Glossary

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Glossary of Cryptocurrency/ Blockchain terms

51% Attack

If  more than half the computer power on a network is run by a single  person or a single group of people, then a 51% attack is in operation.  This means this entity has full control of the network and can  negatively affect a cryptocurrency by halting mining, stopping or  changing transactions, and reusing coins.


Addresses

Every  cryptocurrency coin has a unique address that identifies where it sits  on the blockchain. It’s this address, this location, at which the coin’s  ownership data is stored and where any changes are registered when it  is traded. These addresses differ in appearance between cryptocurrencies  but are usually a string of more than 30 characters.


Airdrop

This  is a marketing campaign that refers to the expedited distribution of a  cryptocurrency through a population of people. It usually occurs when  the creator of a cryptocurrency provides its coin to low-ranked traders  or existing community members in order to build their use and  popularity. They are usually given away for free or in exchange for  simple tasks like sharing news of the coin with friends.


Algorithm

Mathematic instructions coded into and implemented by computer software in order to produce a desired outcome.


All Time High

The highest price ever achieved by a cryptocurrency.


All Time Low

The lowest price ever achieved by a cryptocurrency.


Altcoins

Bitcoin  was the first and is the most successful of all the cryptocurrencies.  All the other coins are grouped together under the category of altcoins.  Ethereum, for example, is an altcoin, as is Ripple.


AML

Acronym for “Anti-Money Laundering”

Anti-Money Laundering

These  are a set of international laws that hope to prevent criminal  organizations or individuals from laundering money through  cryptocurrencies into real-world cash.


Application Specific Integrated Circuit

A  piece of computer hardware – similar to a graphics card or a CPU – that  has been designed specifically to mine cryptocurrency. They are built  specifically to solve hashing problems efficiently.


Arbitrage

There  are multiple exchanges at any given time trading in the same  cryptocurrency, and they can do so at different rates. Arbitrage is the  act of buying from one exchange and then selling it to the next exchange  if there is a margin between the two that is profitable.


ASIC

Acronym for “Application Specific Integrated Circuit”


ATH

Acronym for “All Time High”


ATL

Acronym for “All Time Low”


Atomic Swap

A  way of letting people directly and cost-effectively exchange one type  of cryptocurrency for another, at current rates, without needing to buy  or sell.


Bag

If you have a large quantity of units in a certain cryptocurrency, you’d have a bag of them.


Bear/Bearish

If the price of a cryptocurrency has a negative price movement.


Bear Trap

This  is a trick played by a group of traders aimed at manipulating the price  of a cryptocurrency. The bear trap is set by this group all selling  their cryptocurrency at the same time, which bluffs the market into  thinking there is a drop incoming. As a result, other traders sell their  assets, further driving the price down. Those who set the trap then  release it, buying back their assets, which are now at a lower price.  The overall price then rebounds, allowing them to make a profit.


Bitcoin

The  very first cryptocurrency. It was created in 2008 by an individual or  group of individuals operating under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was  intended to be a peer-to-peer, decentralized electronic cash system.


Block

The  blockchain is made up of blocks. Each block holds a historical database  of all cryptocurrency transactions made until the block is full. It’s a  permanent record, like a bag of data that can be opened and viewed at  any time.


Block Explorer

An  online tool for exploring the blockchain of a cryptocurrency, where you  can watch and follow, live, all the transactions happening on the  blockchain. Block explorers can serve as blockchain analysis and provide  information such as total network hash rate, coin supply, transaction  growth, etc.


Block Height

Refers  to the number of blocks connected in the blockchain. For example,  Height 0 would be the very first block, which is also called the genesis  block.


Block Reward

A  form of incentive for the miner who successfully calculates the hash  (verification) in a block. Verification of transactions on the  blockchain generates new coins in the process, and the miner is rewarded  with a portion of these.


Blockchain

The  blockchain is a digital ledger of all the transactions ever made in a  particular cryptocurrency. It’s comprised of individual blocks (see  definition above) that are chained to each other through a cryptographic  signature. Each time a block’s capacity is reached, a new block is  added to the chain. The blockchain is repeatedly copied and saved onto  thousands of computers all around the world, and it must always match  each copy. As there is no master copy stored in one location, it’s  considered decentralized.


BTFD

Acronym for “Buy The F$%king Dip”

Bull/Bullish

If the price of a cryptocurrency has a positive price movement.


Burned

If a coin in any particular cryptocurrency has been made unspendable, it is said to be burned.


Buy the F$%king Dip

A  less-than-savory phrase used when you’re (enthusiastically) telling  someone a currency has dipped to a low value and should be bought.


Buy Wall

When  a large limit order has been placed to buy when a cryptocurrency  reaches a certain value, then that is a buy wall. This can prevent a  cryptocurrency from falling below that value, as demand will likely  outstrip supply when the order is executed.


CAP

Shorthand for market capitalization (see definition below)


Central Ledger

When a single entity has control of all financial records, it is considered to be a central ledger. This is how banks operate.


Chain Linking

Each  cryptocurrency has its own blockchain – the digital ledger that stores  all transaction records. Chain linking is the process that occurs if you  transfer one cryptocurrency to another. This requires the transaction  to be lodged in two separate blockchains, so they must link together to  achieve the goal.


Cipher

The name given to the algorithm that encrypts and decrypts information.


Circulating Supply

The  total number of coins in a cryptocurrency that are in the publicly  tradable space is considered the circulating supply. Some coins can be  locked, reserved or burned, therefore unavailable to public trading.


Cold Storage

Another term used for a paper wallet (see below).


Confirmed

When a transaction has been confirmed, it means it has been approved by the network and permanently appended to the blockchain.


Consensus

When  a transaction is made, all nodes on the network verify that it is valid  on the blockchain, and if so, they have a consensus.


Consensus Process

Refers  to those nodes that are responsible for maintaining the blockchain  ledger so that a consensus can be reached when a transaction is made.


Consortium blockchain

A privately owned and operated, yet publicly transparent, blockchain.


Cryptocurrency

A  form of money that exists as encrypted, digital information. Operating  independently of any banks, a cryptocurrency uses sophisticated  mathematics to regulate the creation and transfer of funds between  entities.


Cryptographic Hash Function

This  process happens on a node and involves converting an input – such as a  transaction – into a fixed, encrypted alphanumeric string that registers  its place in the blockchain. This conversion is controlled by a hashing  algorithm, which is different for each cryptocurrency.


Cryptography

The process of encrypting and decrypting information.


DAO

Acronym for “decentralized autonomous organization”


dApp

Shorthand for “decentralized application”


Decentralized Application

A  computer program that utilizes a blockchain for data storage, runs  autonomously, is not controlled or operated from a single entity, is  open source and has its use incentivized by the reward of fees or  tokens.


Decentralized Autonomous Organization

Refers  to organizations that are run by an application (computer program)  rather than direct human input. Control of this application is granted  to everyone rather than a single central entity.


Decryption

Turning encrypted cipher text back into plain text.


Deflation

When the demand for a particular cryptocurrency decreases, bringing down the price of its economy.


Depth Chart

This  graph plots the requests to buy (known as bids) and the requests to  sell (known as asks) on a chart. Because you can put a limit order on  your buy or sell transaction, the depth chart shows the crossover point  at which the market is most likely to accept a transaction in a timely  fashion. It also shows if there are any significant buy walls or sell  walls in play.


Deterministic Wallet

This  type of wallet is created by producing multiple keys from a seed. If  you lose this wallet, your wallet key can be recovered from the seed.  Plus, when you make transactions, instead of producing new keys each  time, you use variations from the seed, which makes it more transferable  and easier to store.


Difficulty

When  someone refers to difficulty in the cryptocurrency space, they are  referring to the cost of mining in that moment in time. The more  transactions that are trying to be confirmed at any single moment in  time, divided by the total power of the nodes on the network at that  time, defines the difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the greater the  transaction fee – this is a fluid measurement that moves over time.


Digital Commodity

An intangible, hard-to-get asset that is transferred electronically and has a certain value.


Digital Currency

Another term for digital commodity


Digital Signature

Used to confirm that a document being transmitted electronically is authentic. They generally appear as a code generated 

by a public key encryption.


Distributed Ledger

A  ledger that is stored in multiple locations so that any entries can be  accessed and checked by multiple parties. In cryptocurrency, this refers  to the blockchain being held on multiple nodes on the network, all of  which are checked simultaneously.


Double Spend

This occurs when someone tries to send a cryptocurrency to two different wallets or locations at the same time.


Dump

The term used to describe selling all (or a lot) of your cryptocurrency.


Dumping

When a lot of people dump at once, causing a sharp downward movement in a cryptocurrency’s price.


Dust Transaction

Sometimes  people will look to slow the network by deliberately flooding it with  minor transactions that are incredibly small. These minuscule amounts  are referred to as a dust transaction.


DYOR

Acronym for “do your own research”.

Encryption

Converting plain text into unintelligible text with the use of a cipher.


ERC

Stands for “Ethereum request for comments” and is a summation of proposed improvements to the Ethereum system.


ERC-20

The  standard to which each Ethereum token complies. It defines the way that  each token behaves so that transactions are predictable. Other  cryptocurrencies also use the ERC-20 standard, piggybacking on the  Ethereum network in the process.


Escrow

When  an intermediary is used to hold funds during a transaction, those funds  are being held in escrow. This is usually a third party between the  entity sending and the one receiving.


Ethereum

One  of the top three cryptocurrencies in the world based on its market  capitalization. Despite being open source and based on blockchain  technology, it differs from bitcoin in two key ways: it allows  developers to create dApps and also write smart contracts.


Ethereum Virtual Machine

A  virtual machine, effectively sitting in the cloud, that is Turing  complete and is used by all nodes on the network during blockchain  confirmations. It allows those on the node to execute random EVM Byte  Code, which is part of the Ethereum Protocol.


EVM

Stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Exchange

The  platform through which cryptocurrencies are exchanged with each other,  with fiat currencies and between entities. Exchanges can vary widely in  the currency conversions they enable and their fee structures.


FA

Acronym for “fundamental analysis”.


Faucet

If  you find a website that offers to give you free cryptocurrency for  connecting with them, it is termed a faucet. The majority of these are  scams.


Fiat

Refers to money recognized as legal tender by governments, such as the US dollar, British pound, Euro and Australian dollar.


FOMO

An acronym for “fear of missing out”.


Fork

When  a new version of a blockchain is created, resulting in two versions of  the blockchain running side-by-side, it is termed a fork. As a single  blockchain forks into two, they will both run on the same network. Forks  are categorized into two categories: soft or hard.


Frictionless

If there is no transaction cost and no restraints on trading, then the system is considered frictionless.


FUD

Acronym for “fear, uncertainty and doubt”.


Full Node

Some  nodes download a blockchain’s entire history in order to enforce its  rules completely. As they fully enforce the rules, they are considered a  full node.


Fundamental Analysis

A  method through which you can attach value to a coin by looking at  similar economic and financial factors and researching the underlying  motives of the creators and market opinion.


Futures Contract

This  is a pre-approved contract between two entities to fulfill a  transaction when the value of cryptocurrency hits a certain price. It’s  different than a limit order in that the buyer and seller are already  nominated and bound. A future contract becomes relevant when a buyer  wants to go short and a seller wants to go long on the asset.


Gas

Gas  a is measurement given to an operation in the Ethereum network that  relates to the computational power required to complete it. That  measurement relates to the fee offered to miners who process that  transaction. Other operations have a small cost of 3 to 10 gas, but a  full transaction costs 21,000 gas.


Gas Limit

When  users make a transaction on the Ethereum network, they set their gas  limit, which is the most they are willing to pay as a fee for that  transaction. If the transaction is going to cost more gas than what is  offered, the transaction will not go through. If it costs less, the  difference will be refunded.


Gas Price

The  amount you are willing to pay for a transaction on the Ethereum  network. If you want miners to process your transaction fast, then you  should offer a higher price. Gas prices are usually denominated in Gwei.


Genesis Block

The first or first few blocks of a blockchain.


Group Mining

Another term used to describe a mining pool (see below).


Gwei

The denomination used in defining the cost of gas. Set a gas price of 20,000 Gwei, for example.


Halving

Every  time miners approve transactions on the bitcoin blockchain, they earn  bitcoin. As each block on the blockchain fills up with transactions, a  certain amount of bitcoin enter the marketplace. However, the number of  bitcoin that will ever be created is finite, locked at 21 million. In  order to ensure this cap is kept, the amount of bitcoin earned by miners  for filling one block is halved at the completion of that block. This  is called halving. For the record, by the year 2140, all 21 million  bitcoin will be in circulation.


Hard Cap

During  an ICO, the creator can set a hard cap. This is the maximum amount it  planned to raise, and it will therefore stop offering coins at this  figure.


Hard Fork

A  fork in the blockchain that converts transactions previously labeled  invalid to valid, and vice versa. For this fork to work, all nodes on  the network must upgrade to the newest protocol.


Hardware Wallet

A  physical device, similar to a USB stick, that stores cryptocurrency in  its encrypted form. It’s considered the most secure way to hold  cryptocurrency.


Hash

The shorthand for cryptographic hash function (see description above).


Hash Rate

Measurement  of performance that reveals how many hashes per second your computer is  capable of producing. Each hash is an attempt to find a block by  creating a unique block candidate and testing it against the network.


Hashing Power

The  hash rate of a computer, measured in kH/s, MH/s, GH/s, TH/s, PH/s or  EH/s depending on the hashes per second being produced. 1,000 kH/s = 1  MH/s, 1,000 MH/s = 1 GH/s and so forth.


HODL

Acronym for “hold on for dear life”.


ICO

Acronym for “initial coin offering”.

Initial Coin Offering

In  order to raise funds, the creator of a cryptocurrency will put an  initial batch of its coins up for purchase. This is an initial coin  offering.


JOMO

Acronym for “joy of missing out”.


KYC

Acronym  for “know your customer”, which refers to a financial institution’s  obligation to verify the identity of a customer in line with AML laws.


LAMBO

Shorthand  for Lamborghini, which is how someone might refer to themselves if they  are getting rich quickly. The idea being there is so much money coming  in that they are going to go buy an exotic car.


Ledger

A record of financial transactions. A ledger cannot be changed, it can only be appended with new transactions.


Leverage

A loan of sorts offered by a broker on an exchange during margin trading (see below).


Lightning Network

A  peer-to-peer system for cryptocurrency micropayments that is focused on  low latency, instant payments. They’re typically low cost, scalable and  can work across chains, and transactions can be public or private.


Limit Order/Limit Buy/Limit Sell

If  you set a rule whereby a cryptocurrency is sold or bought when at a  certain price, you are setting a limit order. When traders place an  order for a buy or sell, the system looks for these limit orders.


Liquidity

The liquidity of a cryptocurrency is defined by how easily it can be bought and sold without impacting the overall market price.


Locktime

If  a transaction request comes with a rule delaying when it can be  processed to a certain time or certain block on the blockchain, that is  referred to as the locktime.


Long

When  you intend to take a large amount of cryptocurrency and stockpile it  with the anticipation that it will grow in value, you are going long (or  taking a long position).


MACD

Acronym for “Moving Average Convergence Divergence”.


Margin Bear Position

This is the position you are taking if you are going “short”.


Margin Bull Position

This is the position you are taking if you are going “long”.


Market Capitalization

This is defined as the total number of coins in supply multiplied by the price. Cap = supply x price.


Margin Trading

A  risky strategy used by experienced traders where they risk their  existing coins to magnify the intensity of their trades. This allows  them to buy more than they can afford using leverage provided by an  exchange.


Market Order

As  opposed to a limit order, a market order does not wait until a certain  price to buy or sell; it trades wherever the price is at the time the  transaction order is made.


MCAP

Acronym for “market capitalization”.


Mining

The  term, somewhat confusingly, given to the process of verifying  transactions on a blockchain. In the process of solving the encryption  challenges, the person donating the computer power is granted new  fractions of the cryptocurrency.


Mining Contract

An  investment in mining hardware whereby you rent out the hashing power of  mining hardware for a certain amount of time. The renter does not pay  for the hardware or the maintenance and electricity required to run it.


Mining Pool

If  a number of miners combine their computing power together to try and  help complete the transactions required to start a new block in the  blockchain, they are in a mining pool. The rewards are spread  proportionately between those in the mining pool based on the amount of  power they contributed. The idea is that being in a mining pool allows  for better chances of successful hashing and therefore getting enough  cryptocurrency reward to produce an income.


Money Services Business

A legal term used to represent an entity that transfers or converts money.


Moon

A term used to describe a major price movement upwards. For example, Ripple is mooning.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence

A  part of the technical analysis of a cryptocurrency’s value, this tracks  the momentum of price change to try and forecast into the future.


MSB

Acronym for “money services business”.


Multipool Mining

If  a miner moves from one cryptocurrency blockchain to another depending  on the profitability provided by the network at that moment in time,  they are engaging in multipool mining.


Multi-Signature (Multi-Sig) Wallets

If,  in order for a transaction to go through, more than one user needs to  provide their unique code, then it is multi-signature. This system is  set up at the creation of the account and is considered less susceptible  to theft.


Network

A network refers to all the nodes committed to helping the operation of a blockchain at any given moment in time.


Node

Any computer that is connected to a blockchain’s network is referred to as a node.


Nonce

When  a miner hashes a transaction, a random number is generated, called a  nonce. The parameters from which that number is chosen change based on  the difficulty of the transaction.


OCO

Acronym for “one cancels the other order”.


One Cancels the Other Order

When  two orders for cryptocurrency are placed simultaneously with a rule in  place whereby if one is accepted, the other is cancelled.


Oracles

The  smart contracts stored on a blockchain are stuck within the network.  They can only be reached by the external world through a program called  an oracle. The oracle sends the data to and from the smart contract and  the outside world as required. Oracles are most commonly found on the  Ethereum network.


Overbought

If  a large number of purchases have been made on a cryptocurrency, its  price will increase for an extended period of time. At this juncture, it  is considered overbought and a period of selling is expected.


Oversold

If  a cryptocurrency has spent significant time being sold without an  upward movement, it is considered oversold. In this condition, there  would be concerns about whether it will bounce back.


Paper Wallet

Storing  your wallet code (your private key) on a physical document makes it a  paper wallet. It’s also sometimes referred to as cold storage.


P2P

Acronym for “peer to peer”.


Peer to Peer

In  a peer-to-peer connection, two or more computers network with each  other without a centralized third party being used as an intermediary.


PND

Acronym for “pump and dump”.


Pre-Sale

A period before an ICO goes public when private investors or community members are able to buy the cryptocurrency.


Private Key

A  string of numbers and letters that are used to access your wallet.  While your wallet is represented by a public key, the private key is the  password you should protect (with your life). You need your private key  when selling or withdrawing cryptocurrencies, as it acts as your  digital signature.


Proof of Authority (PoA)

A  private key that gives the holder the right to create the blocks in a  private blockchain. It can be held by a single entity or a set number of  entities. This is an alternative to the proof-of-work model, as instead  of getting multiple random nodes to approve a transaction, a group of  specific nodes are given the authority to approve. This is a far faster  method.


Proof of Stake (PoS)

Another  alternative to proof of work, this caps the reward given to miners for  providing their computational power to the network at that miner’s  investment in the cryptocurrency. So if a miner holds three coins, they  can only earn three coins. The system encourages miners to stick with a  certain blockchain rather than converting their rewards to an alternate  cryptocurrency.


Proof of Work (PoW)

In  order to receive a reward for mining a cryptocurrency, miners must show  that their computers contributed effort to approve a transaction. A  variable is added to the process of hashing a transaction that demands  that effort before a block can be successfully hashed. Having a hashed  block proves the miner did work and deserves a reward – hence proof of  work.


Protocols

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


Public blockchain

A blockchain that can be accessed by anyone through a full node on their computer.


Public Key

This  is your unique wallet address, which appears as a long string of  numbers and letters. It is used to receive cryptocurrencies.


Pump

This  is a term used to refer to an upward price movement, usually driven by  whales investing large sums of money in a cryptocurrency.


Pump and Dump

The  frowned-upon practice of buying a lot of one cryptocurrency to drive up  its price and encourage others to invest, then selling the lot when  there is a suitable margin.


REKT

Shorthand slang for “wrecked” and a term used to describe a bad loss in a trade.


Relative Strength Index

A  type of technical analysis whereby you determine the momentum of price  change over time. It looks at recent changes in price exponentially,  with the most recent changes given more weight than older ones. This  produces an overall trend of movement for a cryptocurrency that can  determine if the market is overbought (a reading higher than 70) or  oversold (a reading lower than 30).


Ring Signature

A  ring signature is a type of encryption process that retains anonymity  for the user. The concept gives the network of nodes the power to  approve a transaction on a blockchain without identifying which of the  nodes requested the transaction. As a result, it cannot be traced.


RSI

Acronym for “Relative Strength Index”.


Satoshi Nakamoto

The individual, or group of individuals – it has never been confirmed – who created bitcoin.


SATS

This  is the smallest unit of bitcoin, which is 0.00000001 BTC. The name SATS  is shorthand for Satoshi Nakamoto, which is the fake name used by the  creator of bitcoin.


Scrypt

An  algorithm that encrypts a key in such a fashion that it takes a serious  amount of RAM to hash it. The system makes it challenging to attack for  hackers. Despite its spelling, Scrypt is pronounced “ess-crypt”.


Seed

The  origin point from which you created your wallet ID. Usually, a seed is a  phrase or a series of words that can be used to regenerate your wallet  ID if you lose it. Something to keep very secret.

Segregated Witness

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


SEGWIT

Acronym for “segregated witness”.

Selfish Mining

If  a miner finds or creates a new block in the blockchain and then doesn’t  share that information with the network, he or she is partaking in  selfish mining. This is because other miners are now burning their  computational power on an old block, allowing the selfish miner to get a  head start on the new block.


Sell Wall

When  a large limit order has been placed to sell when a cryptocurrency  reaches a certain value, that is a sell wall. This can prevent a  cryptocurrency from rising above that value, as supply will likely  outstrip demand when the order is executed.


SHA-256

The  name of the cryptographic hash function (the hashing algorithm) used by  bitcoin. It’s been subsequently used by a number of altcoins too.


Sharding

Sharding  is a way of splitting up the full blockchain history so each full node  doesn’t need the whole copy of it. It’s considered a scaling solution  for blockchains because as they grow larger, it begins to slow the  network performance if every node is required to carry the full  blockchain.


Shit Coin

No points for guessing this one. It’s a term used to describe a cryptocurrency not expected to have a positive future.


Short

Also  known as short selling, this is a concept whereby traders sell an asset  they don’t have. The hope is that they can then buy the asset at a  lower price than which they sold it to complete the deal. Thereby they  earn a margin in the interim.


Smart Contracts

When  a contract is written in computer code, as opposed to traditional legal  language, it is deemed a smart contract. This programmed contract is  set up to execute and carry itself out automatically under specified  conditions. When a smart contract is on the blockchain, both parties can  check its programming before agreeing to it, and then let it do its  thing, confident that it cannot be tampered with or changed. It lets two  parties agree to complex terms without needing to trust each other and  without needing to involve any third parties. This functionality is the  defining feature of the Ethereum blockchain.


Soft Fork

A  fork in a blockchain protocol where previously valid transactions  become invalid. A soft fork is backwards-compatible, as the old nodes  running the old protocol will still consider new transactions valid,  rather than disregarding them. For a soft fork to work, a majority of  the miners powering the network will need to upgrade to the new  protocol.


Software Wallet

A  common form of wallet where the private key for an individual is stored  within software files on a computer. This is the system you are likely  to use if you sign up for a wallet online that is not associated with an  exchange.


Solidity

A  programming language similar to JavaScript but focused on developing  smart contracts. It’s exported as bytecode, which is used by the  Ethereum Virtual Machine that runs the Ethereum network.


TA

Acronym for “technical analysis”.


Technical Analysis

Using a trading tool to look at historical data on a cryptocurrency in the hope of forecasting its future.


Test Net

When  a cryptocurrency creator is testing out a new version of a blockchain,  it does so on a test net. This runs like a second version of the  blockchain but doesn’t impact the value associated with the primary,  active blockchain.


Timestamp

The moment in time when a transaction was encrypted and regarded as proof that the data compiled in that transaction existed.


Token

The  “coin” of a cryptocurrency is a token. Effectively, it’s the digital  code defining each fraction, which can be owned, bought and sold.


Tokenless Ledger

When  a distributed ledger exists but doesn’t need a currency in which to  operate. With these blockchains, the miners upholding the network  typically don’t get a reward/payment.


TOR

Acronym for “terms of reference”.


Transaction

The value of cryptocurrency moved from one entity to another on a blockchain network.


Transaction Fee

Usually  very small fees given to the miners involved in successfully approving a  transaction on the blockchain. This fee can vary depending on the  difficulty involved in a transaction and overall network capabilities at  that moment in time. If an exchange is involved in facilitating that  transaction, it could also take a cut of the overall transaction fee.


Turing Completeness

If  a machine is capable of performing all conceivable programmable  calculations, then it is Turing complete. This machine can process any  computable function and includes most modern computers.


Unconfirmed

When  a transaction is proposed, it is unconfirmed until the network has  examined the blockchain to ensure that there are no other transactions  pending involving that same coin. In the unconfirmed state, the  transaction has not been appended to the blockchain.


Unspent Transaction Output

This  refers to the amount of cryptocurrency sent to an entity but not sent  on elsewhere. These amounts are considered unspent and are the data  stored in the blockchain.


UTXO

Acronym for “unspent transaction output”.


Volatility

The  fluctuation in an asset’s price is measured by its volatility.  Cryptocurrency prices are notoriously volatile compared to other assets,  as dramatic price shifts can happen quickly.


Wallet

A  wallet is defined by a unique code that represents its “address” on the  blockchain. The wallet address is public, but within it is a number of  private keys determining ownership of the balance and the balance  itself. It can exist in software, hardware, paper or other forms.


Whale

A term used to describe extremely wealthy investors or traders who have enough funds to manipulate the market.


Whitelist

Prior  to an ICO, interested parties can sign up/register their involvement  and intent to purchase or even purchase under pre-sale conditions. The  list of these parties is referred to as the whitelist.


White Paper

A  detailed explanation of a cryptocurrency, designed to offer  satisfactory technical information, explain the purpose of the coin and  set out a roadmap for how it plans to succeed. It’s designed to convince  investors that it’s a good choice ahead of an ICO.


Zero Confirmation Transaction

Alternative phrasing for an unconfirmed transaction.