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Definition: crypto glossary


There are more than a thousand cryptocurrency concepts, products and synonyms in this encyclopedia. The following are links in alphabetical order to many, but nowhere near all of the definitions. Each definition has links to other crypto terms.

Are You New to Crypto?
First read crypto glossary basics.

1099-DA
Digital asset reporting to IRS. See 1099-DA.

51% consensus
A majority of blockchain nodes. See 51% consensus.

Aave
Blockchain-based lending platform. See Aave.

airdropped token
Free crypto for promotional purposes. See airdropped token.

Algorand
Smart contract blockchain. See Algorand.

altcoin
Non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency. See altcoin.

Amazon Managed Blockchain
Blockchains on Amazon's cloud. See Amazon Managed Blockchain.

ASIC miner
Mining hardware. See miner hardware.

atomic swap
Coin exchange between blockchains. See atomic swap.

Axie Infinity
Popular crypto-based game. See Axie Infinity.

Base58
Crypto address for manual copying. See Base58.

Binance
Largest crypto exchange by volume. See Binance.

BIP
Procedure for improving Bitcoin. See BIP.

Bitcoin
The first crypto. See Bitcoin.

Bitcoin address
Public transaction address. See Bitcoin address.

Bitcoin Academy
Education for low-income households. See Bitcoin Academy.

Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin dispensing machine. See Bitcoin ATM.

Bitcoin City
New city in El Salvador. See Bitcoin City.

Bitcoin faucet
Dispensing bitcoins as rewards. See Bitcoin faucet.

Bitcoin miner/minting
Entity that adds a block. See Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin node
Participating computer in Bitcoin. See Bitcoin node.

Bitcoin pizza
First Bitcoin transaction. See Bitcoin pizza.

Bitcoin transaction
Sending Bitcoin to someone. See Bitcoin transaction.

Bitcoin wallet
A debit card to a user's bitcoins. See Bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin.com
A Web services company. See Bitcoin.com.

Bitfinex
Bitcoin exchange with Lightning support. See Bitfinex.

Bitso
First Mexican crypto exchange. See Bitso.

block explorer/blockchain explorer
View blockchain transactions. See block explorer and Bitcoin block explorer.

block reward
A miner's reward for updating the blockchain. See crypto block reward.

blockchain
Architecture behind crypto. See blockchain and blockchain protocol.

blockchain oracle
Transfer off-chain data to the main chain. See blockchain oracle.

blockchain service provider
Organization helping companies use blockchains. See blockchain service provider.

blockchain stock
Shares in companies involved with crypto. See blockchain stock.

blockchain validator
Checking a blockchain's integrity. See blockchain validator.

Blockchain.com
A Web services company. See Blockchain.com.

Blockstream
Company offering blockchain technologies. See Blockstream.

Bonanza Mine
Intel mining chip announced in 2022. See Bonanza Mine.

buidling
"Building" new crypto products. See buidling.

burning crypto
Destroying crypto coins. See crypto burning.

candidate block
Potential next block of crypto transactions. See candidate block.

candlestick
Common crypto chart style. See candlestick.

Cardano
Third-generation blockchain architecture. See Cardano.

CBDC
Central bank digital currency. See CBDC.

CeFi
(Centralized Finance) Non-blockchain services. See CeFi.

CEX
(centralized exchange) See crypto exchange and decentralized exchange.

chain of custody
History of blockchain transactions. See cryptographic chain of custody.

Changelly
Decentralized crypto exchange. See Changelly.

Cirus platform
Blockchain system that pays users for their data. See Cirus platform.

cloud mining
Using cloud computing to mine crypto. See cloud mining.

Codex
Blockchain protocol for collectibles. See Codex.

coin arbitrage
Buying and selling on different crypto exchanges. See coin arbitrage.

Coinbase
Largest crypto exchange in U.S. See Coinbase.

cold wallet
Offline coin storage. See cold wallet.

colored coin
Early attempt at Bitcoin programmability. See colored coins.

confirmation
Assurance of incontestable transaction. See Bitcoin confirmation.

consensus algorithm
Protocol that ensures blockchain nodes are in agreement. See consensus mechanism.

ConstitutionDAO
Crowdfund to bid on U.S. Constitution. See ConstitutionDAO.

cold wallet
Crypto wallet not connected to the Internet. See cold wallet.

Compound
Blockchain-based lending platform. See Compound.

crowdsale
Popular method for funding new cryptos. See crowdsale and ICO.

crypto
Abbreviation of "cryptocurrency." See crypto.

crypto address
The identification of a user on a blockchain. See crypto address.

crypto art
Digital art created as an NFT. See crypto art.

crypto domain
Blockchain-based domain names. See Unstoppable Domains.

crypto believer
Strong advocate of crypto. See crypto believer and Bitcoiner.

CryptoCompare
Real-time crypto ticker. See CryptoCompare.

cryptocosm
Universe of cryptocurrency. See cryptocosm.

crypto credit card
A credit/debit card that accepts crypto. See crypto credit card.

cryptocurrency
Blockchain-based digital currency. See cryptocurrency.

cryptoeconomics
Cryptography and financial systems. See cryptoeconomics.

crypto exchange
Buy, sell and trade crypto. See crypto exchange.

crypto fork
Blockchain upgrade or split. See crypto fork.

crypto fundraising
Crowdfunding a new crypto token. See crypto fundraising, ICO and IFO.

crypto gambling
Betting with crypto online. See crypto gambling.

crypto games
Blockchain-based amusement. See crypto games.

cryptography
Methods for encrypting data. See cryptography.

crypto hack
Stealing cryptocurrencies. See crypto hacking.

crypto hedge fund
Investments in crypto assets. See crypto hedge fund.

CryptoKitties
NFT game about breeding cats. See CryptoKitties.

crypto mining
Adding blocks to a blockchain. See crypto mining.

CryptoPunks
NFT pop art characters. See CryptoPunks.

cryptorati
The crypto elite. See cryptorati.

crypto scam
Hustles in the crypto world. See crypto scam and OneCoin.

cryptoshuffler
Malware that changes crypto addresses. See cryptoshuffler.

crypto stats
Useful information portals. See crypto stats.

crypto token
Representation of a crypto asset. See Ethereum token, crypto token and tokenomics.

crypto trading
Exchanging one crypto for another. See crypto trading.

crypto tumbler
Service that hides the originating parties. See crypto tumbler.

Crypto Valley
Region in Switzerland. See Crypto Valley.

crypto war
Adversarial relationship with governments. See crypto war.

crypto whale
Investor holding a lot of crypto. See crypto whale.

crypto winter
A slump in crypto valuations. See crypto winter.

custody
Safekeeping of cryptocurrency. See crypto custody.

custodial wallet
Crypto wallet on a centralized exchange. See crypto wallet.

cypherpunk
A believer in privacy and freedon. See cypherpunk.

DAO
(decentralized autonomous organization) Association run by members. See DAO.

dApp
(decentralized application) App on Ethereum or similar blockchain. See Ethereum and DeFi.

Dash
Privacy-based cryptocurrency. See Dash.

dead coin
Crypto no longer viable. See dead coin.

Decentraland
Virtual world on Ethereum. See Decentraland.

decentralized exchange (DeX)
Swap one crypto for another. See decentralized exchange.

decentralized finance/DeFi
Blockchain-based finance. See DeFi.

DeFi lending
Lending and borrowing crypto. See DeFi lending.

DeFi wallet
A crypto wallet for Ethereum and other cryptos. See DeFi wallet.

digital asset
A cryptocurrency. See fungible token and NFT.

digital dollar
Future digital U.S. currency. See digital dollar.

Dogecoin
Crypto named after the Shiba Inu dog. See Dogecoin.

DOT
Polkadot's cryptocurrency. See Polkadot.

double spend
Spending the same crypto twice. See double spending.

EIP
(Ethereum Improvement Proposal) Procedure for adding features to Ethereum. See Ethereum.

Endaoment
Website that accepts crypto donations. See Endaoment.

ENS
(Ethereum Name Service) Using names instead of long addresses. See ENS.

ERC
Ethereum token standards. See Ethereum token, ERC-20 and ERC-721.

ETH
(Ether) Ethereum native crypto. See Ethereum.

Ethereum
Major smart contract blockchain. See Ethereum, Ethereum 2.0 and Bitcoin vs. Ethereum.

fiat currency
Government-backed money. See fiat currency.

Filecoin
Blockchain-based file storage. See Filecoin.

FIO
(Foundation for Interwallet Operability) User-friendly crypto address. See FIO.

Flippening
When Ethereum market cap eclipses Bitcoin. See Flippening.

full node
Complete copy of a blockchain. See full node.

fungible token
One token the same as another. See fungible token.

GameFi
Blockchain-based video games. See GameFi.

Ganache
A test blockchain for Ethereum. See Ganache.

gas
Ethereum transaction fee. See gas and Ethereum.

Gemini Trust
First regulated crypto exchange. See Gemini Trust.

genesis block
First block in a blockchain. See block height.

Geth
A version of the Ethereum protocol. See Geth.

Gitcoin
A DAO created to fund projects. See Gitcoin.

Golem Network
Supercomputer that uses ether for rental. See Golem Network.

governance token
Crypto voting rights. See governance token.

gwei
Fraction of ether. See gwei.

halving
Decreasing the Bitcoin reward. See Bitcoin halving.

hard fork
Major change in a blockchain protocol. See Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum 2.0.

hardware wallet
Offline coin storage. See cold wallet.

hash rate
Speed of mining calculations. See hash rate.

HD wallet
Type of crypto wallet in common use. See crypto wallet.

high-frequency crypto trading
Crypto version of stock trading. See high-frequency crypto trading.

hodling
"Holding" cryptos. See hodling.

hot wallet
Crypto wallet connected to the Internet. See hot wallet.

hybrid blockchain
Permissionless and permissioned blockchain. See private blockchain.

hyperbitcoinization
Expected future Bitcoin expansion. See hyperbitcoinization.

Hyperledger Fabric
Open source tools for building blockchains. See Hyperledger Fabric.

Immutable X
Ethereum Layer 2 blockchain for NFTs. See Immutable X.

index fund
A crypto-based index fund. See crypto index fund.

IPFS
Decentralized storage. See IPFS.

Kraken
First crypto exchange in U.S. See Kraken.

Layer 2 blockchain
Auxiliary blockchain operating in parallel. See Layer 2 blockchain.

Layer 2 bridge
Interface between Layer 2 blockchains. See Layer 2 bridge.

Lightning Network
Layer 2 network for Bitcoin. See Lightning Network.

liquidity pool
Smart contract containing cash. See yield farming.

liquidity provider
Investor who deposits funds. See yield farming.

Litecoin
Crypto fixed at 84 million coins. See Litecoin.

London hard fork
Major change to Ethereum in 2021. See London hard fork.

MANA
Crypto token in a virtual world. See Decentraland.

Matcha
Crypto exchange aggregator. See Matcha.

meme coin
Crypto associated with a theme. See meme coin.

mempool
(Memory Pool) New transaction holding area. See mempool.

Merkle tree
Hashed transactions in a block. See Merkle tree.

MetaMask
Popular crypto wallet. See MetaMask.

Mimblewimble
Privacy-oriented blockchain protocol. See Mimblewimble.

mining/miner/minting
Creating new crypto coins. See crypto mining and crypto minting.

Monero
Crypto noted for its privacy. See Monero.

MoonPay
Payment service for buying cryptos and NFTs. See MoonPay.

Mr. Goxx
Hamster that plays the crypto market. See Mr. Goxx.

Mt. Gox
Early crypto exchange based in Japan. See Mt. Gox.

multi-signature transaction
Transaction requiring more than one private key. See multi-signature transaction.

native cryptocurrency
Blockchain's inherent digital currency. See native cryptocurrency.

next-gen crypto
Next latest and greatest. See next-gen crypto.

NFT
(Non-Fungible Token) Certification of ownership. See NFT and generative NFT.

non-custodial wallet
A user-maintained crypto wallet. See crypto wallet.

non-fungible token
Certification of ownership. See NFT.

on-ramp
Fiat-to-crypto (and vice versa). See crypto on-ramp.

onchain metrics
Blockchain activity. See crypto onchain metrics.

OpenSea
Large NFT marketplace. See OpenSea.

Optimistic Ethereum
Layer 2 chain for Ethereum. See Optimism.

oracle
Interface to data off chain. See blockchain oracle.

ownership economy
Economy where users are invested. See ownership economy.

parachain
Level 1 Polkadot-compatible blockchain. See Polkadot.

peer-to-peer networking
Distributing the workload among many nodes. See peer-to-peer networking.

Peercoin
Crypto using both consensus methods. See Peercoin.

permissioned blockchain
Blockchain requiring vetting. See permissioned blockchain.

permissionless
Blockchain not requiring vetting. See permissionless.

physical crypto
Plastic and metal coins for fun. See physical crypto.

plasma chain
Parallel network to Ethereum. See Layer 2 blockchain.

Polkadot
Cross-blockchain protocol. See Polkadot.

Poly Network
Platform for blockchain integration. See Poly Network.

Polygon
Framework for secondary blockchains. See Polygon blockchain.

pool mining
Crypto mining in groups. See pool mining.

privacy crypto
Crypto with privacy features. See privacy crypto.

private key
Encrypted address of crypto ownership. See cryptocurrency and public key cryptography.

proof-of-work/proof-of-stake algorithms
Major consensus mechanisms. See proof-of-stake algorithm and proof-of-work algorithm.

Ripple
Decentralized payment system. See Ripple.

rollup
Layer 2 chain for verifying transactions. See Layer 2 blockchain.

Rootstock
Sidechain that adds smart contracts to Bitcoin. See Rootstock.

rug pull
Cashing out and causing a crash. See rug pull and crypto scam.

SAFU
Customer indemnification. See SAFU.

Satoshi Nakamoto
Pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. See Satoshi Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto Institute
Location of Nakamoto-related articles. See Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.

seed
Everyday words that create a private key. See seed phrase.

sidechain
Auxiliary blockchain operating in parallel. See sidechain.

Silk Road
Early Dark Web illegal merchandise. See Silk Road.

smart contract
Software on a blockchain. See Ethereum and smart contract.

slippage
Difference between quoted and executed prices. See crypto slippage.

soft fork
Change in blockchain protcol. See Bitcoin soft fork.

Solana
Smart contracts blockchain similar to Ethereum. See Solana.

Spatial
A virtual gallery for NFTs. See Spatial.

SPV
(Simplified Payment Verification) Abbreviated blockchain for verification. See SPV.

stablecoin
Crypto backed by fiat or gold. See stablecoin.

staking
Locking up crypto for yield or rewards. See crypto staking.

state DB
Balances and current status. See state DB.

STO
(Security Token Offering) Fundraising for securities. See STO.

SushiSwap
Decentralized crypto exchange (DeX). See SushiSwap.

Swarm
Decentralized storage to extend Ethereum. See Swarm.

Taproot
Bitcoin protocol change in 2021. See Taproot.

tax reporting
Reporting for IRS compliance. See crypto tax reporting.

Terra Virtua
London-based NFT marketplace. See Terra Virtua.

Tether
One of the first stablecoins. See Tether.

Tezos
Smart contract blockchain using proof-of-stake (PoS). See Tezos.

token
Representation of an asset. See Ethereum token and crypto token.

token burning
Destroying crypto coins. See crypto burning.

token swap
Exchanging one crypto for another. See token swap.

total value locked (TVL)
Total of crypto assets staked. See total value locked.

TradFi
(Traditional Finance) Regular banking. See TradFi.

transaction
Buy, sell, trade or spend crypto. See crypto transaction.

transaction fee
Fee to process transactions. See gas.

trusted intermediary
Legitimate party such as a bank or law office. See trusted intermediary.

trustless
Not requiring trust. See trustless.

Uniswap
Decentralized crypto exchange (DeX). See Uniswap.

Unstoppable Domains
Blockchain-based domain names. See Unstoppable Domains.

UTXO
(Unspent Transaction Output) Bitcoin accounting system. See Bitcoin transaction.

validator
Computer that checks a blockchain's integrity. See blockchain validator.

Vladimir Club
Person who owns .01% of a crypto. See Vladimir Club.

Voyager
Trading platform and loyalty program. See Voyager.

wallet
Software interface to crypto. See crypto wallet.

Web3
Umbrella term for DeFi. See DeFi, Web3 and Web3 wallet.

wrapped token
Representation of another crypto. See wrapped token and wETH.

XRM
Monero cryptocurrency. See Monero.

XRP
Crypto token for Ripple. See Ripple.

Yearn.finance
DeFi lending aggregator. See Yearn.finance.

yield farming
Putting up crypto for yield. See yield farming.

Zcash
Privacy-based crypto based on Bitcoin. See Zcash.

zero confirmation transaction
Adding transactions without confirmation. See zero confirmation transaction.