202 useful guides

Glossary of terms

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51% Attack

A single entity has control of over half of a network, meaning they have the power to influence the performance of a blockchain.

Address

Usually a string of 30 characters providing the information on where a cryptocurrency coin sits within a blockchain, and where its attached data is stored.

Affiliate Program

Offer a way to monetise a cryptocurrency-specific audience. Whether you run a popular blog, news website, YouTube channel, or Twitter account, crypto affiliate programs can bring in a recurring revenue stream.

Airdrop

The deliberate free distribution of a cryptocurrency to generate hype and popular use.

Algorithm

A mathematical equation coded by programmers for computers to complete and perform tasks.

Algorithmic Peg

Manipulates a blockchain’s protocol to introduce and withdraw circulating coins to and from the market to control a cryptocurrency’s price.

All Time High (ATH)

A cryptocurrency’s highest value price it has ever achieved.

All Time Low (ATL)

A cryptocurrency’s lowest value price it has ever achieved.

Altcoins

Bitcoin was the first of the cryptocurrencies. The thousands of cryptocurrencies to appear on the market since then are categorised as altcoins.

Anti-Money Laundering (AMI)

International laws implemented to stop the criminal laundering of cash through cryptocurrency.

Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

Devices specially designed to perform a single task, often applied to cryptocurrency mining.

Arbitrage

Buying cryptocurrency on one exchange, only to sell immediately for profit on another exchange offering a higher rate.

ASIC Mining

An Application-Specific Integrated Circuit is a device that is designed for the sole purpose of mining a particular digital currency.

Atomic Swap

A direct swap of different types of cryptocurrency of the same value between traders.

Backup

A copy of a cryptocurrency wallet’s details, particularly its private key, stored away for safekeeping.

Bag

A large amount of cryptocurrency.

Bear Trap

Price manipulation technique involving a group of holders selling their cryptocurrency at the same time and spooking the market into following suit, only to buy their sold stock back at a lower price.

Bear/Bearish

A cryptocurrency with a negative price trend.

Bitcoin

The first and still the most popular cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin ABC

Still generally referred to as Bitcoin Cash, it is the new name of the Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency following its hard fork split.

Bitcoin Cash

The cryptocurrency born following its hard fork split from the original Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin SV

The cryptocurrency born following its hard fork split from the original Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Block

Part of what makes up a blockchain, a block is a public ledger storing cryptocurrency trade information.

Block Explorer

A way of viewing the information within a blockchain. Viewers can see block contents, hash rates and coin distribution live and follow trades as they happen.

Block Height

The number of blocks connected within a blockchain.

Block Reward

The new cryptocurrency coins created and offered to miners when they verify transactions by adding hashes to blocks.

Blockchain

A decentralised and publicly viewable digital ledger of all connected transactions.

Brokers

Connect people with large bags of cryptocurrency for the purpose of trading.

BTFD

Cryptocurrency lingo - buy the f***ing dip. It is a battle cry slogan among the cryptocurrency and investor community encouraging the purchasing of stock while prices are at a low.

Bull/Bullish

When a cryptocurrency’s price is moving or is predicted to move in an upward trend.

Burned

A cryptocurrency coin, usually quite newly introduced, with little or no compatibility with digital wallets on the market rendering it unspendable.

Buy Wall

A buy wall occurs when a single or multiple buy very large orders are made at the same price, stagnating the price.

Central Ledger

Much like a bank, when a single entity has full control over all financial records.

Chain Linking

The process of transferring one cryptocurrency to another, which means the transaction will be recorded on two separate blockchains.

Cipher

A mathematical algorithm functioning to decrypt and encrypt information.

Circulating Supply

The entire body of coins attached to a cryptocurrency available for trade.

Cloud Mining

Usually a paid offering by a third party with the required computer systems powerful enough to perform the task of solving algorithms to mine for cryptocurrency.

Cold Storage

On offline wallet to store and manage cryptocurrency private keys, generally in the form of a paper wallet.

Confirmed

When an approved transaction is added to a blockchain.

Consensus

When a network of nodes all verify a transaction has been correctly added to a blockchain.

Consensus Algorithm

A computer process used to achieve agreement on a single data value among distributed processes or systems, or achieve reliability in a network involving multiple unreliable nodes.

Consensus Process

The process in which nodes verify a transaction has been correctly added to a blockchain.

Consortium Blockchain

A publicly viewable, but privately owned and operated blockchain.

CPU Mining

The process of adding transactions to a blockchain by performing and solving algorithms using a Central Processing Unit (CPU).

Crypto Crane

A regular site where users can earn crypto-coins by performing some simple steps.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is an internet-based currency digitally created to be used exclusively within the digital space.

Cryptographic Hash Function

The process of converting a transaction into an encrypted code compatible with being added to a blockchain, the process of which is unique to each cryptocurrency.

Cryptography

Encrypting and decrypting information.

Day Trader

Holding a cryptocurrency asset for a very short period of time, usually seconds, minutes or hours before selling in the hope of making a small, but quick profit. Like regular stock day traders.

Decentralisation

Decentralisation is the process of distributing and dispersing power away from a central authority. Cryptocurrency was first designed specifically as a means of achieving decentralised status, removing the need for third-party involvement from banks and financial institutions.

Decentralised Application (Dapp)

An open-source (publicly available) computer program leveraging its functionality from the blockchain. A Dapp is a decentralised application storing the entirety of its data on a blockchain, offering tokens to users as reward for use.

Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO)

Organisations run by a blockchain-based application, rather than by people. The publicly accessible algorithm has input by all users, rather than just a traditional body like a board or directorship.

Decryption

Reversing the process of turning readable text or legible information into an illegible mess of numbers and letters.

Deflation

The dropping of a cryptocurrency’s price when demand falls.

Depth Chart

A visualisation of current cryptocurrency buyers and sellers and their bidding prices, offering users an indication of current value and crossover points.

Deterministic Wallet

A wallet capable of being recovered using a seed.

Difficulty

Refers to the amount of transactions being requested at one time correlated with the number of nodes available for verifying. The more transactions, and the less nodes, the higher the rate of difficulty.

Digital Commodity

An electronically transferred asset of value.

Digital Exchange

A platform allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money or other digital currencies.

Digital Signature

Confirms the authenticity of an electronically transmitted document, usually appearing as an encryption code.

Distributed Ledger

Otherwise known as a blockchain, which is copied and stored in many different locations for checking by nodes.

Double Spend

When someone tries to send the same cryptocurrency coins to two different wallets at the same time in an attempt to duplicate funds.

Double Spend Problem

The ease of which users could theoretically counterfeit digital currency and the issue holding back the arrival of cryptocurrency for decades.

Dump

A fast and sudden sell of a large portion of someone’s cryptocurrency.

Dumping

When many cryptocurrency holders dump simultaneously, often causing a sudden drop in the coin’s price.

Dust Transaction

Many small transactions deliberately flooded into the market to slow the network.

DYOR

Cryptocurrency lingo - do your own research.

Encryption

The process of turning readable text or legible information into an illegible mess of numbers and letters.

ERC-20

The DNA, or encryption protocol dictating how Ether behaves.

Escrow

A middle man of sorts, designed specifically to be a neutral holder of cryptocurrency funds during a transaction.

Ether

Ether is the currency traded in return for the transferred information and resulting access to dApps on the Ethereum network.

Ether Zero

An Ethereum hard fork cryptocurrency creation focused on trying to provide faster and cheaper transactions than its predecessor.

Ethereum

One of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market, Ethereum’s application is different to traditional cryptocurrencies in that its coin, Ether, functions as a token specifically designed to grant access to dApps. dApps are created and intended for use exclusively on the Ethereum blockchain, making them public accessible decentralised digital systems.

Ethereum Classic

The original Ethereum blockchain, renamed following the original cryptocurrency’s hard fork.

Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC)

A request for ideas on improvements to the Ethereum system.

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

Runs to perform a similar task as hash creation, though an EVM is exclusive to the Ethereum network. It is stored on the cloud and used by every node on the network to provide EVM Byte Codes when validating transactions.

Faucet

A website offering free cryptocurrency for signing up and completing minor tasks.

Feerate

Miner fees spenders may include in on-chain transactions, collected by the miner who includes the transaction in a block.

Fiat Collateral Peg

A function used in an attempt to maintain a stablecoin’s worth through an algorithmic connection with another currency, usually fiat currency like the US dollar. In theory, the stablecoin’s worth is supposed to maintain its value in correlation with that currency.

Fiat Currency

‘Regular’ currency, or legal tender recognised and held by international banks and financial institutions, such as the US dollar.

FOMO

Cryptocurrency lingo - fear of missing out.

Fork

A fork is simply a change in a cryptocurrency’s protocol, or a change in its guiding rule book making previous versions of blocks within the blockchain invalid. This produces a fork in procedure and the splitting of a blockchain to birth a new cryptocurrency.

Frictionless

A cryptocurrency system allowing for trades without restraints such as costs and excessive waiting times.

FUD

Cryptocurrency lingo - fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Full Node

While nodes can validate transactions by confirming a new block’s addition to the blockchain, a full node is capable of performing the task of creating a block.

Fundamental Analysis (FA)

Determining a coin's worth using basic fundamentals, including the motives of the coin’s creators market analysis and economic factors.

Futures Contract

The promise through a contract of a transaction to be completed when a cryptocurrency reaches a certain price.

Gambling

Physical and online casinos accepting cryptocurrency as a deposit method into an internet casino account, and often using third-party custodians to convert cryptocurrency to a local fiat currency.

Gas

The value of processing power required to perform a function on the Ethereum network. The amount of gas determines the fee charged by miners on the network.

Gas Limit

The most a user is willing to pay as a processing fee when they make a transaction on the Ethereum network. The higher the limit, the more processing power available to process the transaction validation and the faster the task will be completed.

Gateway

Somewhere offering access to cryptocurrency for purchasing or a means of tender, usually in the form of an ATM or a bank.

Genesis Block

The first block of a blockchain.

GPU mining

Combines elements of cloud and CPU mining on a DYI level. GPU miners are like the professional cloud miners in that they use the same rigs, but on a much smaller scale.

GPU mining

Combines elements of cloud and CPU mining on a DIY level. GPU miners are like the professional cloud miners in that they use the same rigs, but on a much smaller scale.

Group Mining

The same as a mining pool, in that miners agree to group their computer processing power together to better their chances of winning more successful blockchain completions and the connected cryptocurrency reward.

Hierarchical Deterministic Wallet (HD Wallet)

HD wallets eliminate the need for the user to constantly generate and wait for the secure keys to be generated, so they only need to worry about taking the backup.

Hold

Cryptocurrency lingo – holding cryptocurrency rather than selling it.

Hot Wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet function to store its private keys using an online medium.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

When a cryptocurrency’s creator offers some of the tender at a discounted price or even for free as a means of raising funds and attempting to generate exposure to the market.

IOU

Tokens representing any type of debt, not just currency, serving as a line-of-credit of sorts.

JOMO

Cryptocurrency lingo – joy of missing out.

KYC

Cryptocurrency lingo – know your customer.

LAMBO

Cryptocurrency lingo – Or, Lamborghini, refers to getting rich quickly with cryptocurrency investment,

Ledger

A permanent record of financial transactions.

Leverage

A type of loan offered by an exchange for traders to buy more cryptocurrency than they can afford.

Lightning Network

Acts as a second layer on top of the Bitcoin network for trading, with a separate set of protocols dictating how transactions are processed. The network allows smaller transactions to be processed off the blockchain between two parties using a lump deposit paid equally between the parties.

Limit Order

Setting up an order that will only be executed under certain conditions, such as buying or selling only once a cryptocurrency reaches a certain price. These orders are also broken down further into limit buy and limit sell, depending on the order.

Liquidity

How much a cryptocurrency’s price is influenced by a certain amount of buying or selling.

Litecoin

Was developed leveraging much of the blockchain technology and characteristics of Bitcoin with a few changes aimed at improving transfer times and price stability.

Locktime

The time spent waiting for a transaction to be processed and validated when it is delayed or put on hold as part of an attached order (like a limit order).

Long

An approach on cryptocurrency investment. Placing coins in a secure location for a long period of time waiting for it to accumulate in value.

Maker Fee

Paid to traders when they add a unique trade request on an exchange order book below the ticker price for a buy order, and above the ticker price for a sell order.

Margin Bear Position

The position an investor takes by going short, or securing cryptocurrency for a short amount of time before trading.

Margin Bull Position

The position an investor takes by going long, or securing cryptocurrency for a long amount of time before trading.

Margin Trading

Buying more cryptocurrency than can be afforded with leverage offered by an exchange in an effort to yield larger returns more quickly.

Market Capitalisation (MCAP)

The market’s value of a cryptocurrency’s worth based on the amount of coins it has in circulation and its going price per coin.

Market Order

The opposite to a limit order, in that there is no waiting for a certain price to trigger a transaction, rather the order is lodged and confirmed at market price at the time of the order.

Markets

The blockchains from which cryptocurrencies function and where transactions are requested and recorded.

Mempool

A node's holding area for all pending transactions, or the pace where transaction requests are stored before miners attempt to add them to a block.

Metropolis

Metropolis is a hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain executed by an adjustment in blockchain protocol in an attempt to make the platform more scalable and secure.

Micro Earning

A way of earning cryptocurrency - visiting websites offering small amounts of cryptocurrency in return.

Mining

Cryptocurrency relies on miners to perform this task to process transactions, bundling transactions together and verifying them before adding them to the blockchain.

Mining Contract

The deal made with a company to perform the tasks required in a cloud mining investment. The company uses its computer processing power to mine cryptocurrency, passing on the coin rewards to the contract’s investor.

Mining Difficulty

A periodic adjustment in a network's hashrate, in an attempt to ensure the network continues to solve new blocks at a consistent rate.

Mining Pool

The same as group mining, in that miners agree to group their computer processing power together to better their chances of winning more successful blockchain completions and the connected cryptocurrency reward.

Mobile Wallet

A form of an online wallet, or a hot wallet, also providing the convenience of all-areas access through an app.

Money Services Business (MSB)

A body that transfers or converts money.

Moon

Cryptocurrency lingo – describes a major and sudden positive price movement.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)

Attempts to predict a cryptocurrency’s price in the near and long-term future using technical analysis and momentum in price change.

Multi Signature (Multi Sig Wallets)

Wallets requiring more than one person’s unique code (private key) to function and allow a transaction. Designed to offer an extra layer of security, and are often used with lightning networks.

Multipool Mining

Mining from multiple different blockchains depending on each cryptocurrency’s returns, while using the same equipment.

Network

A usually large number of nodes working together to maintain a blockchain.

Node

A single computer connected to a blockchain’s network.

Nonce

The random alphanumeric code generated when a miner hashes a transaction.

OCO

Cryptocurrency lingo – one cancels the other

One Cancels the Other Order

A rule placed on two simultaneous cryptocurrency purchases stipulating that when one is accepted to be verified for the blockchain, the other is cancelled.

Oracles

The programs allowing access to smart contracts, which are trapped on their blockchain networks.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Market

A form of cryptocurrency trading done usually between just two parties and away from exchanges.

Overbought

A Cryptocurrency at the period before an inevitable drop in cryptocurrency price drop, triggered by the end of a short and sharp rise in buyer activity.

Proof of Correctness (PoC)

Mathematical proof that a computer program will produce the correct results when executed.

Proof of Stake (PoS)

A scaled down version of Proof of Work relying on only smaller groups of nodes to confirm the transfer of cryptocurrency rather than an entire network.

Proof of Work (PoW)

The hash function not only acts to confirm the validation of a block before it is added to a blockchain, but also leaves a digital signature of the miner completing the work required to perform the task.

Protocols

The set of rules that defines how data is exchanged across a network.

Public Blockchain

Most blockchains are publicly accessible and viewable through one of the many nodes making up their networks.

Public Key

The address of a cryptocurrency wallet, much like a bank account number.

Pump

When a large holder deliberately tries to manipulate a cryptocurrency’s price upwards by buying large sums in a short period of time.

Pump and Dump

Buying a large amount of a cryptocurrency to drive up its price encouraging others to invest, before quickly selling the lot when there is a suitable margin.

REKT

Cryptocurrency lingo – or, ‘wrecked’, which describes a bad loss in a trade.

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

Determines the momentum of a cryptocurrency’s price change over time.

Replace-By-Fee (RBF)

A node policy allowing an unconfirmed transaction to be replaced with a different transaction, spending at least one of the same inputs and paying a higher transaction fee.

Ring Signature

Different to a PoW hash, an encryption process leaving no mark or evidence of who performed the task.

Ripple

A token-based cryptocurrency designed specifically to facilitate the transfer of different kinds of currency without the reliance of a bank.

RTXP

The network on which Ripple functions. While similar in its use of validators, it is not necessarily a blockchain system.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The unconfirmed individual, or group of that created Bitcoin.

Sats

Short for Satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin (0.0000001 BTC).

Scalper

Uses technical analysis to find small cryptocurrency price movements to buy and sell as quickly as possible in the hope of making a quick profit.

Scrypt

A function, or an algorithm, designed to encrypt keys in a way requiring large amounts of RAM to hash, and extremely difficult for hackers to attack.

Security

The act of storing your cryptocurrency safely in a digital wallet. A wallet is secure because it is encrypted and requires a personal key to open.

Seed

A backup system designed to enable wallet holders to retrieve the public keys, or wallet IDs if they are lost. Usually coming in the form of a random combination of words and kept hidden in a safe and secure place.

Segregated Witness (SEGWIT)

The processes of separating digital signature data from transaction data. This lets more transactions fit onto one block in the blockchain, improving transaction speeds.

Selfish Mining

When a miner completes a block to add to the blockchain but fails to broadcast the information to the network of nodes. This is regarded as selfish because other miners spend time and effort contributing a redundant version of the blockchain, allowing the selfish miner to get a head start on a new block.

Sell Wall

A limit order triggered to sell when a cryptocurrency reaches a certain price.

SHA-256

The name of the function, or algorithm, that hashes Bitcoin’s completed blocks, and many other different types of cryptocurrencies.

Sharding

A scaling solution splitting up blockchains into sections to avoid nodes having to store a complete copy.

Shit Coin

Describing a cryptocurrency expecting a bleak outlook.

Short

A trader selling a cryptocurrency that they do not own at a low price in an effort to continue its price fall, offering an opportunity to buy the cryptocurrency at a lower price to complete the deal.

Simple Payment Verification Wallet (SPV)

Ensures transactions made from the wallet are in a block, providing confirmations that additional blocks are being added to the chain.

Smart Contracts

Dictates the terms in which information can be sent and received between parties on a blockchain network. Differs from a regular contract in that it is written in code and stored on a blockchain, so both parties have access and its terms remain permanent.

Soft Fork

Subtle versions of hard forks allowing changes to a system while still being compatible with the original blockchain, usually in the form of minor protocol changes to optimise blockchain performance.

Software Wallet

A method of storing private keys, usually within software files on a computer device.

Solidity

A programming language used to develop the code that makes up smart contracts and is recognised almost exclusively by the Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Stablecoin

A type of cryptocurrency specifically programmed to maintain a stable price value.

Stop Loss Order

An order placed with a broker to buy or sell once the stock reaches a certain price.

Store of Method

A function of a commodity that enables it to be stored away in the hope of its value rising over a long period of time.

Stuck

An unconfirmed transaction yet to be included in a block and remaining incomplete.

Supply and Demand

The amount of a cryptocurrency available and the desire of buyers for it, which are usually the main factors in dictating a cryptocurrency’s price.

Supply Limit

The maximum number of a cryptocurrency’s coins or tokens that will ever be created for circulation.

Swing Trader

Holding cryptocurrency for longer than a single day with the intention of selling.

Taker Fee

Charged to traders when they add a market price trade request on an exchange order book that gets immediately filled.

Technical Analysis (TA)

Attempting to predict the future performance of a cryptocurrency using tools to analyse its historical data.

Technical Analysis Desktop Wallet

Programs usually located on a computer’s hard drive to store and manage cryptocurrency private keys.

Test Net

Used to test the functionality of a new blockchain, without impacting the original or primary blockchain either in use or slated for use in the future.

Timestamp

A time label acting as proof of data within a transaction and the time at which a transaction was encrypted.

Token

A type of cryptocurrency created on top of existing blockchain systems acting as another layer of tradable equity, like how chips represent cash in a casino. Different from cryptocurrency coins earmarked for tender.

Tokenless Ledger

A blockchain not requiring a connected cryptocurrency to function, where miners also tend not to receive any reward for their work.

TOR

Cryptocurrency lingo – terms of reference.

Transaction

Moving cryptocurrency from a seller to a buyer using a blockchain network.

Transaction Fee

Small in comparison to traditional fiat currency fees. Instead of being paid to a bank, they are paid to miners for the work they do validating a transaction.

Trust Line

Confirms both parties involved in a transaction of IOU tokens can validate their claims and trust each other.

Trustworthy Market

A source of cryptocurrency providing a balanced combination of security, quality service and competitive fee structure.

Turing Completeness

When a computer is performing all programmable functions as designed.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

An extra layer of protection used to ensure the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password.

Unconfirmed

When a proposed transaction cannot be added to the blockchain, usually because it is yet to have the process of broadcasting to the blockchain network and verification from miners.

Unique Node List (UNL)

The most trusted validators on the Ripple network, trusted with confirming transactions using a voting system.

Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO)

Held cryptocurrency, or a transaction received that has remained stored on the blockchain instead of being altered through on-spending.

Volatility

The measurement of a cryptocurrency price’s fluctuation. The more fluctuation, the more volatile.

VPN

Virtual Private Network offers online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.

Wallet

A means of storing cryptocurrency balance ownership. Made visible on the blockchain by its unique code, or public key, a wallet’s function is to store private keys and is available in several different forms.

Wallet.dat

A file usually located on a hard drive containing a wallet’s public and private keys as well as any other useful information as a backup.

Whale

Investors with enough cryptocurrency to make large enough transactions to manipulate the market.

Whitelist

The function of an ICO before they became the marketing tool to generate hype around a new cryptocurrency. Interested buyers were placed on a Whitelist to gain access to cheaper cryptocurrency or have the chance to buy under special early bird conditions.

Whitepaper

Offers a thorough overview of a cryptocurrency, outlining details including an explanation on programmed purposes, technical information and its potential future to lure buyers.