Crypto Glossary

Learn all of the most important blockchain and cryptocurrency terms and jargon here.

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Glossary A to Z

24H Change

24H Change, which is short for ‘24-Hour Change’, shows the percentage price difference of a cryptocurrency or non-fungible token (NFT) in the market over a 24-hour time frame.

24H Volume

24H Volume shows the number of a cryptocurrency’s tokens traded over a 24-hour time frame.

51% Attack

A 51% attack happens when an individual or group with malicious intent controls more than 50% of a network’s mining hashrate.

7D

7D, short for seven days, refers to price data that has been collected for a cryptocurrency over a 7-day period.

All-Time High (ATH)

Short for ‘all-time high’, ATH refers to an asset's historically highest price in market capitalisation.

Altcoin

Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin is referred to as an altcoin.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

Anti-money laundering (AML) refers to the procedures, laws, regulations, and any other tools intended to prevent money laundering.

Arbitrage

Arbitrage is a trading strategy in which a digital asset is bought in one market and sold in another to exploit the price difference for a profit.

Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (ABFT)

The Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (ABFT) allows honest nodes in a network to agree on the timing and order of transactions.

Automated Market Maker (AMM)

Automated Market Makers (AMMs) are a way to provide liquidity to a cryptocurrency exchange via automated trading.

Average Price (7D)

Average Price (7D) shows the average price paid for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a collection over a seven-day period.

Bagholder

Bagholders are individuals who do not sell their assets, even if the price significantly drops or ends up at zero.

Bear Market

A cryptocurrency bear market describes when the market experiences a decline of at least 20% from recent highs.

Bear Trap

A bear trap is a term that defines a group of traders or an individual who tries to manipulate a cryptocurrency’s price.

BEP-20

BEP-20 is a token standard for the BNB Smart Chain.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first decentralised digital currency, created by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin Halving

Bitcoin halving occurs when the rewards for mining new blocks are halved after every 210,000 blocks of verified transactions.

Bitcoin Pizza

Bitcoin Pizza refers to the well-known Bitcoin transaction in 2010 involving the purchase of two pizzas for 10,000 BTC.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a decentralised and immutable digital ledger that is distributed across an entire peer-to-peer (P2P) network using cryptography.

Blockchain Oracle

Oracles allow blockchains to connect to things externally, allowing smart contracts to interact and make decisions based on inputs and outputs from the real world.

Blockchain Trilemma

The blockchain trilemma refers to a common problem that all networks currently face, where they can only optimally provide two out of the following three benefits: decentralisation, scalability, and security.

Bollinger Band

A Bollinger Band is an indicator used in technical analysis that tracks an asset and gives traders insight into whether it is oversold or overbought.

Bonding

Bonding is the act of a user locking their digital assets to someone else’s validator node for it to begin working.

BTFD

In the crypto community, ‘BTFD’ is short for ‘Buy the f------ dip’, a common term used by supporters of a particular asset or the crypto market in general. It (emphatically) means to take advantage of the recent market downtrend and buy.

Bull Market

A bull market is the state of a financial market in which asset prices are rising or expected to rise.

Bull Trap

A bull trap refers to a situation that occurs on a cryptocurrency's chart, showcasing its price declining before appearing to reverse before ultimately ending up falling further downwards.

Burn

Burning refers to the removal of cryptocurrency tokens from circulation, thus reducing a token’s total circulating supply.

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is the ability of a computer to continue operating in the event of a node failure or malicious attack.

Byzantine Generals Problem

The Byzantine Generals Problem is a challenge that arises when trying to maintain security and consensus on a distributed network.

Candlesticks

Candlesticks are a method of displaying an asset's high, low, open, and closing prices in a specific time period.

Centralised

A centralised system is the concentration of power and authority under a single entity or small group.

Centralised Exchange (CEX)

A centralised exchange (CEX) is a type of cryptocurrency exchange that a company centrally runs and controls.

Cipher

A cipher is an algorithm used to encrypt or decrypt information.

Ciphertext

Ciphertext, or encrypted text, is a term used in cryptography to describe the encrypted form of a message.

Circulating Supply

Circulating supply is the amount of a cryptocurrency’s tokens currently on the market. The number can grow or shrink for various reasons.

Close Price

This is the price an asset last trades at within a given time period, which can be defined freely but is most commonly set at one day.

Coin

A cryptocurrency coin represents a store of value native to a blockchain. All coins are considered tokens, but not all tokens are considered cryptocurrency coins.

Cold Wallet

A cold wallet is an offline wallet used to store cryptocurrencies.

Collateral

Collateral refers to assets pledged in order to obtain a loan. A lender requires collateral in order to reduce the risk of a borrower not paying them back.

Collateralisation

Collateralisation refers to the practise of using one asset as insurance in order to borrow another asset or secure a loan.

Collection Value

Collection Value is the aggregated monetary value of all the NFTs in a collection.

Composability

Composability is combining or linking different decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols and applications.

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a psychological phenomenon where individuals subconsciously tend to favour information that proves them right and disregard information that does not.

Consensus

Consensus is how a blockchain achieves agreement in a decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

Consensus Mechanism

A consensus mechanism represents the rules that govern the block verification process on a blockchain.

Consortium Blockchain

A consortium blockchain is privately owned and managed by a group of corporations, where a consortium can share information privately while having the security and immutable benefits of a blockchain.

Cross-Chain

Cross-chain typically refers to technology that allows for interoperability between blockchains.

Crypto Asset

Crypto assets are transferable digital representations of value made possible by cryptography and blockchain technology.

Crypto Debit Card

A crypto debit card is a payment card funded with cryptocurrency and used for everyday transactions, such as purchasing goods and services.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital payment system that relies on cryptography and blockchain technology to verify transactions and maintain security.

Cryptocurrency Exchange

A cryptocurrency exchange, also known as a digital currency exchange, is a platform that facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software programme or device that stores a user’s public and private keys.

Cryptographic Hash Function

A cryptographic hash function is an equation that verifies the validity of data.

Cryptographic Key

A cryptographic key is a series of symbols used in an algorithm to encrypt or decrypt text.

Cryptography

Cryptography is keeping information secure from malicious actors by transforming an original text into something only the intended reader can understand.

Custodial Wallet

A custodial wallet is held by an entity, such as a centralised exchange (CEX), and the user does not hold their assets’ private keys, as the service provider is in charge of holding the user's wallet.

Dead Cat Bounce

A dead cat bounce is a market trend where an asset with a falling price may have a slight recovery for a brief period of time before continuing to drop further.

Death Cross

A death cross signals a long-term bear market moving forward.

Decentralisation

Decentralisation refers to a system that has no central point of authority. It is a body of multiple entities that conducts decision-making processes without a central point.

Decentralised Applications (dapps)

Decentralised applications (dapps) are applications or programmes that operate on a blockchain or peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO)

A decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) is an entity designed to be fully autonomous and without a central point of control.

Decentralised Exchange (DEX)

A decentralised exchange (DEX) is a cryptocurrency exchange not handled in a centralised manner, as it acts in a non-custodial and anonymous way to swap cryptocurrencies.

Decentralised Finance (DeFi)

DeFi is an abbreviation of ‘decentralised finance’, which is software built on top of a blockchain that enables the creation of services much like traditional centralised financial services, with the added benefit of decentralisation.

Deflation

Deflation — the opposite of inflation — is a decline in prices of goods and services.

Degen

‘Degen’ is a slang term derived from the word ‘degenerate’, often used in the cryptocurrency space to refer to individuals who engage in high-risk and speculative trading.

Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS)

Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) is a consensus mechanism that evolved from Proof of Stake (PoS). It allows users of a network to vote in delegates who then validate blocks.

Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)

A directed acyclic graph (DAG) is a type of structure commonly found as a form of consensus for a cryptocurrency.

Double-Spending

Double-spending is the event in which a unit of an asset is spent more than once.

Dump

Dump is a term referring to the sudden price drop of a specific asset or downward market movement.

EIP

EIP stands for Ethereum Improvement Proposal, which are motions that propose different features, changes, or processes to Ethereum.

ERC

ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment. It provides application-level standards for the Ethereum blockchain.

ERC-1155

Created by Enjin, ERC-1155 aims to be a more secure token standard compared to older ones.

ERC-20

The ERC-20 token standard defines how a token should function on the Ethereum blockchain. It has become the most widely adopted token standard in the Ethereum ecosystem.

ERC-223

ERC-223 is a token standard on the Ethereum blockchain aimed at expanding upon the ERC-20 token standard.

ERC-721

ERC-721 is a token standard representing ownership of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum.

ERC-777

ERC-777 is a token standard that aims to improve the existing ERC-20 standard.

ERC-827

ERC-827 is an Ethereum token standard used as an extension of the ERC-20 token standard. It aims to add more functionality to transfer tokens.

ERC-884

ERC-884 is a token standard that allows for the creation of ERC-20 tokens.

ERC-948

ERC-948 is an Ethereum protocol to connect subscription-model businesses with their customers.

Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralised, open-source blockchain platform introduced in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a platform for executing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

Faucet

A faucet is a tool in the cryptocurrency space that can either be used as a way to help onboard new users to an ecosystem or reward system to compensate cryptocurrency users for completing specific tasks.

Fiat

Fiat money is a form of currency backed solely by the government or central bank that issued it.

Floor Price

Floor Price is equal to the lowest-priced NFT in a collection.

FOMO

FOMO is an acronym that stands for ‘fear of missing out’.

Forks

A fork is when a project or blockchain is split, creating two blockchains that run simultaneously alongside each other.

FUD

A strategy to mislead people on a certain project, FUD stands for ‘fear, uncertainty, and doubt’. It is the act of spreading misleading or false information about a project to negatively impact it.

Fungible

Fungible refers to the interchangeability of an identical coin or token.

GameFi

GameFi combines gaming and finance in cryptocurrency, where game mechanics create a virtual environment in which players may participate and receive tokens.

Gas (ETH)

Gas is the cost of a transaction on the Ethereum network.

GM

GM stands for ‘good morning’ and is commonly used in the crypto community as a positive sentiment.

Golden Cross

A golden cross indicates a long-term bull market moving forward.

Governance

Governance is the method by which people and entities make decisions for a crypto project.

Governance Token

A governance token is a form of utility token representing governance rights within a blockchain ecosystem, decentralised app (dapp), or decentralised finance (DeFi).

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Commonly referred to as graphics cards or GPUs, a Graphics Processing Unit is a computer chip used in computers to create 3D images.

Hardware Wallet

A hardware wallet is an offline physical cryptocurrency wallet.

Hashing

Hashing is an algorithm which inputs data into a fixed-size string, thus encrypting and securing it.

Hedging

Hedging refers to strategies that aim to reduce the risk of adverse price movement in an existing position.

Herd Behaviour

Herd behaviour is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when market participants ‘follow the herd’ in their dealings, making decisions that are influenced by the collective decisions of other traders.

High-Frequency Trading (HFT)

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a type of trading that involves high-speed trade execution.

HODL

HODL is a crypto slang term used to represent a style of investing. It stands for ‘Hold on for dear life’, meaning to hold onto investments for a long period of time, through both bull and bear markets.

Honeypot

Honeypot scams are deceptive schemes that lure unsuspecting victims with the promise of lucrative rewards.

Hot Wallet

A hot wallet is a tool that allows for storing cryptocurrency with a connection to the internet.

Iceberg Order

An iceberg order is a single large order that has been divided into much smaller limit orders.

Impermanent Loss (IL)

Impermanent loss occurs when the value of a token rises or falls after an investor has deposited it in a liquidity pool.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a way for companies or projects to raise money by selling a new coin in exchange for investment capital.

Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)

An initial exchange offering (IEO) is when crypto projects and start-ups list through an exchange in order to generate capital.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to devices able to connect and share information with each other over the internet. IoT technology is most commonly seen in ‘smart home’ products, such as home hubs and multifunctional speakers.

Interoperability

The interoperability of blockchains is the concept of sharing information and transactions across different blockchain systems.

KYC

KYC refers to the ‘Know Your Customer’ process and is used by financial institutions to verify the individuals using their services.

Layer-0

Layer-0 is typically seen as the first layer of a blockchain, offering a stronger and more developed alternative to smart contracts.

Layer-1

Layer-1 is typically defined as a base-layer blockchain.

Layer-2

Layer-2 is a type of scaling solution for Layer-1 blockchains.

Ledger

A ledger is a record-keeping system that tracks participants’ identities, balances, and transactions within a certain network.

Lightning Network

The Lightning Network is a Layer-2 protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Liquidity Pool

A liquidity pool is a collection of cryptocurrencies used to facilitate transactions on a decentralised exchange.

Liquidity Provider (LP)

A liquidity provider (LP) is a user who commits their cryptocurrency to a liquidity pool.

Long

In trading, ‘long’ refers to a strategy where a trader buys an asset with the expectation that its value will increase over time.

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is a cognitive bias where traders feel worse from losses than good from gains, even though the losses and gains are of the same amount.

Mainnet

A mainnet is a blockchain that runs independently, typically with its own technology, protocol, and network.

Market Cap

Market cap refers to the total dollar value of a cryptocurrency in circulation. It is calculated by multiplying the token price by the total number of tokens.

Market Order

A market order is where a trader instructs an exchange to immediately buy or sell a cryptocurrency at the best available current market price.

Meme Coin

Meme coins are a type of cryptocurrency inspired by memes and internet jokes.

Metaverse

The Metaverse is a simulated digital environment that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, blockchain technology, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) to create a 3D virtual space.

Miners

A miner is a computer (also known as a node) that solves mathematical problems relating to a cryptocurrency transaction in return for a block reward.

Mining

Mining is the process that projects use to generate new coins and verify blockchain transactions.

Mining Pool

A mining pool is a group of miners that combines its computational resources (hashing power) to increase the probability of finding a block and mining cryptocurrencies.

Mining Reward

A mining reward, otherwise referred to as a block reward, is a newly minted cryptocurrency given to a miner who successfully mines a new block on a blockchain.

Mint Price

Mint price is the cost an individual would need to pay to publish an NFT on a particular blockchain.

NFT

An NFT, short for ‘non-fungible token’, is a unique, irreplaceable asset that lives on a blockchain.

NFT ID

An NFT ID represents the identification number of an NFT in a collection.

NFT Sales Volume Index (7D)

The NFT Sales Volume Index (7D) shows the price and number of editions of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection sold over a 7-day (7D) period.

Nick Szabo

Nick Szabo is credited with the idea of the smart contract and the project Bit Gold.

Node

A node is a computer or device that participates in the network by maintaining a copy of the blockchain and validating transactions.

Non-Custodial Wallet

A non-custodial wallet, also known as a self-custody wallet, is a digital wallet that allows individuals to securely store and manage their digital assets without relying on a third-party custodian.

Nonce

A nonce is an arbitrary number generated only once by a miner when they hash a transaction.

Open Price

This is the price an asset first trades at within a given period, typically a day.

Open-Source

Open-source is a term used to describe a publicly accessible software programme that users are free to inspect, modify, and share.

Order Book

An order book is a real-time, continuously updated list of buy and sell orders for a particular cryptocurrency that displays the prices and quantities of orders.

Parachain

Parachains are blockchains used on the Polkadot and Kusama networks, where they are natively integrated.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P)

In a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, each user is a member of and contributes to the network, sharing data and/or tasks.

Permissionless

Permissionless refers to a system — typically related to blockchains — in which no person or thing can dictate who is allowed to use it and how it is used.

Plaintext

Plaintext is a form of text that humans can understand without the need for decryption.

Play-to-Earn (P2E)

Play-to-earn (P2E) is an incentive model for blockchain video games.

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) is an algorithm that prevents Byzantine faults in asynchronous environments and optimises for low latency.

Private Chain

A private chain (blockchain) is an invitation-only network governed by a central entity.

Private Key

A private key is a secret key comprising letters and numbers that enables a crypto wallet user to access their funds and authenticate transactions. One of the most common use cases in the crypto space is to encrypt crypto wallets.

Proof of Activity (PoA)

A hybrid of the Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms, Proof of Activity (PoA) ensures all transactions on a network are legitimate and all miners reach a consensus.

Proof of Authority (PoA)

A variant of Proof of Stake (PoS), Proof of Authority (PoA) is a consensus mechanism that selects its validators based on reputation.

Proof of Burn (PoB)

A consensus mechanism with minimal energy consumption, Proof of Burn (PoB) requires miners to ‘burn’ a portion of their tokens in order to earn the right to add a new block to the network.

Proof of Capacity

Proof of Capacity (PoC) is a type of consensus mechanism that bases its mining algorithm on the amount of space available on a miner’s hard drive.

Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET)

Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) is a consensus algorithm used in permissioned blockchains to decide on mining rights.

Proof of History (PoH)

A type of consensus mechanism, Proof of History (PoH) nodes use their own internal clocks to encode a passage of time onto the blockchain ledger. The events are hashed with a Verifiable Delay Function (VDF).

Proof of Importance (PoI)

Proof of Importance (PoI) is a consensus mechanism that uses ‘importance scores’ to determine which nodes are eligible to mine new blocks. This helps to ensure that the network runs smoothly and all participants are contributing to its success.

Proof of Stake (PoS)

Proof of Stake (PoS) is a type of consensus mechanism used to validate cryptocurrency transactions. It works by selecting validators based on the amount of tokens staked.

Proof of Work (PoW)

Proof of Work (PoW) is a decentralised consensus mechanism that requires miners to solve complex mathematical problems in order to win the right to verify transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.

Public Chain

A public chain (blockchain) is a completely decentralised and open network in which anyone can join and participate.

Public Key

A public key is a series of letters and numbers used to encrypt plaintext into ciphertext; one of the most well-known uses is as a crypto wallet address.

Rank

Rank shows the position of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection by 7-day volume.

Recency Bias

Recency bias is a cognitive bias that states a trader puts more importance on recent occurrences than past ones when making trading decisions.

Rekt

In the crypto world, the term ‘rekt’ is a slang word for ‘wrecked’, which means to receive a significant loss in a trade or investment.

Remittances

A remittance is any form of payment transferred to another party — from sending money to family members, making a payment, or settling an invoice.

Roadmap

A roadmap conveys the objectives, goals, and milestones of a project to potential backers.

Rug Pull

A rug pull is a type of scam in which the creators or developers of a project take a trader's money and then abandon the project entirely.

Sales (7D)

Sales (7D) is an indicator showing the number of NFT sales over a seven-day period.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym for the to-date unknown individual or group accredited with the creation of Bitcoin.

Satoshis

Satoshis, known as ‘Sats’, are the smallest unit available on a bitcoin.

Security Token

Security tokens are digital forms of traditional securities and represent ownership of the underlying project, company, or asset.

Seed Phrase

A seed phrase is a series of 12 to 24 words used to access the digital assets in a cryptocurrency wallet.

Sharding

Sharding is a scaling method in which a large database is separated into smaller and more easily managed parts in order to increase the transaction load capacity and improve a network’s efficiency.

Shill

Shill, or shilling, is the act of promoting a cryptocurrency project.

Short Selling

Short selling is a form of advanced trading of assets, where a ‘short’ position is opened on an asset when the trader anticipates a drop in its price; a short sell is only profitable if the asset’s price decreases.

Sidechain

A sidechain is a separate blockchain that runs in parallel, and acts as an extension, to the main blockchain.

Slippage

Slippage occurs when a trader locks in a price for a trade but ultimately receives a different price from the original request due to price movement.

Smart Contract

Smart contracts are self-executing, where the contents of the agreement between the buyer and seller are embedded into lines of code.

Software Wallet

A software wallet is a computer programme or mobile application that allows users to store cryptocurrency keys and make transactions.

Solidity

Solidity is the programming language used to develop smart contracts on blockchain networks.

Stablecoin

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to have a relatively stable price, which is typically achieved through pegging to an external asset, such as a commodity or fiat currency.

Staking

Staking is the process of providing funds to a blockchain network in return for interest.

Stop-Limit Order

A stop-limit order in the context of cryptocurrency trading is a two-step order that combines elements of a stop order and a limit order.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method to evaluate and predict future price movements of cryptocurrencies based on historical price data and trading volume.

Tendermint

Tendermint is a blockchain protocol used to replicate and launch blockchain applications across machines in a secure and consistent manner.

Testnet

An alternative to the mainnet blockchain, the testnet allows developers to test their projects or updates before applying them to the mainnet.

The DAO Hack

The DAO Hack occurred in June 2016, where an individual exploited The DAO on Ethereum and siphoned US$60 million from it.

Token

A cryptocurrency token is a digital asset that can be assigned a price. It represents a tradeable or utility asset built on top of an existing blockchain network.

Tokenomics

Tokenomics refers to the structure and governing aspects of a token.

TradFi

Traditional finance, or TradFi, is a conventional approach to financial activities that relies on established institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, investment companies, and stock exchanges.

Trustless

Trustless is a term that describes a space where there is no centralised authority.

Utility Token

Utility tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that has specific use cases within a blockchain network ecosystem.

Value (ETH)

Value (ETH) is a metric on the Crypto.com Price page that represents the price of an asset in Ether (ETH).

Vapourware

Vapourware refers to a technology that has been announced — yet not released, even long after its projected release date. Often, vapourware is never released or even officially cancelled.

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin is the creator of Ethereum, which sits just behind Bitcoin as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.

Volume (7D)

Volume (7D) is the total amount of an asset traded within a seven-day period.

WAGMI

Meaning ‘We’re all gonna make it’, WAGMI is commonly used in the crypto space to instil confidence and encourage the community.

Web1

Web1 is the ‘read-only’ web, which is a one-way communication channel that contains only static images and text.

Web2

Web2 is the second version of the World Wide Web (WWW) — what we know as the current version — characterised by the shift from the static web pages of Web1 to dynamic or user-generated content.

Web3

Sometimes referred to as the semantic web, Web3 is the ‘read-write-execute’ version of the internet, currently in development.

Whale

A whale is an individual or organisation that holds a significant amount of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

White Paper

A white paper is a technical write-up for a project that explains everything from the purpose to its tokenomics to the technology of how the project works.

Yield Farming

Yield farming is a process for users to be rewarded with tokens or fees for locking up their cryptocurrency.

Zero-Knowledge Proof

A Zero-Knowledge (ZK) proof is a system that allows a party to prove their possession of certain information without revealing the information itself.