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Definition: crypto glossary basics


Following is a summary of the definitions in this encyclopedia for major crypto terms in order of importance. For a summary of many other crypto definitions, see crypto glossary.

cryptocurrency
A blockchain-based digital currency. See cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin
The cryptocurrency that started the crypto revolution. See Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.

blockchain
The network architecture behind cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.

Ethereum
A major blockchain platform for cryptos and smart contracts. Ethereum and Bitcoin are the two most widely known blockchain platforms. See Ethereum and Bitcoin vs. Ethereum.

smart contract
A software program on a blockchain such as Ethereum that can perform myriad actions. See Ethereum.

DeFi
(Decentralized Finance) Blockchain-based finance without the middleman. See DeFi.

sidechain
An auxiliary blockchain that operates in parallel to the main chain. See sidechain.

crypto token
A representation of a cryptocurrency or some other asset. See Ethereum token and crypto token.

crypto exchange
An online provider that allows people to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. See crypto exchange.

crypto wallet
The interface to crypto, which is software in a computer, mobile device or stand-alone USB dongle. See crypto wallet.

altcoin
A non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency. See altcoin.