trusted without the need of trusting the individuals with which you are transacting.

TOR

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

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.

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). 

Turing Completeness

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

Tx

Transaction.

TPS

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

Tokenize

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

Trading bot

Software preprogrammed to buy, sell, short, long or execute other trading strategies and commands when the owner is absent. Trading while asleep or away from the keyboard.

Trade Volume

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

Token

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

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.

Transaction Fee

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

Trader

An individual who buys and sells cryptocurrency.

Total Coin Supply

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

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.

Timestamp

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

Tether

In the cryptocurrency sphere a Tether is a type of coin. This coin is ‘tethered’ or paired 1-to-1 with the U.S. Dollar.

TCP/IP

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

Trezor

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

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.

UIA

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

Unbanked

An adult person without an account at a bank or other financial institution. 

USDT

The acronym for stable coins issued by Tether Limited: U.S. Dollar Tether.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vitalik Buterin

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

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.

Wire Transfer

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

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.

XBT

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

XMR

The native currency of Monero.

Z-Score Formula

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

$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.

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.

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.

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