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Definition: crypto glossary


(CRYPTOcurrency glossary) "Crypto" is short for "cryptography," which means "hidden." Because of Bitcoin, the crypto term evolved into slang for "cryptocurrency."

New to this Industry?
First read crypto glossary basics. All the following terms (in alphabetical order) have expanded definitions in this encyclopedia:

Aave
A blockchain-based lending platform. See Aave.

airdropped token
A free crypto token given out for promotional purposes. See airdropped token.

Algorand
Smart contract blockchain that uses the Algo native crypto. See Algorand.

altcoin
Any non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency. See altcoin.

Amazon Managed Blockchain
Blockchain support on Amazon AWS. See Amazon Managed Blockchain.

ASIC miner
Specialized hardware for mining cryptos. See miner hardware.

Base58
A crypto address that can be copied manually. See Base58.

BEAM
A blockchain based on the Mimblewimble protocol. See BEAM.

Binance
The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. See Binance.

BIP
(Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) See BIP.

Bitcoin address
The public address in a Bitcoin transaction. See Bitcoin address.

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

Bitcoin ATM
An ATM machine that dispenses Bitcoins. See Bitcoin ATM.

Bitcoin City
A new city in El Salvador built around Bitcoin. See Bitcoin City.

Bitcoin faucet
A mechanism for dispensing Bitcoins as rewards. See Bitcoin faucet.

Bitcoin Gold
A hard fork of Bitcoin in 2017. See Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin miner
A node in the Bitcoin network that competes to add transactions to the blockchain. See Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin mining
The mechanism that adds Bitcoins to the Bitcoin blockchain. See Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin NG
A proposed change to the Bitcoin protocol to increase transaction throughput. See Bitcoin NG.

Bitcoin node
A computer that is participating in the Bitcoin network. See Bitcoin node.

Bitcoin pizza
The first Bitcoin transaction. See Bitcoin pizza.

Bitcoin wallet
The interface to a user's Bitcoins. See Bitcoin wallet.

BIP
(Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) The procedure for adding features to Bitcoin. See BIP.

Bitcoin
The cryptocurrency that started the blockchain revolution. See Bitcoin.

Bitso
First Mexican crypto exchange. See Bitso.

block explorer/blockchain explorer
Software for viewing blockchain transactions. See block explorer.

block reward
The amount of coins credited to a miner's account for adding the block to the blockchain. See block reward.

blockchain
The network architecture behind cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.

blockchain oracle
A service for transferring off-chain data to the main chain. See blockchain oracle.

blockchain protocol
The rules and formats between nodes, wallets apps and exchanges. See blockchain protocol.

blockchain revolution
The massive shift in thinking about financial systems worldwide. See blockchain revolution.

blockchain stock
Shares in companies that are involved with blockchains in some manner. See blockchain stock.

blockchain validator
A computer node that checks a blockchain's integrity. See blockchain validator.

Blockstream
Crypto tech company that offers various blockchain technologies. See Blockstream.

burning crypto
Destroying crypto coins. See crypto burning.

Cardano
Third-generation blockchain architecture. See Cardano.

CBDC
(Central Bank Digital Currency) A digital currency under control of a central bank. May or may not be blockchain based. See CBDC.

CEX
(Centralized Exchange) See crypto exchange and decentralized exchange.

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

Changelly
A decentralized crypto exchange. See Changelly.

Cirus platform
A crypto-based platform for paying users for their data. See Cirus platform.

cloud mining
Cloud-based crypto mining for users. See cloud mining.

Codex
A blockchain protocol for collectibles. See Codex.

Coinbase
The largest crypto exchange in the U.S. See Coinbase.

coinbase transaction
The first transaction in a block. See coinbase transaction.

CoinDesk
A major crypto media website that covers all aspects of the cryptocurrency world. See CoinDesk.

confirmation
A crypto transaction that is considered incontestable. See Bitcoin confirmation.

consensus algorithm
The method used to determine which blockchain miner wins the competition to add blocks to the chain. See consensus mechanism.

ConstitutionDAO
A crowdfund to bit on the U.S. Constitution. See ConstitutionDAO.

cold wallet
A crypto wallet not connected to the Internet. See cold wallet.

Compound
A blockchain-based lending platform. See Compound.

crowdsale
A crypto crowdfunding. See crowdsale and ICO.

crypto
An abbreviation of "cryptocurrency." See crypto.

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

crypto banking
The crypto version of traditional banking. See crypto banking.

CryptoCompare
A real-time cryptocurrency ticker. See CryptoCompare.

crypto craze
The massive public interest in cryptocurrencies in the 2020-2021 timeframe. See crypto craze and crypto revolution.

crypto donation
Sending crypto to a charity. See crypto donation.

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

crypto games
A blockchain-based amusement. See crypto games.

crypto hacking
Stealing cryptocurrencies. See crypto hacking.

crypto hedge fund
A hedge fund that invests partially or entirely in crypto assets. See crypto hedge fund.

crypto revolution
The huge effect of crypto in the 2020s. See crypto revolution and crypto craze.

crypto scam
There are more than enough hustles and scams in the crypto world. Be cautious. See crypto scam.

crypto symbol
A logo assigned to a cryptocurrency. See crypto symbol.

crypto ticker
A list of crypto market prices. See crypto ticker.

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

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

crypto tumbler
A service that mixes crypto transactions to hide the originating parties. See crypto tumbler.

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

Crypto Valley
A crypto-friendly region in Switzerland. See Crypto Valley.

cryptocosm
The universe of cryptocurrency. Also called "cryptoverse" and "cryptosphere."

cryptocurrency
A blockchain-based digital currency. See cryptocurrency.

cryptography
Methods for encrypting data. See cryptography.

cryptoshuffler
Malware that changes the address of a crypto payment to the hacker's account. See cryptoshuffler.

CryptoKitties
An Ethereum-based game about breeding cats that are non-fungible tokens (NFTs). See CryptoKitties.

Cryptopedia
Gemini Trust's encyclopedia of cryptocurrency terms. See Cryptopedia.

CryptoPunks
Non-fungible tokens for pop art characters. See CryptoPunks.

custody
Safekeeping of cryptocurrency. See crypto custody.

custodial wallet
A cryptocurrency wallet maintained by a centralized exchange. See crypto wallet.

DAO
(Decentralized Autonomous Organization) A blockchain-based association run by its members. See DAO.

dApp
(Decentralized Application) An application on Ethereum or a similar blockchain. See Ethereum and DeFi.

Dash
A cryptocurrency noted for its privacy features. See Dash.

dead coin
A cryptocurrency that is no longer viable. See dead coin.

Decentraland
A virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain. See Decentraland.

decentralized exchange (DeX)
An exchange that allows one type of crypto to be swapped for another. See decentralized exchange.

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

decentralized wallet
A crypto wallet that is used on a decentralized exchange. See decentralized exchange.

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

DeFi lending
Lending and borrowing crypto. See DeFi lending.

digital asset
A cryptocurrency. See fungible token and non-fungible token.

digital dollar
A future digital version of U.S. currency. It may be based on a blockchain. See digital dollar.

Dogecoin
A crypto named after the Shiba Inu dog. See Dogecoin.

double spend
Spending an amount of crypto twice. See double spending.

DPoS
(Delegated Proof-of-Stake) A variation of the proof-of-stake consensus method. See proof-of-stake algorithm.

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

Endaoment
A website that accpts crypto donations. See Endaoment.

ERC-20
Ethereum's token standard. See Ethereum token and wETH.

ETH
(Ether) Ethereum's native crypto. See Ethereum.

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.

Ethereum 2.0
The second version of Ethereum, which is switching to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. See Ethereum 2.0.

Ethereum mining
The process of adding transactions to the Ethereum blockchain. See Ethereum mining.

fiat currency
Legal money backed by a government. See fiat currency.

FIO
(Foundation for Interwallet Operability) A user-friendly address for crypto transactions. See FIO.

Foundation
An NFT auction platform. See Foundation.

full node
A complete copy of a blockchain. See full node.

fungible token
A representation of something that is interchangeable. See fungible token.

gas
A fee paid for executing a transaction on Ethereum. See gas and Ethereum.

Gemini Trust
First regulated crypto exchange. See Gemini Trust.

genesis block
The first block created in a blockchain. See block height.

governance token
A crypto token with voting rights. See governance token.

gwei
A fraction of Ether. See gwei.

halving
Decreasing the number of new Bitcoins. See Bitcoin halving.

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

hardware wallet
Same as cold wallet. See cold wallet and hardware wallet.

hash rate
Speed of mining calculations. See hash rate.

HD wallet
The type of crypto wallet in common use. See crypto wallet.

high-frequency crypto trading
The crypto version of high-frequency trading. See high-frequency crypto trading.

hodling
"Holding" cryptos while they are coming down in price. See hodling.

hot wallet
A crypto wallet connected to the Internet. See hot wallet.

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

ICO
(Initial Coin Offering) Fundraising for a new cryptocurrency. See ICO.

IDO
(Initial DeX Offering) Fundraising via a centralized liquidity exchange. See crypto fundraising.

IEO
(Initial Exchange Offering) Fundraising via a trading platform. See crypto fundraising.

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

Layer 2 blockchain
An auxiliary blockchain that operates in parallel with the main chain. See Layer 2 blockchain.

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

liquidity pool
A smart contract containing cash. See yield farming.

liquidity provider
An investor who deposits funds into a smart contract. See yield farming.

Litecoin
Cryptocurrency fixed at 84 million coins. See Litecoin.

London hard fork
A major change to Ethereum in 2021. See London hard fork.

MANA
The crypto token in the Decentraland virtual world. See Decentraland.

memecoin
A crypto associated with a theme. See memecoin.

MetaMask
A very popular Ethereum wallet. See MetaMask.

Mimblewimble
A privacy-oriented blockchain protocol. See Mimblewimble.

miner
An individual or entity that competes to add the next block to the blockchain. See crypto mining.

mining
The competitive process that enables new transactions to be added to a blockchain. See crypto mining.

minting
The process of generating new coins using proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. See crypto minting.

Monero
A cryptocurrency noted for its privacy features. See Monero.

Mr. Goxx
A hamster that plays the crypto market. See Mr. Goxx.

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

multi-signature transaction
A crypto transaction that requires more than one private key. See multi-signature transaction.

native cryptocurrency
A blockchain's inherent digital currency. See native cryptocurrency.

NFT
(Non-Fungible Token) A certification of ownership to a digital file. See non-fungible token.

Node40
An online service that keeps track of crypto transactions for IRS compliance. See Node40.

non-custodial wallet
A cryptocurrency wallet that is maintained by the user. See crypto wallet.

OpenSea
An NFT marketplace on several blockchains. See OpenSea.

Optimistic Ethereum
A Layer 2 blockchain that charges much lower fees than Ethereum. See Optimistic Ethereum.

oracle
An interface to data off chain. See blockchain oracle.

ownership economy
An economy where more users are invested. See ownership economy.

peer-to-peer networking
Distributing the workload among all computer nodes. See peer-to-peer networking.

Peercoin
A crypto that uses both PoW and PoS methods. See Peercoin.

permissioned blockchain
A blockchain that requires vetting to participate. See permissioned blockchain.

permissionless
Anyone can participate in the blockchain. See permissionless.

physical crypto
Plastic or metal coins that represent a cryptocurrency. See physical crypto.

plasma chain
A parallel network to Ethereum. See Layer 2 blockchain.

Polkadot
A cross-blockchain protocol that enables networks of all types to exchange data. See Polkadot.

Poly Network
A platform for blockchain integration. See Poly Network.

Polygon
A framework for secondary blockchains. See Polygon blockchain.

pool mining
Crypto mining in groups. See pool mining.

privacy crypto
A cryptocurrency with advanced privacy features. See privacy crypto.

private key
An encrypted address that shows ownership of crypto. See cryptocurrency and public key cryptography.

proof-of-work/proof-of-stake algorithms
Consensus algorithms for determining how a miner wins the right to add a block to the blockchain. See proof-of-stake algorithm and proof-of-work algorithm.

Ripple
A decentralized payment system. See Ripple.

rollup
A Layer 2 blockchain method for verifying transactions. See Layer 2 blockchain.

Rootstock
A sidechain that adds smart contracts to Bitcoin. See Rootstock.

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

Satoshi Nakamoto
The pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. See Satoshi Nakamoto.

seed
Everyday words from which a private key is created. See seed phrase.

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

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

soft fork
A change in a blockchain protcol. See Bitcoin soft fork.

Solana
A smart contracts blockchain similar to Ethereum. See Solana.

SPV
(Simplified Payment Verification) An abbreviated blockchain for verification. See SPV.

stablecoin
A crypto backed by something sound such as a fiat currency or gold. See stablecoin.

staking
Locking up crypto for mining rewards. See crypto staking.

STO
(Security Token Offering) A fundraising for securities. See STO.

SushiSwap
A decentralized crypto exchange (DeX). See SushiSwap.

Taproot
A change in the Bitcoin protocol in 2021. See Taproot.

Tether
One of the first stablecoins. See Tether.

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

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

token burning
Destroying crypto coins. See crypto burning.

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

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

transaction fee
An amount paid to the miner for processing a crypto transaction. See gas.

trusted intermediary
A legitimate third party such as a bank or law office. See trusted intermediary.

trustless
Not having trust or not requiring trust. See trustless.

Uniswap
A decentralized crypto exchange (DeX). See Uniswap.

UTXO
(Unspent Transaction Output) Available Bitcoins for a user. See Bitcoin transaction.

validator
A computer node that checks a blockchain's integrity. See blockchain validator.

Voyager
A trading platform that includes a loyalty program. See Voyager.

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

Web3
A cryptocurrency and DeFi wallet. See Web3 wallet.

Web 3.0
An umbrella term for decentralized finance (DeFi). See Web 3.0.

wrapped token
A tokenized representation of another crypto. See wrapped token and wETH.

XRM
Monero cryptocurrency. See Monero.

XRP
The cryptocurrency token for the Ripple system. See Ripple.

Yearn.finance
A 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 a transaction to the blockchain without confirmation. See zero confirmation transaction.