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Crypto Dictionary

This dictionary contains easy-to-understand cryptocurrency definitions. We will continue to update this page. 


Address – Similar to an account number, it’s a unique string of letters and numbers used to identify the sender and recipient in a cryptocurrency transaction.

Addy – See “Address.”

Airdrop – A way to distribute coins in exchange for the completion of small tasks (e.g. retweet, follow, subscribe).

AKA (Asymmetric Key Algorithm) – Cryptography system that divides a key into a public key and a private key. The public key can be shared with anyone (trusted or not) to execute transactions. The private key must be kept secret for the owner to verify and access anything that’s been transacted.

Altcoin – Alternative currencies developed after Bitcoin.

ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) Miner – Power computer chips designed to perform a specific task. Applied to cryptocurrency, they far exceed the mining capability of a general use computer.

Atomic Swap – Technology that allows one cryptocurrency to be directly traded for a completely different cryptocurrency.


BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) – A standardized way to suggest improvements to Bitcoin’s functions, design, structure, etc.

Bitcoin – The most widely recognized cryptocurrency.

Block – A permanent record of transaction information. 

Blockchain – Blocks are cryptographically linked to create a chain of immutable records, powered by computers connected across a network.

Block Explorer – Tools that track blockchain transaction activity.

Block Height – The number of blocks between the current block and the genesis block.

Block Reward – Payment made to miners for their work.

Block Size – The capacity of each block in a blockchain.

Burning (Coin Burning) – To help control circulating supply and inflation, projects can choose to send a portion of coins to a wallet address that does not have known private key.


Cold Storage – Storing private keys in an offline environment. 

Cold Wallet – A cryptocurrency wallet that is not connected to the Internet.

Confirmation – Every transaction must get verified before it’s considered legitimate. Confirmation is conducted through various consensus mechanisms.

Consensus – A mechanism used to reach agreement among nodes in a system.

Cryptocurrency – A digital asset designed to function as a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography to secure and verify transactions and generation.


DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organization) – Also known as a Decentralized Autonomous Companies or DACs, DAOs operate according to digitally enforced that are transparent and controlled by shareholders.

DEX (Decentralized Exchange) – Generally used to describe exchanges that enable users to transact without the need to blindly trust a centralized entity to be an intermediary or a custodian for their cryptocurrencies. Decentralized exchanges currently differ greatly in terms of technology, security, trustlessness, legal implications, and more.

Dapp (Decentralized Application) – While they may look and work like normal applications, Dapps are not controlled or shut off by a single authority.

DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) – A synchronized database spread across multiple sites.

Double Spending – When the same digital currency is spent more than once.

DYOR (Do Your Own Research) – Commonly used alongside disclaimers to encourage viewers to conduct their own research.


ERC-20 – A protocol standard for issuing tokens on Ethereum’s network.

Fork – A technical upgrade to the blockchain network that can either be backward-compatible (soft fork) or not backward-compatible (hard fork).

FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) – The spread of negative information and sentiment.

Flippening – The moment a cryptocurrency becomes more valuable than Bitcoin.


Gas – The fee required to successfully execute a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain.

Genesis Block – The first block in a blockchain.


Hashing – A function that takes a string of letters and numbers converts it to an output of fixed length.

Hash Rate – A measure of processing power.

HODL (Hold on for Dear Life) – originally a typo, it has since earned the backronym “hold on for dear life.” HODL means holding onto a cryptocurrency instead of selling it.


ICO (Initial Coin Offering) – An event for buyers to purchase a coin for the first time and assist in funding the project.


Mining – The process of validating transactions with a computer and then adding them to the blockchain. In exchange for mining, miners get rewarded with cryptocurrency.

Mining Pool – When miners group together to validate transactions and add them to a blockchain. The rewards are distributed among pool participants.

Moon or Mooning – When the price of a cryptocurrency rapidly rises.


NFT – An NFT is a non-fungible token that exists on a blockchain . A token is the token of ownership of an asset . It is a unique token that cannot be easily exchanged with another. The most important use case is artwork.


Orphan Block – blocks that are not part of the blockchain. They occur when two miners generate blocks simultaneously. Because only one can be used, the other becomes and orphan block.


Paper Wallet – A cryptocurrency storage method where the private key is written or printed on a piece of paper.

Private Key – Usually a series of alphanumeric characters, a private key proves ownership of an address and the funds associated.

Public Key – Usually a series of alphanumeric characters, a public key can be shared publicly to receive funds.


REKT – Slang for “wrecked,” it’s used to describe an investor who has suffered enormous losses.


Safu – A term used to confirm that funds are safe.

Satoshi Nakamoto – An alias used by the anonymous creator of Bitcoin.

Smart Contract – A contract with the terms of the agreement written into lines of code. It exists across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network and executes when the terms are met.

Shilling – Bias promotion of a cryptocurrency to encourage others to buy.

Side Chain – Separate blockchains attached to the parent chain through a 2-way peg.

Staking – Holding onto an amount of cryptocurrency to support the operations of its blockchain network. Participants are typically rewarded for staking.


Tokenomics – A combination of “token” and “economics,” it’s an examination of a token’s distribution into a large ecosystem and the effects

Tumbler – A service that mixes potentially identifiable cryptocurrency funds with others in order to obscure the origin.


Utility Token – A digital token that can later be used to purchase goods or services offered by the issuer.

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