Cryptocurrency Glossary: Key Terms You Need to Know


With the current trends, crypto and the related language spring everywhere, ranging from mainstream media to the most niche corners of the internet. The jargon can make the challenging subject of crypto even more complex, no matter how much one knows or does not know about crypto.

We have put together a glossary of standard terms you are likely to come across to make crypto easier.

A

Altcoin – Constitutes any other cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.

Addresses – A unique address identifies where crypto sits on a blockchain. The ownership data of a coin is stored here.

Airdrop – It is usually a marketing campaign that constitutes the expedited distribution of a cryptocurrency through a population of people.

All-time high – It is mainly the highest price that a cryptocurrency achieves. It is abbreviated chiefly as ATH. The opposite of this is the all-time low (ATL).

ASIC – Standing for an application-specific integrated circuit, an ASIC is a powerful and expensive computing device, primarily for mining crypto.

B

Bitcoin It is the original, most significant and best-known cryptocurrency.

Blockchain – Majorly constitutes the underlying technology used by nearly all cryptocurrencies. Additionally, it plays as a complete ledger of transactions held simultaneously by multiple nodes on a network.

Bear, Bearish – It is mainly when the price of cryptocurrencies has an adverse price movement.

Bull, Bullish – This happens when the price of cryptocurrencies has a favourable price movement.

Block – The blockchain is made up of blocks. Every block holds a historical database of all crypto transactions made until the block is full.

Burned – This happens when a coin in any specific cryptocurrency has been made unspendable.

C

Coin – It is an informal term for cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency- Constitute a digital asset that stores the value of goods and services.

Cold wallet – A physical storage device such as a flash drive, hard drive or solid-state drive that stores crypto offline.

Cryptography – It is a process of secretly keeping info secure by writing it into indecipherable codes. One can decrypt the information by using the necessary key.

Circulating Supply – The total number of crypto coins in the publicly tradable space.

D

dApp – Short for decentralized application. It is an app whose control is not through a central authority. The distribution of a dApp is done on a blockchain. As such, users can send and receive data directly without an intermediary.

DeFi Stands for decentralized finance, which enables users to send and receive assets directly without intermediaries.  

DAOAn acronym for decentralized autonomous organization, a DAO is a group of people working together toward a shared goal and abiding by the rules written into the project’s self-executing computer code.

Dump – It describes selling all, or a lot, of your cryptocurrencies.

DYOR – An acronym for “do your research.”

E

Exchange – an app or website that allows you to buy and sell crypto assets.

Ether – The native cryptocurrency token of the Ethereum platform.

Encryption – It involves the conversion of plain text into unintelligible text with the use of a cipher.

F

Fiat currency – Mainly includes all the traditional currencies of states. Include the US dollar, the Euro or the British pound.

ForkA fork happens when a new blockchain version is created, resulting in two versions. The two blockchains run side-by-side.

G

Gas – Gas is the measurement given to an operation in the Ethereum network, relating to the computational power required to complete it.

Gwei – It is the denomination that defines the cost of gas.

H

Hash – A hash results from a piece of data being put through a unique hashing algorithm. It compresses data into a nearly unique alphanumeric string of text.

Halving – The number of Bitcoin to be created is finite, locked at 21 million. To ensure the cap is kept, the amount bitcoin miners earn for filling one block is halved at completing that block.

Hot wallet – It is a form of online storage for crypto provided by an exchange of a third party. Since they are online, they are hot as they are a target for hackers.

I

ICO – Standing for initial coin offering, it is a cryptocurrency equivalent of an initial public offering (IPO).

J

Jager – It is the smallest denomination of Binance Coin (BNB).

K

KYC – Standing forknow your customer,” it refers to a financial institution’s obligation to verify a customer’s identity in line with AML laws.

L

Ledger – It is a record of financial transactions. Additionally, it cannot be changed. However, it can only be appended with new transactions.

M

Market Cap – Market capitalization is the total market value of a cryptocurrency. It is primarily the total number of supply coins multiplied by the price.

Mining – the process of verifying transactions through a proof or work consensus. It involves using computer hardware to solve a hash with trillions of possible combinations.

Meme Coin – It is an altcoin based on a meme, a kind of inside joke in the form of an image repeatedly altered and shared online.

N

Node – Mainly a computer or device connected to other computers or devices holding a copy of a blockchain.

Network – It constitutes all the nodes committed to helping the operation of a blockchain.

O

On-Chain – It is a transaction that occurs on a blockchain.

P

P2P – Standing for peer-to-peer, refers to a transaction between two people without an intermediary.

Private key – A string of numbers and letters used to access your wallet.

Public Key – The public-facing address of your crypto wallet. You must share your public key to receive funds into your account. 

S

Satoshi – It is the smallest unit in Bitcoin.

Smart ContractPrimarily a program that executes itself on a blockchain when specific conditions are met, without the need for human intervention or an intermediary.

Seed – A random combination of words that your wallet generates, acting as security to secure it.

T

Tether – A stablecoin is pegged 1-to-1 with the US dollar.

Token – It is an individual cryptocurrency. It is the manner of referring to crypto running on a particular blockchain.

V

Volume – the total amount of currency traded in the open market at any given time.

Volatility – A market condition where prices fluctuate unpredictably.

W

Whitepaper – A technical document released with a new crypto project explaining how the system of the project works.

Z

Zero confirmation transaction – An alternative phrasing for an unconfirmed transaction.

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