Crypto glossary

# 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



Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification, is a security process in which users provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves.

What is 2FA?

51% Attack

An attack on a blockchain where a miner or group of miners control more than 51% of the network's mining power, computing power or hash rate. Such an attack could control new transactions from taking place or being confirmed.



A virtual location where cryptocurrency can be sent to and from, in the form of a string of letters and numbers.


A marketing campaign that distributes a specific cryptocurrency or token to an audience.


A process or set of rules to be followed in problem-solving or calculation operations, usually by a computer, although humans tend to follow steps algorithmically as well (let’s say doing math or following a recipe).

All time high

An All-Time High (ATH) is the highest point (in price, market capitalization etc.) that a cryptocurrency has been in history.

All time low

An All-Time Low (ATL) is the lowest point (in price, market capitalization etc.) that a cryptocurrency has been in history.


Any alternative cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin.


Anonymity describes the quality or state of being anonymous or unknown.


An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. API's specify how software components should interact, such as what data to use and what actions should be taken.


Arbitrage is the practice of simultaneously buying and selling currency, or commodities in different markets in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset.


An acronym for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit — a device designed for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrencies.

Ask price

An ask price is the minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for an asset. The ask price is also sometimes referred to as the offer price.

Atomic swap

An atomic swap is the transfer of cryptocurrency from one party to another, without the use of an exchange or other intermediary.



A bag is crypto slang for a large quantity of a specific cryptocurrency. Alternatively (but less frequently) used to refer to the contents of an individual's crypto portfolio.


A bear is someone who believes that prices in a given market will decline over an extended period. Such a person might be referred to as “bearish.”


A collection of transaction data, resistant to modification.

Block explorer

An application enabling a user to view details of blocks on a given blockchain. Also known as a blockchain browser.

Block height

A value describing the number of blocks preceding a given block in the blockchain.

Block reward

A reward of coins awarded to a miner or group of miners for solving the cryptographic problem required to create a new block on a given blockchain.


A list of blocks, linked together using cryptography

What is blockchain?

Blockchain network

A blockchain network is a technical infrastructure that provides ledger and smart contract services to applications.


Automated software that can carry out tasks such as cryptocurrency trading.


A bull is someone that is optimistic and confident that market prices will increase, this person is also known to be "bullish" about the market or price.



A candlestick chart is a graphing technique used to show changes in price over time. Each candle provides 4 points of information in a specific timeframe - open price, close price, the high, and the low.

Cardano computation layer (CCL)

The CCL contains the data how values are transferred.

Cardano settlement layer (CSL)

The CSL acts as the ledger of account or balance ledger.

Central issuer

A central issuer ia an individual or company that supplies or distributes something.

Central ledger

A central ledger, or general ledger, is a ledger kept by a central agency, such as a bank, that records all financial transactions relating to a company's assets.


A centralized organizational structure is one in which a single node or a small number of them are in control of an entire network.

Circulating supply

A reference to the number of coins or tokens that currently exists and are either in circulation or locked in the market and in the general public’s hands.

Cold storage

An offline storage of cryptocurrencies. Typically involving hardware non-custodial wallets, USBs, offline computers or paper wallets. *see Hot storage.

Where to store?

Cold wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet that is in cold storage, offline and not connected to the internet.


Collateral is something pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default.


A confirmation is a measure of how many blocks have passed since a transaction was added to a coin's blockchain. The more confirmations, the more secure the transaction.

Consensus algorithm

A consensus algorithm is a protocol through which all the parties of the blockchain network come to a common agreement (consensus) on the present data state of the ledger and be able to trust unknown peers in a distributed computing environment.


A correction is a decrease or 'pullback' of an asset’s price of at least 10% to adjust for over-bought or high valuation.


A CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is the 'brain' of any digital computer. It is composed of the main memory, control unit, and arithmetic-logic unit.

Cross-chain messaging protocol

A cross-chain communication protocol (CCCP) defines the process by which a pair of blockchains interact in order to correctly synchronise cross-chain transactions.


A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptographic technology to secure it's operation. Making it almost impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.

What is crypto?

Cryptographic hash

A cryptographic hash function (CHF) is a mathematical algorithm that maps data of arbitrary size (often called the "message") to a bit array of a fixed size (the "hash value").


A method of protecting information through the use of codes, so that only those for whom the information is intended can read and process it. The three types of cryptography used are symmetric-key, public-key, and hash function.

Currency corridors

A currency corridor is the limit of the national currency rate set by the central bank of that country.



Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

Day trader

A day trader frequently buys and sells assets to make a profit based on intraday changes in their price.


A decentralised network or system is organised in a much more distributed fashion. Each node within the network functions as a separate authority with independent decision-making power regarding how it interacts with other systems.

Decentralised applications (Dapps)

A type of application that runs on a decentralised network, avoiding a single point of failure.

Decentralised exchange (DEX)

A peer-to-peer exchange that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency and other assets without a central intermediary involved.

Decentralised servers

A decentralised server allows the activities of a network, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, be distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group.


An abbreviation for Decentralized Finance. DeFi is the creation of an ecosystem of financial tools built on the blockchain. DeFi apps take traditional financial services and rebuild them as open and permissionless.

What is DeFi?


A decrease in the general price level of goods and services in an economy. Deflation may also refer to a currency or asset, such as Bitcoin, where there is a fixed supply, increasing the value if there is short supply.

Delegated proof of stake

A DPoS, is designed as an implementation of technology-based democracy, using a voting and election process to protect the blockchain from centralization and malicious usage.


A measure of how hard it is to validate a new block on a blockchain.

Digital assets

A digital asset is anything that exists in a digital format and comes with the right to use. A digital entity owned by an individual or company.

Digital currency

A digital currency is a currency that is only accessible with computers or mobile phones, as they only exist in electronic form.

Digital representation

A digital representation is the representation of data in binary form.


Shared or spread out.

Distributed ledger

A distributed ledger is a database that is consensually shared and synchronized across multiple sites, institutions, or geographies, accessible by multiple people. It allows transactions to have public "witnesses".

Double spending

A double-spend is the potential for a digital currency to be spent twice. It is a potentialproblem unique to digital currencies because digital information can be reproduced relatively easily by savvy individuals who understand the blockchain network and the computing power necessary to manipulate it.


An acronym for 'Do Your Own Research.' Look into the fundamentals of a project. Don’t just take people at their word.



Egalitarianism is a philosophical perspective that emphasizes equality and equal treatment across gender, religion, economic status, and political beliefs.


An epoch is the target time period for which a given group of Miners is elected to serve as the consensus group.


An Erc-20 token is a token designed and used solely on the Ethereum platform, a decentralized open source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality.

What is ERC-20 token?


A solution of payment used on the Ethereum blockchain. Ether should be considered as fuel for the apps on the decentralized ethereum network.


A cryptocurrency exchange, or a digital currency exchange, is a business that allows customers to trade crypto or digital currencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money or other digital currencies.


Federated byzantine agreement algorithm

A Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) is used for its high throughput, network scalability, and low transaction costs. Notable cryptocurrencies using the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) include Stellar and Ripple.


A government-issued currency that isn't backed by a commodity such as gold. Fiat money gives central banks greater control over the economy because they can control how much money is printed. Most modern paper currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, are fiat currencies.

Flood attack

In a flood attack, attackers send a very high volume of traffic to a system so that it cannot examine and allow permitted network traffic.


An acronym that stands for 'Fear of Missing Out'. In the context of investing, it refers to the feeling of apprehension for missing out on a potentially profitable investment opportunity and regretting it later.


Gas price

A term that refers to the price you pay for a transaction on the Ethereum network.


On-chain governance is a system for managing and implementing changes to cryptocurrency blockchains. In this type of governance, rules for instituting changes are encoded into the blockchain protocol.

Governance token

A governance token is a token that can be used to vote on decisions that influence changes on a network or ecosystem.A term that refers to the price you pay for a transaction on the Ethereum network.



A hack or hacking is the process of using a computer to manipulate another computer system in an unauthorized fashion.


An event in which the total rewards per confirmed block is reduced by half. Usually pre-determined over a specific timeframe.

Hard fork

A radical change to a network's protocol that makes previously invalid blocks and transactions valid, or vice-versa. A hard fork requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.


A cryptographic hash function is an algorithm that takes an arbitrary amount of data and produces a fixed-size output of enciphered text called a hash value, or just “hash.” That enciphered text can then be stored instead of the password itself, and later used to verify the user.

Hash power

A unit of measurement for the amount of computing power being consumed by the network to continuously operate.


A term used to hold an asset long term, also an abbreviation for 'Hold On for Dear Life'.

Hot wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet for hot storage of cryptoassets, as opposed to an offline, cold wallet with cold storage. *See Cold Wallet.

Where to store?


Hyperinflation is a term to describe rapid, excessive, and out-of-control general price increases in an economy.


A global umbrella enterprise blockchain project that offers the necessary framework, standards, guidelines and tools, to build open source blockchains and related applications for use across various industries.


Initial coin offering (ICO)

A type of crowdfunding, or crowdsale, using cryptocurrencies as a means of raising capital for early-stage companies. It has come under fire due to the occurrence of scams and market manipulators.


A property that defines the inability to be changed, especially over time.


A general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.

Institutional corruption

A systemic and strategic influence which is legal, or even currently ethical, that undermines the institution's effectiveness by diverting it from its purpose or weakening its ability to achieve its purpose.


An intermediary, or middleman, is a person or entity that acts as the go-between different parties to bring about agreements or carry out directives.

Internet of things IOT

A global interconnected network of devices, sensors and software that can collect and exchange data with each other in real-time over the Internet.

Initial token offering (ITO)

A ITO is similar to ICOs, but the focus is on the offering of tokens with proven (or unproven) intrinsic utility in the form of software or usage in an ecosystem.



An acronym for 'Know Your Customer'. This process refers to a project’s or financial institution’s obligations to verify the identity of a customer in line with global anti-money laundering laws.



A record of financial transactions that cannot be changed, only appended with new transactions.

Lightning network

A second-layer protocol that is designed to solve Bitcoin’s scalability issues by allowing transactions to be processed more quickly.


A "liquid" Proof-of-stake means token holders can delegate validation rights to other token holders without custody, while the tokens remain in the delegators wallet.


An assets liquidity refers to how quickly it can be bought and sold into cash without impacting the overall market price.


A position or trade where you buy a cryptocurrency with the expectation of selling it at a higher price for profit later.



An independent blockchain running its own network with its own technology and protocol. It is a live blockchain where its own cryptocurrencies or tokens are in use, as compared to a testnet or projects running on top of other popular networks such as Ethereum.

Majority consensus

Consensus enables all group members to be invested in the chosen outcome, but majority rule is a quicker decision-making process.

Market cap

A total market capitalization of a crypto is the overall dollar value of that company/project. To calculate market capitalization multiply the total outstanding supply by the current market price of one token.

Max supply

A max supply refers to the maximum amount of coins or tokens that will be ever created. This means that once the max supply is reached, there won't be any new coins mined, minted or produced in any other way.


A micropayment is a financial transaction involving a very small sum of money and usually one that occurs online.


A miner contributes to a blockchain taking part in the process of mining. They can be professional miners or organisations with large-scale operations, or hobbyists who set up mining rigs at home or in the office.


A process where blocks are added to a blockchain, verifying transactions. It is also the process through which new bitcoin or some altcoins are created.

Mining pools

A setup where multiple miners combine their computing power to gain economies of scale and competitiveness in finding the next block on a blockchain. Rewards are split according to different agreements.

Mining rewards

The reward recieved resulting from contributing computing resources to process transactions. Mining rewards are usually a mix of newly-minted coins and transaction fees.

Monetary system

A monetary system is a system by which a government provides money in a country's economy. Modern monetary systems usually consist of the national treasury, the mint, the central banks and commercial banks.



A network refers to the network of nodes operating on a blockchain at any given moment in time.


A node is the most basic unit of blockchain infrastructure that stores data.


Offline storage

An act of storing cryptocurrency in a device or system not connected to the internet.

Open network

An open network allows a variety of entities to provide service on a reasonably equal basis versus each other and the network operator. In other words, open networking is the ability for a computer system to be open in terms of component compatibility, in both hardware and software.

On-chain governance

On-chain governance is a system designed to manage and implement changes to cryptocurrency blockchains.

Open source

A philosophy with participants believing in the free and open sharing of information in pursuit of the greater common good. Open source software is designed to be publicly accessible—anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see fit.


An agent that finds and verifies information, bridging the real world and the blockchain by providing data to smart contracts for execution of said contracts under specified conditions.

Over the counter (OTC)

A transaction made outside of an exchange, often agreed upon and completed peer-to-peer through private trades.


Ouroboros are a family of proof-of-stake blockchain consensus protocols that can run both permissionless and permissioned blockchains.


Paper wallet

A physical document containing your private key or seed phrase.

Where to store?


A parachain is an application-specific data structure that is globally coherent and validatable by the validators of the Polkadot Relay Chain.

Peer to peer (P2P)

A peer-to-peer network by which computers operated by individuals can share information and resources directly without relying on a dedicated central server


A system is said to be permissionless when there is no entity that can regulate who can use it and how it can be used.


A platform refers to the parent blockchain of tokens. It may also refer to a cryptocurrency exchange on which you may trade cryptocurrencies.

Private key/secret key

A piece of code generated in asymmetric-key encryption process, paired with a public key, to be used in decrypting information hashed with the public key.

Public vs private keys?

Proof of stake (POS)

A blockchain consensus mechanism involving choosing the creator of the next block via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age of staked coins or tokens.

What is proof of stake?

Proof of work (POW)

A blockchain consensus mechanism involving solving of computationally intensive puzzles to validate transactions and create new blocks.

What is proof of work?


A network protocol is an established system of rules that determine how data is transmitted between different devices in the same network.

Public address

A public address is the cryptographic hash of a public key, allowing the user to use it as an address to request for payment.

Public blockchain

A public blockchain is an openly distributed, decentralized network. Anyone can download the protocol and read, write or participate in the network.

Public key

A public key is a large numerical value that is used to encrypt data.

Public vs private keys?


QR code

A machine-readable label that shows information encoded into a graphical black-and-white pattern. For cryptocurrencies, it is often used to easily share wallet addresses with others.


Real world data

Real-world data refers to observational data as opposed to data gathered in an experimental setting.

Recursive internetwork architecture (RINA)

The Recursive InterNetwork Architecture (RINA) is a new computer network architecture proposed as an alternative to the architecture of the currently mainstream Internet protocol suite.

Remittance system

A remittance is a fund-transfer transaction wherein funds are moved from one account to another account within the same or any other financial institution.

Ring confidential transaction

A ring confidential transaction, also known as 'RingCT', is a privacy feature that was implemented into the Monero protocol. With ring confidential transactions, the transactional privacy of users are improved because the value of funds being transferred is obfuscated.

Ring signature

A ring signature is a cryptographic digital signature that obfuscates the identities of two parties within a transaction.


Satoshi Nakamoto

An individual or group of individuals that is believed to have created Bitcoin. The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been confirmed.


An alternative proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm to SHA-256, used in Bitcoin mining. Scrypt mining relies more heavily on memory than on pure CPU power, aiming to reduce the advantage that ASICs have and hence increasing network participation and energy efficiency.

Software development kit (SDK)

A Software Development Kit (SDK) brings together a group of tools that enable the programming of mobile applications.


SegWit is the name used for an implemented soft fork change in the transaction format of Bitcoin.


A cryptographic hash function that generates a 256-bit signature for a text, used in Bitcoin proof-of-work (PoW). Standing for “Secure Hash Algorithm,” it is one of the SHA-2 algorithms, first designed by the NSA.


A position or trade in which an asset is borrowed in order to sell it at a lower price. When the price decreases, the short seller will then sell it back to the lender, keeping the difference as profit.

Single point of failure (SPOF)

A single point of failure (SPOF) is part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working.

Smart contract

A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.

Soft fork

A protocol upgrade where only previously valid transactions are made invalid, with most soft forks requiring miners to upgrade their mining software.

Spam transactions

A spam transaction is a transaction which creates an undesirable extra load on the network due to not following best practices. Such transactions are always more costly to the spammer than not spamming.


A process of actively participating in transaction validation on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. On these blockchains, anyone with a minimum-required balance of a specific cryptocurrency can validate transactions and earn Staking rewards.

Stealth address

A stealth address is designed to prevent public association of a transaction's output with a recipient's wallet address and conceal the transaction's actual destination address, thereby hiding the receiver's identity on a cryptocurrency network



To interfere or meddle, especially in a harmful way.

Total supply

A total supply refers to the number of coins or tokens that currently exists and are either in circulation or locked somehow. It is the sum of coins that were already mined (or issued) minus the total of coins that were burned or destroyed.


Traceablility is the ablility to be found, discovered or followed on its course or to its origin.


When you're transparent, you invite trust by revealing that you have nothing to hide. You establish yourself as an honest, credible person in the eyes of others.


A property of the blockchain, where no participant needs to trust any other participant for transactions to be enforced as intended.



A participant on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, involved in validating blocks for rewards.


An assets volatility is it's tendency for price to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.



A cryptocurrency wallet is a secure digital wallet used to store, send, and receive digital currency, and are divided into two categories hosted wallets and cold wallets.

Where to store?


A document prepared by an ICO project team to interest investors with its vision, cryptocurrency use and cryptoeconomic design, technical information, and a roadmap for how it plans to grow and succeed.

What is a whitepaper?