GLOSSARY FOR CRYPTO-CURRENCY

Here you will find a comprehensive glossary of explanation for key terms, people, products and fundamentals of bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

A

Address

An address is a "payment instruction" for a digital asset. Read More >

Airdrop (cryptocurrency)

An airdrop is a distribution of a cryptocurrency token or coin, generally for free, to a large number of wallet addresses. Read More >

Altcoin

The term altcoin has numerous comparable definitions. Stephanie Yang of The Wall Street Journal defined altcoins as "alternative digital currencies" Read More >

Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)

An application-specific integrated circuit (abbreviated as ASIC) is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a specific use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. Read More >

Arbitrage (Trading)

In economics and finance, arbitrage (/'??rb?tr???/, UK also /-tr?d?/) is the practice of taking advantage of a price variation between two or more markets Read More >

Atomic swaps

Atomic swaps are a procedure where one cryptocurrency may be exchanged directly for another cryptocurrency. Read More >

B

Bear market

A bear market is a general decline in the stock market over a period of time. It is a transition from high investor optimism to widespread investor fear and pessimism. Read More >

Binance

Binance is a global cryptocurrency exchange which offers a platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Read More >

Bitcoin/bitcoin

Bitcoin (with a capital B), which launched in 2009, established the world's first decentralized digital asset. The virtual coins generated by the Bitcoin network are called bitcoins (lowercase b). Read More >

Bitcoin Classic

Bitcoin Classic was one of many forks of the Bitcoin reference implementation Bitcoin Core seeking to boost the transaction processing capacity of Bitcoin by increasing the block size limit. Read More >

Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) is a full node implementation for the bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks. Read More >

Bitcoin XT

Bitcoin XT is a fork of Bitcoin Core, the reference client for the bitcoin network. Read More >

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange owned and operated by iFinex Inc., which is based in Hong Kong and registered in the British Virgin Islands. Read More >

BitGo

BitGo is a Blockchain security company. It is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and was founded in 2013 by Mike Belshe and Ben Davenport. Read More >

Bithumb

Bithumb is a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Read More >

Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a bitcoin exchange located in Luxembourg. It allows trading between USD currency and bitcoin cryptocurrency. Read More >

Bittrex

Bittrex is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 2013 by Bill Shihara and two business partners, all of whom previously worked as security experts at Microsoft. Read More >

Block

A block is a set of updates to the blockchain ledger. Using Bitcoin as an example, a block is basically a virtual container of bitcoin transactions. Read More >

Block Height

This is a number that specifies how many blocks have been globally produced at the present time. The very first block created in a blockchain (known as the genesis block) has a height of zero because it is the first block in the chain. Read More >

Block Reward

The first miner to solve the proof-of-work puzzle in a block receives a block reward of new coins as compensation for the miner's expenditure in solving the puzzle. Read More >

Blockchain

Blockchain is the underlying technology that Bitcoin and most other digital assets use to record and validate transactions. It is a linked list of transaction updates to a virtual digital public ledger. Read More >

Blockchain.info

Blockchain.com (previously Blockchain.info) is a bitcoin block explorer service, as well as a cryptocurrency wallet supporting bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. Read More >

Bull market

A bull market is a period of generally rising prices. The beginning of a bull market is marked by prevalent pessimism. Read More >

BTC

BTC is the original shorthand for bitcoin. This designation is often used on digital asset exchanges to denominate a bitcoin's current value. However, there has been an increase in the use of XBT as an alternate designation. Read More >

C

Cipher

In cryptography, a cipher (or cypher) is an algorithm for carrying out encryption or decryption-a number of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. Read More >

Coinbase

Coinbase is a digital currency exchange headquartered in San Francisco, California. They broker exchanges of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Read More >

CoinDesk

CoinDesk is a news site focusing on bitcoin and digital currencies. The site was founded by Shakil Khan and was subsequently acquired by Digital Currency Group. Read More >

Cold Storage

Cold storage is a mechanism where private keys used to sign withdrawal transactions are kept in secure locations that are not connected to the internet. Read More >

Crypto token

A blockchain account can offer functions other than making payments. Read More >

Crypto++

Crypto++ (also referred to as CryptoPP, libcrypto++, and libcryptopp) is a free and open-source C++ class library of cryptographic algorithms and schemes written by Wei Dai. Read More >

Cryptocurrency exchange

A cryptocurrency exchange or a digital currency exchange (DCE) is a business that allows clients to exchange cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for other assets. Read More >

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies, also known as digital assets and digital currencies, are issued and transferred electronically. Read More >

Custody

A service in which a financial institution or other entity holds property on behalf of a customer. Read More >

D

Digital Asset

A globally recognized description for this emerging asset class. Several other terms, such as cryptocurrencies, crypto assets, virtual currencies, and crypto tokens, are also used in this evolving market. Read More >

Digital currency

Digital currency (digital money, electronic money or electronic currency) is a form of currency accessible in digital form (in contrast to physical, for instance banknotes and coins). Read More >

Digital Signature

A digital signature is a mechanism that uses public-key cryptography to create un-forgeable proof that a transaction is authorized by the owner of the coins. Read More >

Distributed ledger

A distributed ledger (also known as a shared ledger or distributed ledger technology or DLT) is a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically distributed across multiple sites, countries, or institutions. Read More >

Double Spend

A double spend is creating two conflicting transactions, one which sends funds to a counterparty, and the other sending those same funds back to yourself. Read More >

E

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)

The preferred public-key cryptography approach for cryptocurrencies to authorize asset transfer. Read More >

ERC-20

ERC-20 is a technical standard utilized for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for implementing tokens. Read More >

Ether

Ether tokens are a cryptocurrency created within the Ethereum network and, like bitcoins, are tradeable digital assets. Read More >

Ethereum

A decentralized, blockchain-based computing platform that allows developers to build and deploy decentralized applications, including smart contracts. Read More >

Ethereum Virtual Machine

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is the runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum. Read More >

Exchange

An exchange is a platform that allows buyers and sellers to trade a range of digital assets using both fiat currencies and other digital assets. Read More >

F

Fiat Currency

Fiat currencies are those issued by a government; typically used to refer to physical currencies such as US dollar bills. Read More >

Fork

A fork occurs when the rules of a blockchain are changed, possibly creating two (or more) distinct digital assets. Read More >

G

Genesis Block

The first block in a blockchain. Read More >

H

Halving

In Bitcoin, the reward amount for successfully mining a block is cut in half every four years. This is done to control the distribution of new digital assets in circulation. Read More >

Hard Fork

A hard fork is the splitting of a digital asset's blockchain in a backward-incompatible way, resulting in two distinct digital assets. Read More >

Hash or Hash Function

A hash is the function of mapping data of variable size to a new set of data at a fixed size in such a way that the reverse computation is effectively impossible. Read More >

Hash Rate

When miners run software to create blocks, the algorithm they run is called a hash. Read More >

HODL

What began as a typing error on a Bitcoin forum in 2013 has become a beloved rally cry for long-time bitcoiners. Read More >

Huobi

Huobi (火币网) is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange. Founded in China, the company now has offices in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and the United States. Read More >

I

Initial coin offerings

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a questionable means of raising funds for a new cryptocurrency venture. Read More >

Institutional Investors

Examples include hedge funds, investment advisors, pensions and endowments, mutual funds, and family offices. Read More >

Investor sentiment

Investor sentiment is a contrarian stock market indication. Read More >

J

(No entries)

K

Key Pair

The term key pair describes public and private keys used in public-key (or asymmetric) cryptography, where the key used to encrypt data is different from the key used to perform decryption. Read More >

Keys

Keys are long numeric codes that are involved in digital asset transactions, often encoded as hex or alphanumeric strings. Read More >

Kraken

Kraken is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, founded in 2011. Read More >

L

Ledger

Traditional accounting practices use a ledger to keep track of money movements in and out of accounts, with each party keeping its own ledger and requiring reconciliation between the ledgers of different parties. Read More >

Light Client

A light client is a wallet which does not download and validate the full. Read More >

List of bitcoin forks

Bitcoin forks are explained valiantly as changes in the protocol of the bitcoin network or as the situations that occur "when two or more blocks have the same block height". Read More >

M

Market Capitalization, or Market Cap

The term market capitalization comes from the world of equities and is determined by multiplying the total outstanding shares of an asset by the last available share price. Read More >

Market trend

A market trend is a perceived inclination of financial markets to move in a specific direction over time. Read More >

Maximum Coin Supply

This is the total number of coins that can be minted for a particular digital asset. Read More >

mBTC

A bitcoin can be split into very small parts called a millibitcoin (mBTC). Read More >

Merkle Trees

A Merkle tree is a binary tree data structure in which a set of data can be compactly committed to so that it cannot be modified. Read More >

Mining

Mining is the method by which digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are minted and released into circulation. Mining is also the method by which transactions are incorporated into the blockchain. Read More >

Mining Pool

Due to the variance of whether a given miner will win a block or not, miners often band together into mining pools. Read More >

Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Read More >

Multi-Signature

Multi-signature, or multi-sig, is a feature of bitcoin and other digital assets that requires that multiple private keys be used to sign a transaction and move funds. Read More >

N

Node

Nodes are software that run on internet-connected computers and function as non-mining transaction validators as well as digital asset wallets for the network they serve. Read More >

Nonce

A nonce is a random number that is used to vary the input to a cryptographic hash function, modifying the output in an unpredictable way. Read More >

Non-fungible token

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a special kind of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens therefore are not interchangeable. Read More >

O

Off-Chain Transaction

Off-chain transactions are valid bitcoin transactions that are not sent to the main Bitcoin network. Read More >

OKEx

OKEx is a cryptocurrency exchange. Read More >

Options strategy

Option strategies are the simultaneous, and often combined, buying or selling of one or more choices that differ in one or more of the options' factors. Read More >

P

Peer to Peer (P2P) Network

A P2P network is created when two or more computer systems are connected to each other through the internet for file sharing and work distribution, all without a central server. Read More >

Private Key

A private key in asymmetric cryptography is a piece of data held in secret by a single person or entity. Read More >

Proof of Work

Proof of Work (PoW) is the mechanism by which Bitcoin creates a cost of production for the unit of account and ensures immutability of the ledger in a trustless manner. Read More >

Public Key

A public key in asymmetric cryptography is a publicly shareable piece of data that is computed from a Private Key and shared with counterparties through addresses, which are hashes of public key(s). Read More >

Q

QR Code

Quick response (QR) codes are sometimes used in place of the long string of letters and numbers that make up a Bitcoin address. Read More >

R

Ring Signature

A ring signature is a type of cryptographic digital signature. Read More >

S

Satoshi

A satoshi is currently the smallest denomination of a bitcoin. Read More >

Satoshi Nakamoto

The idea for Bitcoin was presented to the public in a white paper, Bitcoin: Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, written by Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or persons whose identity remains unknown. Read More >

Scarcity

All cryptocurrencies contain an algorithmically enforced limit on the number of coins. Read More >

Segregated Witness, or SegWit

Each transaction recorded on a blockchain has a signature that proves it is a valid transaction. Read More >

Soft Fork

A soft fork can be viewed as a backward-compatible software update for a digital asset blockchain. Read More >

Store of Value

Store of Value is one of the core functions of money, alongside Medium of Exchange and Unit of Account. Read More >

T

Tether

Tether is a debatable cryptocurrency with tokens issued by Tether Limited. Read More >

Timestamping

Cryptocurrencies employ numerous timestamping schemes to "prove" the validity of transactions included in the blockchain ledger without resorting to a trusted third party. Read More >

Total Circulating Coin Supply

This is the total number of coins that a particular digital asset has in circulation. Read More >

Total Coin Supply

This is the total number of coins that have been minted for a particular digital asset, although not all coins minted may be in circulation. Read More >

Transaction Fee

A transaction fee is an amount of cryptocurrency that is attached to a transaction and that incentivizes miners to process the user's transaction. Read More >

U

uBTC

A bitcoin can be split into very small parts. A uBTC is also called a microbitcoin. Read More >

Unspent Transaction Output

Bitcoin does not operate on the account model (like Ethereum) but on the unspent transaction output (UTXO) model. Read More >

Upbit

Upbit is a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Read More >

V

Virtual Currencies.

W

Wallet

A digital asset wallet is a piece of software that maintains keys and manages addresses. Read More >

X

Xapo

Xapo is a Hong Kong-based company that provides a bitcoin wallet coupled with a cold storage vault and a bitcoin-based debit card. Read More >

XBT

While BTC was and often still is the original shorthand for bitcoin, there has been an increase in the use of the term XBT. Read More >

Y

(No entries)

Z

Zero-Knowledge Proof

Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) are an experimental technology that allows one to cryptographically prove a statement, without revealing the input data. Read More >

0 - 9

51% Attack

In the Bitcoin Whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto computed the probability that transactions could be reversed. Read More >