Sometimes it seems like crypto has it’s very own language. You can use our Crypto Glossary to look up unfamiliar terms and get up to speed on common crypto lingo.
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airdrop – when a blockchain project distributes free tokens or coins to the crypto community.
altcoin – alternative cryptocurrency coins, aka ‘coin’; cryptocurrency coins other than Bitcoin which operate on their own blockchain.
ATH – all time high. ATH is the highest price a coin or token has ever reached.
bearish – believing that a coin or token price will drop.
block – files that permanently record cryptocurrency transaction data. Blocks can be thought of as the individual pages of a recordbook. Blocks are organized into a linear sequence over time which is referred to as the blockchain.
blockchain – a public ledger or database of all cryptocurrency transactions. The blockchain uses hashing to continuously complete blocks of information that chain to form an immutable (unchangeable) ledger.
BTFD – buy the f’ing dip. BTFD is used as a reminder to crypto traders to buy when the price of a token or coin is low, or in the dip.
bullish – believing that a coin or token price will go up.
coin – short for altcoin.
cold storage – generating and storing a cryptocurrency’s private keys in an offline environment, away from the internet. Also known as a cold wallet, cold storage includes paper, hardware, and USB wallets.
cryptocurrency – digital or virtual currencies that are secured using cryptography.
DApp – Abbreviation for decentralized application. A DApp is an application that runs on the blockchain instead of a centralized machine.
DYOR – do your own research. DYOR is often used as a warning or reminder to evaluate a coin or project yourself, rather than making trading decisions based solely on the recommendations of another person.
ERC – Ethereum Request for Comment. The acronym ERC is commonly used in the context of ERC20 compliant tokens which operate on the Ethereum blockchain.
ETH – Abbreviation for Ether. ETH is the cryptocurrency used in the Ethereum blockchain.
exchange – a website or application where you can trade one cryptocurrency for another, or purchase crypto with fiat currency.
faucet – a reward system found on a website or app, that dispenses cryptocurrency to help introduce new people to a coin or token.
fiat – currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity. The US dollar is an example of fiat currency.
FOMO – fear of missing out. FOMO is used to describe buying a coin at a high price because you’re afraid of missing out on big gains if the coin has a huge increase in value.
forgers – miners on a blockchain that creates blocks via proof of stake.
fork – when the single blockchain splits into two due to a change in the underlying programming.
FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt. FUD is used to describe spreading negative information about a coin, or selling a coin at a loss because online comments make you feel concerned that it’s value won’t rebound.
gas – a transaction fee paid to miners on the Ethereum blockchain, usually measured in gwei (fractions of an Ether).
gwei – the unit used for gas calculations to pay Ethereum blockchain miners. One gwei is 10^9 wei or 10^-9 Ether = 0.000000001 ETH.
hardware wallet – a hardware device used to store cryptocurrency or a device which stores the private key to other wallets. Popular hardware wallet brands include Trezor, Ledger and KeepKey.
hashing – the act of mapping data of any length to a fixed-length output. Hashing is used to create blockchains.
HODL – a misspelling of hold which originated in an internet forum and is commonly used by crypto traders. Some people also use HODL as an acronym for ‘hold on for dear life.’
hot storage – generating and storing a cryptocurrency’s private keys in an online environment using the internet. Also known as hot wallets, hot storage includes exchange and app based wallets.
ICO – initial coin offering. An ICO is the initial public sale of a coin or token as a means of crowdfunding.
market cap – short for market capitalization. The Market cap is the total value of all circulating coins or tokens. Coin Price * Circulating Supply = Market Cap.
MEW – MyEtherWallet. MEW helps a user create their own set of public and private keys, which the user then stores on a personal computer or on a hardware wallet. This wallet can be used to store Ether and ERC20 compliant tokens.
mining – The act of computing the correct value to satisfy the hash function in blockchain is called mining. A reward in the form of cryptocurrency is provided to whichever miner solves for the correct value.
mooning – a coin or token price that is rapidly rising to a very high value, usually a new all time high (ATH). Related phrases include ‘moon shot’, and ‘to the moon’.
node – a computer connected to the network which gets a copy of the blockchain.
paper wallet – an offline or cold storage method of saving cryptocurrency. A paper wallet is created by printing out your public and private keys on a piece of paper which you then store and save in a secure place. The keys are often printed in the form of QR codes which you can scan in the future for all your transactions.
POS – proof of stake. In blockchains that operate through proof of stake, new block creators are chosen in a set fashion based on wealth, or stake, and miners (also referred to as forgers) collect transaction fees.
POW – proof of work. In blockchains that operate through proof of work, transactions are validated by miners work to solve mathematical problems to create a block. These miners are rewarded with coins for their work when they are the first to solve the puzzle.
PnD – pump and dump. Pump and dump involves coordinated buying (the pump) that artificially inflates the price of cryptocurrencies in the hopes of attracting outside buyers to then sell the currency to at a profit (the dump).
private key – a sophisticated form of cryptography that allows a user to access his or her cryptocurrency. A private key should never be shared with someone unless you want them to have the ability to use or transfer your coins or tokens.
SAFT – simple agreements for future tokens. A SAFT allows someone to invest a certain amount of money in a startup in exchange for its promise to one day give them a set amount of the tokens it sells in an ICO.
satoshi – the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin that can currently be sent. One satoshi is 10^-8 Bitcoin = 0.00000001 BTC.
seed phrase – a recovery phrase made up of a series of random words which can be used to recover a lost or damaged hardware wallet. A seed phrase should never be shared with anyone who you don’t want to be able to transfer or sell your cryptocurrency.
smart contract – programs that enforce a contractual relationship with cryptographic code.
staking – holding a cryptocurrency in your wallet for a fixed period, then earning interest on it. The reward that one earns from staking varies depending on the length of the time that they hold it.
TA – technical analysis. TA is the use of past price movements to attempt to predict future price movements of an asset like cryptocurrency.
token – a representation of an asset or utility that resides on top of another blockchain. Tokens can represent any assets that are tradeable, including other cryptocurrencies. One example is ERC20 tokens that reside on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
wallet – a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchain to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance.
wei – the smallest fraction of an Ether that can currently be sent. One wei is 10^-18 Ether = 0.000000000000000001 ETH.
whale – a powerful investor who owns enough of a token or coin to be able to influence its price.