The crypto vocabulary

  • airdrop – a free giveaway of new digital assets; normally used to raise awareness about a project
  • alts – For alternative, any digital asset other than Bitcoin, like Ethereum or Ripple
  • blockchain – A technology used to replicate pieces of data across multiple independent computer with error or data manipulation likely
  • cryptocurrency A digital unit that is associated and is accessible with a public/private key pair, transferable from a key pair to another (like a regular currency). The transactions history is usually stored using a blockchain
  • dApp – For decentralized application. While the definition/concept of this is still developing – a decentralized application is usually one running on a blockchain like Ethereum, implemented with smart contracts. A decentralized application is usually open source and capable of running without a central server
  • fiat – Classical, government-backed money; Like US dollar, Euro, Yen..
  • fork – When a blockchain divide into 2 or more different versions, usually when the community itself is divided and lead to the creation of a new alt (bitcoin / bitcoin cash, ethereum / ethereum classic)
  • FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt … often used in the context of negative news or sentiment being spread about a cryptocurrency or other digital asset
  • hardware wallet – a stand-alone device that manages private/public key pairs allowing a user to store and use his funds securely (because most of the time the funds are not exposed to the internet and are on a device where third party applications can’t be installed, unlike a personal computer)
  • hodl – Intentional misspelling of hold, originally from a user on bitcointalk which became a recurrent meme – holding a cryptocurrency, despite uncertainty and bad news.
  • ICO – an acronym for “initial coin offering”; this is a method of raising funds for a new organization or project wherein investors trade something of market value for new digital tokens issued by the organization raising funds.
  • PoW – an acronym for “proof of work”, which is a method for regulating blockchain’s blocks emission (to prevent emission of two blocks ‘simultaneity’ and so a fork) by requiring the issuing computers (called miners) to solve a complex mathematical challenge which takes time.
  • whale – someone (or even some group) whose holdings of a particular digital asset represent a significant percentage of the total supply of that asset (note that “significant” is subjective) and so can manipulate hugely the price of this asset if they want to

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