Cryptocurrency Glossary for Beginners

Even if you are thinking of selling lemonades out in your yard, it would not hurt to know a thing or two about lemons and lemonades so that you would avoid selling them for less than cost per unit and know which lemons to buy for your tiny entrepreneurship. Same definitely goes for cryptocurrencies, with their volatile nature, your hard earned savings can go up in smoke before you know it if you have no idea where you are treading over. Therefore it is a good idea to get some basics off the table by learning the language of cryptocurrency. Check out our A to Z crypto glossary below for starters.

What is Bitcoin?

One crypto to rule them all – forged/minted/launched in 2009, the cryptocurrency wildfire was started by Satoshi Nakamoto’s project, dragging billions of both money and people after itself. Bitcoin, or BTC for short, still commands the market’s trend by the direction it inclines.

What is Altcoin?

When it is not Bitcoin, it is an Altcoin. Bitcoin’s hegemony and meaning for the cryptocurrency scene is so tremendous that there is Bitcoin and the others, Altcoins. This is not to say Altcoins mean less for the technology, think of it like a tribute.

What is Block?

Imaginable like the links on a chain, a block is a group of data on the blockchain that holds the records of transactions. Since it is limited in size, a new block is formed once the former hits the limit.

What is Blockchain?

The main technology behind cryptocurrencies, a blockchain, is the sum of all transactions executed on the network, made up of blocks seamlessly built one after another. It is a ledger of these transactions that is not open to manipulation once recorded.

What is Coin?

A token of value used by the cryptocurrency network. A coin might have a function on the network or it simply could exist as an asset. Network and coin names might be the same or titled differently.

What is Cold Wallet/Storage?

A mostly physical way, i.e. a USB drive, of safekeeping your cryptocurrencies from the perils of hacking by keeping it off the internet, without access from the internet.

What is DeFi?

Short for Decentralized Finance, the concept strips away a central authority enabling financial services without the need for a bank, government etc.

What is DApps?

Decentralized applications, a concept developed on Ethereum network, are independent applications that exist on a blockchain to perform their tasks. DeFi functions generally via DApps.

What is Ethereum?

Brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, the second largest cryptocurrency in trading volume, Ethereum is a network that enables developers with infinite possibilities.

What is a Crypto Exchange?

Much like its conventional counterparts, these cryptocurrency exchanges exist so those digital assets could be traded.

What is a Fork?

When a cryptocurrency makes significant changes, the old and the new part their ways, hence the “fork” metaphor.

What does HODL mean?

Abbreviated form of “hold on for dear life”, forum-born term indicates a cryptocurrency investment tactic that advises to buy and hold onto the digital asset with the hopes of it increasing its value over time. Certain investors are characterized as those who always HODL.

What is Initial Coin Offering (ICO)?

Most widely used way of raising funds for a cryptocurrency project. Investing in a promising project early via an ICO works out alright for both developers and investors.

What is Crypto Mining?

The way that transactions on a network are verified which is rewarded by the coins of that network is called mining.

What are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)?

Tokens of value that confirm the ownership of a digital product. NFT is the new craze that is circulating millions of dollars every day on digital artwork mostly.

What is a Public Key?

The publicly available address of your e-wallet, a public key makes it possible for an address to receive coins.

What is a Private Key?

The encryption of your e-wallet, granting manipulative rights to the owner, a private key is of utmost importance to the holder of the wallet.

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym for whoever designed and launched Bitcoin. Nobody knows if it refers to an individual or a group.

What is a Smart Contract?

Yet another concept put forward by Ethereum, a smart contract fulfills a certain task under certain conditions. It is a main feature of the Ethereum network.

What is Token?

A unit of value on the particular cryptocurrency network, a token might offer a further function other than simply being a coin.

What is a Crypto Wallet?

As the cryptocurrencies themselves are softwares, the container to hold those digital currencies have to be electronic as well. A cryptocurrency wallet could be web-based, desktop-based, paper-based or a hardware.

These are the most common terms for cryptocurrency that beginners need to observe before starting this breathless competition. In order to learn crypto trading, you can also read the latest forums and explanatory analyses about the crypto market.


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