A secure identifier marked by a unique string of characters that enables payments to an individual or entity via blockchain transactions. It usually requires a private key to exclusively access the funds. For example, Bitcoin addresses are alphanumeric strings that begin with a 1 or 3; Ethereum addresses begin with '0x'.
A cryptocurrency or a category of cryptocurrencies that is an alternative to Bitcoin. Many altcoins project themselves as better alternatives to Bitcoin in various ways (e.g., they're more efficient, less expensive, etc.).
AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Laws
These are a set of international laws that hope to prevent criminal organisations or individuals from laundering money through cryptocurrencies into real-world cash.
A cryptocurrency created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. It was one of the first digital currencies that enabled instant peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. Bitcoins are created through a process known as Bitcoin mining that requires a massive amount of computing power. For more information, please see the Bitcoin Whitepaper.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
A cryptocurrency that was created in August 2017 and is essentially a clone of the Bitcoin blockchain but has increased block size capacity (8 MB versus Bitcoin's 1 MB) as a way to solve the scaling problem.
This refers to a collection of data related to transactions that are bundled together with a predetermined size, are processed for transaction verification, and eventually, become part of a blockchain.
A decentralised, digital ledger where transactions made in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly. The block contains information that, once it goes into the blockchain, becomes part of the permanent and immutable database, connecting to other blocks in the blockchain like the links in a chain.
An expectation that the price is going to increase.
An expectation that the price is going to decrease.
A type of digital currency that is generally decentralised and uses cryptography (i.e., data is converted into a format that is unreadable for unauthorised users) for added security, making it difficult to counterfeit or manipulate.
A cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin software that has anonymity features that make it impossible to trace transactions to an individual, as well as other capabilities. It was created by Evan Duffield in 2014 and was previously known as XCoin (XCO) and Darkcoin.
A state where there is no central control, power or function, or in reference to infrastructure, no central point of failure.
A type of cryptocurrency that is used for operating the Ethereum platform and is used to pay for transaction fees and computational tasks. In the platform, transaction fees are measured based on the gas limit and gas price and ultimately paid for in Ether.
An open-source, decentralised platform based on blockchain technology created by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. It runs smart contracts on a custom-built blockchain that allows developers to create markets, store registries of debts, and so on.
The platform through which cryptocurrencies are exchanged with each other, with fiat currencies and between entities. Exchanges can vary widely in the currency conversions they enable and their fee structures.
A situation where a blockchain splits into two separate chains. Forks generally happen in the crypto world when new 'governance rules' are built into a blockchain's code.
The first block of data that is processed and validated to form a new blockchain. It is often referred to as block 0 or block 1.
Hash (Cryptographic Hash Function)
This process happens on a node and involves converting an input – such as a transaction – into a fixed, encrypted alphanumeric string that registers its place in the blockchain. This conversion is controlled by a hashing algorithm, which is different for each cryptocurrency.
This refers to the cryptocurrency and the name of an open-source distributed ledger founded in 2015 that does not use a blockchain (it instead uses a new distributed ledger called the Tangle). It offers features such as zero fees, scalability, fast and secure transactions, and so on. It is focused on the Internet of Things.
A cryptocurrency that was created by former Google employee Charlie Lee in 2011. It offers features such as Segregated Witness and the Lightning Network, which allows for faster processing at a lower cost.
Liquidity is the degree to which a particular asset can be quickly bought or sold without affecting the general stability of its price. In the simplest terms, liquidity refers to the ability of an asset to be converted into cash easily.
When you intend to take a large amount of cryptocurrency and stockpile it with the anticipation that it will grow in value, you are going long or taking a long position.
A process where transactions are verified and added to a blockchain. It is also the process where new bitcoins or certain altcoins are created. In theory, anyone with the necessary hardware and access to the Internet can be a miner and earn income, but the cost of industrial hardware and electricity has limited mining for bitcoins and certain altcoins today to large-scale operations.
A cryptocurrency created in 2014 that is focused on privacy and scalability and runs on platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Transactions on Monero are designed to be untraceable to any particular user or real-world identity.
This refers to the cryptocurrency and the name of a platform for managing a variety of assets, including currencies, supply chains, ownership records, etc. It offers additional features to blockchain technology, such as multi-signature accounts, encrypted messaging, etc.
This refers to the cryptocurrency and the name of China's first open-source blockchain, which was founded in 2014 by Da Hongfei. It is similar to Ethereum in its ability to execute smart contracts or dApps but has some technical differences, such as coding language compatibility.
A computer that possesses a copy of the blockchain and works to maintain it.
This refers to the cryptocurrency and the name of an open-source payment platform where the cryptocurrency (Ripple or XRP) can be transferred. The vision for the platform is to enable real-time global payments anywhere around the world. The Ripple payment protocol was built by OpenCoin, which was founded in 2012. For more information, visit Ripple's official website.
Also known as short selling, this is a concept whereby traders sell an asset they don't have. The hope is that they can then buy the asset at a lower price than what they sell it for to complete the deal. By doing so, they earn a margin in the interim.
When a large limit order has been placed to sell when a cryptocurrency reaches a certain value, that is a sell wall. This can prevent a cryptocurrency from rising above the sell wall value, as supply will likely outstrip demand when the order is executed.
Crypto tokens enable the creation of open, decentralised networks and provide a way to incentivise participants in the network (with both network growth and token appreciation). This innovation, made popular with the introduction of Ethereum, has given rise to a wave of token networks (e.g., prediction markets, content creation networks, etc.) and token pre-sales, or ICOs.
The value of cryptocurrency moved from one entity to another on a blockchain network.
The fluctuation in an asset's price is measured by its volatility. Cryptocurrency prices are notoriously volatile compared to other assets, as dramatic price shifts can happen quickly.
A store of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, analogous to a digital bank account. Crypto wallets can be divided into two categories: hosted wallets (e.g., wallets stored on exchanges or third-party servers) and cold wallets (e.g., hardware wallets, such as the Ledger Nano S, paper wallets and desktop wallets).
A term used to describe extremely wealthy investors or traders who have enough funds to manipulate the market.