Bitcoin glossary: Each blockchain and cryptocurrency phrase you might want to know

Bitcoin glossary: Every blockchain and cryptocurrency phrase you need to know

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In opposition to all odds, blockchain know-how has gone mainstream. Bitcoin has turn into a family phrase, and monetary establishments world wide put money into cryptocurrencies or permit their prospects to take action. In the meantime, NFTs have attracted the patronage of celebrities like Eminem, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Curry. 

However regardless of all of the publicity, blockchain know-how remains to be extraordinarily arcane. It is really understood solely by gifted engineers — a lot of whom had been early adopters of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether — and could be overwhelming for the layperson. 

Beneath is an alphabetical glossary of blockchain phrases you may discover helpful. Observe: It’s miles from an exhaustive record of phrases and phrases, however covers the fundamentals. 


An airdrop is when an organization drops cryptocurrency or an NFT straight into your pockets. As a substitute of an preliminary public providing, blockchain companies will launch a token and airdrop individuals who have used that service prior to now. This may be accomplished for a number of causes: It may be pure advertising, as airdrops increase consciousness of a token that folks can then put money into, or it may be to offer governance tokens for a DAO.

A latest instance: The Ethereum Identify Service permits customers to vary their pockets quantity to a pockets title (like CNET.eth). In December, it launched its personal ENS token, airdropping an quantity to everybody who had used the service. The extra folks had used Ethereum Identify Service, the extra tokens they had been airdropped — in some circumstances value tens of 1000’s of {dollars}.


To “ape” into one thing is to recklessly put money into the hopes of short-term revenue. Everybody is aware of scams abound, and cautious buyers do analysis to vet a cryptocurrency or NFT challenge to make sure it is secure. To “ape” right into a challenge is to see its worth rising and to throw cash into it hoping for the most effective. 


Any cryptocurrency that is not bitcoin or ether. Many are also referred to as shitcoins.


Your baggage are investments you maintain over a protracted time frame, typically ones which have carried out poorly. “Hopefully the bullrun pumps my baggage.”


The world’s greatest cryptocurrency trade, the place folks purchase and commerce cryptocurrencies. It is below investigation by the US Division of Justice and the IRS for tax evasion and cash laundering. 


A blockchain is a distributed database. In easier phrases, it is a decentralized ledger that information info in digital blocks. As soon as a block is mined and added to the chain, it could possibly’t be altered, thus blockchains provide public information of unchangeable knowledge. 

There are lots of completely different blockchains which function various levels of decentralization, effectivity and safety. Many have their very own cryptocurrency — for example, ether is a cryptocurrency constructed on the ethereum blockchain.


Bitcoin is the primary cryptocurrency, constructed on the bitcoin blockchain. It was created in 2009 by an individual or group of individuals below the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. Solely 21 million can ever be minted, round 18.9 million of that are already in circulation.


Cryptocurrencies are “burned” by being despatched to a pockets that may solely obtain them and never ship them. Burn mechanics are sometimes utilized to trigger a deflationary influence: the less tokens in circulation, the extra scarce those buyers maintain turn into. 

purchase the dip

This refers to purchasing extra of an asset after its value as fallen. For example, a bitcoin holder may “purchase the dip” if the worth falls by $10,000. 


Cryptocurrency graphs that chart value motion function inexperienced and purple bars — inexperienced for value going up, purple for value taking place — that are typically known as “candlesticks.” 


Inexperienced and purple candlesticks. 


chilly pockets

A cryptocurrency pockets not linked to the web. These are safer and fewer vulnerable to scams.


The power to ship knowledge, tokens or belongings from one blockchain to a different. That is completely different from multichain companies, that are constructed to work on a number of blockchains. 


A type of info encryption, the place knowledge can solely be unencrypted with a key. Blockchains utilizing proof of labor protocols depend on the fixing of extremely complicated cryptography puzzles for brand spanking new blocks to be mined and verified. 


A cryptocurrency is a token that is native to a blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes minted with every new block mined. For example, every new block of ethereum mined comes with a reward of two ether tokens as compensation to the miner.

Cryptocurrencies are a sort of token. Their nativity is their defining issue: Different tokens are created utilizing platforms and apps constructed on prime of blockchains, whereas cryptocurrencies constructed right into a blockchain’s protocol.


Brief for “decentralized apps.” 


A decentralized autonomous group. A DAO is a company the place selections are made by consensus: All holders of governance tokens get votes in group selections, with the answer with most votes being the DAO’s plan of action. Think about a decentralized funding financial institution, however as a substitute of fund managers making funding selections, the holders of its governance tokens vote on how funds from its treasury are invested.

decentralized trade

Decentralized exchanges are used to purchase and commerce cryptocurrencies. Not like typical exchanges, these use peer-to-peer transactions that circumvent any centralized authority. These embrace Uniswap and Sushiswap. 


Brief for “degenerate,” much like aping. A “degen play” or “being a degen” means investing in one thing with out doing due diligence. 


Brief for “decentralized finance.” DeFi is any monetary instrument, like a sensible contract or DAO, that makes use of blockchain know-how to avoid intermediary establishments.

diamond fingers

Diamond fingers are individuals who maintain onto monetary belongings for lengthy durations of time or all through turbulent value actions. 


Brief for “Do Your Personal Analysis.”


The cryptocurrency mined on the ethereum blockchain. Ether is second solely to bitcoin in market cap, however is a much more used cryptocurrency. Most altcoins are additionally constructed off ethereum, and therefore are tethered to ether. Most NFTs are additionally constructed on ethereum, which is why ether is the dominant token utilized in NFT buying and selling. 


A blockchain that competes with bitcoin. It is designed to take the blockchain know-how pioneered by bitcoin’s builders and use it for extra subtle monetary instruments, like sensible contracts

flash mortgage

Flash loans are a DeFi instrument that permit for loans with out collateral. Flash loans help you borrow cash to purchase an asset, however provided that the asset could be purchased and the curiosity paid again inside the similar block. Think about shopping for a $1 million home utilizing a mortgage, however the mortgage solely being authorised should you already lined up one other purchaser keen to pay sufficient so that you can pay again the mortgage plus curiosity.

These loans use sensible contract know-how. 


Brief for “worry, uncertainty and doubt.” This may be reliable, like folks airing issues a couple of token or NFT challenge’s safety or legitimacy, or tactical, as in an organized transfer that encourages folks to promote, reducing the worth of the asset. 


Fuel is the worth you may pay for utilizing the ethereum community. Each transaction requires a gasoline payment, which might differ relying on how overloaded the blockchain is. Costs sometimes vary between $50 to $500 per transaction, however can skyrocket throughout instances of heavy community load.

governance token

Governance tokens are cryptocurrencies that give the proprietor voting rights over the given challenge. See additionally: DAO


The price of gasoline is expressed by GWEI. As a tough information, gasoline might be low cost when GWEI is beneath 50 and costly when it is above 100. 


A purposeful misspelling of “maintain,” used to encourage folks to carry onto their tokens throughout a downward value motion. 

layer 1 and layer 2

Should you dabble in cryptocurrencies you may hear about Layer 1 and Layer 2 options. Layer 1 is the blockchain structure itself, and Layer 2 refers to structure constructed on prime of the blockchain. 

For example, take the problem of ethereum’s excessive gasoline prices. A layer 1 answer can be to make the ethereum blockchain extra environment friendly, corresponding to by adopting proof-of-stake protocols. An instance of a layer 2 answer is Immutable X, an trade constructed on prime of ethereum that makes use of sensible contract know-how to permit for gas-free, carbon-neutral buying and selling. 

liquid market

A liquid market is one with a lot of patrons and sellers, which permits purchase or promote orders to be accomplished nearly instantly. Cryptocurrency markets are liquid, and NFT markets are usually not. Most reliable cryptocurrencies could be purchased or bought at any time, whereas NFT merchants have to record an merchandise on the market within the hopes {that a} purchaser will manually buy it.


A blockchain protocol launching for public use might be put within the mainnet. This distinguishes it from a testnet, which is extra like a beta launch of a blockchain protocol. 


Many cryptocurrencies purpose to offer a utility or serve a goal. Memecoins provide no prospect of utility, and purely exist as speculative belongings. Dogecoin is the most effective recognized, however there are a lot of, many extra. 


Dogecoin, the unique memecoin.



A web-based, browser-based digital pockets used primarily for transactions on the ethereum blockchain


Mining is the method by which transactions are verified, and blocks are added to a blockchain. This sometimes entails highly effective computer systems fixing complicated cryptography issues. Crucially, that is additionally how new cryptocurrency is added into circulation. Within the case of bitcoin, roughly six bitcoins are minted every time a brand new block is mined.

mining rig

A strong laptop arrange for the aim of mining cryptocurrencies

mining farm

A warehouse (or room) of mining rigs that function all through the day, mining cryptocurrencies.


On blockchains, minting means verifying info and lodging it as a block on the chain.

“Minting” an NFT means shopping for it from its creator throughout a public sale. “Mint value” refers to what its creators promote it for — for instance, the Bored Ape Yacht Membership mint value was 0.08 ether. In any case NFTs in a group are minted, merchants who need publicity to that assortment want to purchase them off a secondary market like OpenSea.


An app or companies designed for use on a number of blockchains. That is completely different from cross-chain apps and companies, that are developed to ship knowledge or belongings from one blockchain to a different. 


A dramatic spike in value is known as mooning or a moon. “To the moon” is a standard phrase. 


Nonfungible token. These are digital deeds that certify possession of a digital asset. Proper now, they’re related to artwork, however NFTs can certify possession of something digital. Learn our NFT explainer right here


On-chain refers to one thing that exists on a blockchain; off-chain refers to one thing that exists off the blockchain. Cryptocurrency is on-chain cash, fiat foreign money is off-chain cash. 


The biggest NFT market, it makes a speciality of ethereum-based NFTs. (NFTs constructed on completely different blockchains are sometimes bought on devoted marketplaces. For example, Solana NFTs are bought on Solanart.)

play to earn (P2E)

Play-to-earn, or P2E, video games are blockchain built-in and reward the participant with an in-game cryptocurrency. These in-game cryptocurrencies could be exchanged for bitcoin or ether. Probably the most outstanding instance is Axie Infinity, the place gamers earn Easy Love Potion ($SLP).


Axie Infinity. 

Sky Mavis

proof of labor

Proof of labor is a consensus mechanism via which blocks are added to a blockchain. POW requires miners to unravel sophisticated cryptographic puzzles, which demand giant quantities of vitality from highly effective mining rigs, as a way to validate new blockchain transactions. 

POW is a secure and decentralized consensus mechanism, but it surely’s notoriously inefficient. It is how bitcoin’s and ethereum’s blockchains function, though ethereum will quickly shift to the extra environment friendly proof of stake

proof of stake

Confronted with the massive vitality calls for of proof of labor, proof of stake is an up to date consensus mechanism that permits blocks to be mined way more effectively. POS permits holders of a cryptocurrency to validate new blocks onto the related blockchain

They do that by staking their cryptocurrency. Customers of a community stake their cryptocurrency, and if their stake is chosen by a randomized algorithm, they get the chance to validate a brand new block — for which they will get a reward within the type of extra cryptocurrency. The extra cryptocurrency staked, the upper likelihood a person is to be chosen to validate a brand new block. 

The place proof of labor rewards those that have spent probably the most computational energy to unravel a cryptographic puzzle, proof of stake rewards those that make investments their cryptocurrency over a protracted time frame. 

pump and dump

Pump and dump schemes contain the build up of synthetic pleasure over a product, which leads folks to purchase it and lift its value. Pump and dump orchestrators then promote their belongings at a excessive, which then causes the worth to fall precipitously. 

These exist in conventional markets, however are extra widespread in cryptocurrency buying and selling because the low liquidity of micro cap cryptocurrencies makes their costs simpler to govern. 

rug pull

Rug pulls are when the creator of a cryptocurrency vanishes, taking funds with them. A phony Squid Sport coin is a latest instance, though these are removed from uncommon. “Rug” is actually shorthand for “rip-off.”

Satoshi Nakamoto

The pseudonymous creator of bitcoin. The white paper explaining the necessity for decentralized finance and explaining how bitcoin works was signed by a Satoshi Nakamoto, however nobody is aware of who the true individual is. It has been speculated that Satoshi Nakamoto is definitely a number of folks. Pc scientist Craig Wright claims to be him, however his declare has not been verified.


A cryptocurrency that has been rugged. 

seed phrase

Whenever you create a cryptocurrency pockets, you may be given a 12-word seed phrase. Every time you log into your pockets on a brand new system, you may want to make use of your seed phrase. By no means give your seed phrase to anybody


Sharding distributes community load throughout a blockchain, permitting for extra transactions to be processed per second. This sounds dry, but it surely’s extraordinarily necessary. Ethereum will combine sharding subsequent 12 months, which is able to make utilizing it cheaper and far much less environmentally damaging. 


A shitcoin is an altcoin that gives no utility, both a memecoin or an ineffective altcoin. Learn extra about altcoins right here.

Silk Street

Silk Street was a web based black market that was shut down by the FBI in 2013. It is the place many individuals bought their first publicity to cryptocurrency, as bitcoin was a preferred cost methodology for the location’s unlawful wares. 

sensible contract

A wise contract is a digital contract that executes itself if the required situations are met. For example, if Pockets X sends 0.08 ether to Pockets Y, Pockets Y sends NFT Z to Pockets X. They’re mostly used to automate transactions, however may also be used from extra subtle functions corresponding to flash loans


Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies which might be pegged to the US greenback. These embrace tether and USDC. Their goal is to permit cryptocurrency merchants to maintain their tokens in a crypto ecosystem with out experiencing the volatility of bitcoin’s and ether’s value actions. 


Sure cryptocurrencies help you stake a lump sum of tokens in trade for receiving a share of that lump sum at common intervals for so long as it is staked. For example, Token X might offer you a ten% month-to-month return on any stake above 5,000 tokens. In that case, you’d deposit 5,000 tokens in trade for receiving 500 Token X every month. It is a passive earnings investing technique: Within the above state of affairs, it may take 10 months to recoup the preliminary 5,000 tokens, after which period every month-to-month cost of 500 Token X can be pure revenue (assuming the worth of Token X stays regular). 

Bitcoin doesn’t provide staking, nor does ethereum — although ether finally will when it adopts proof of stake.


Brief for “assume long run.”

‘That is gentleman’

The phrase originated from a 2014 Reddit thread on r/bitcoin the place the overly excited poster titled the thread “That is gents” as a substitute of “That is it gents.” It is since been used as a sarcastic comment at any time when good bitcoin information is shared.

Utilization of this phrase has died down lately, but it surely’s too humorous to not share. 


Tokens are blockchain belongings that are available in many varieties. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are a sort of token. Different varieties embrace governance tokens, which grant the holder voting rights in a DAO or service, or utility tokens, the place entry to a service is granted in accordance with the variety of tokens held. 


Brief for transaction. 

utility token

A token that goals to offer a perform of some variety. These could be entry to an utility, service or recreation. Examples embrace filecoin, which grant entry to blockchain-based digital storage, and hyperlink, which connects sensible contracts of off-chain sorts of knowledge. 

vainness handle

A customized pockets handle supplied by corporations like Ethereum Identify Service. It means that you can change your pockets handle right into a phrase or phrase of your alternative, like CNET.eth. 


A product that is promised however by no means truly involves market. The time period gained reputation within the late ’90s with the unique web increase and has been revitalized because of shady cryptocurrency creators. 

Vitalik Buterin

The creator behind the ethereum blockchain.


Cryptocurrency wallets are the place you’ll be able to retailer your cryptocurrency and NFTs. These wallets could be scorching or chilly — that’s, browser wallets linked to the web or bodily {hardware} unconnected to the web. Wallets can each learn and write, which means they will obtain info but in addition act as a signature or on-line ID.


Web3 is the subsequent iteration of the web as imagined by blockchain fans. Web1 was read-only web, from the web’s invention till round 2005. Web2 refers back to the introduction of individuals having the ability to produce content material and add it onto the web. Web3 can be an web that’s blockchain built-in. Think about proudly owning your social media posts as NFTs, utilizing a cryptocurrency like ether as a common foreign money and having your pockets as a type of ID as a substitute of a email-password combo. 


Somebody with giant holdings of cryptocurrency. 


A presale record for cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Whitelisted buyers are in a position to purchase the asset earlier than public launch, typically for a reduced value. 


Brief for “we’re all going to make it.”

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