Altcoin(s)

A name coined as the merger of the words bitcoin and alternative. These concern all coins that came after the initial release of the first decentralized cryptocurrency (Bitcoin).

 

Bitcoin

Bitcoin with a capital "B" refers to the protocol and the network, bitcoin with a lowercase "b" is the currency.

 

Bitcoin (unit of currency)

A unit of the decentralized, digital currency which can be traded for goods and services.

 

Bitcoin network

The decentralized, peer-to- peer network which maintains the blockchain. It processes all Bitcoin transactions.

 

Bitcoin protocol

The open source, cryptographic protocol which operates on the Bitcoin network.

 

BTC

An acronym for bitcoin.

 

Blockchain

A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

 

Cryptocurrency

A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

 

Decentralized

A common term in cryptocurrency which means that the currency is not issued or regulated by a centralized authority (banks or governments).

 

Desktop wallet

A wallet that stores the private keys on your computer, which allow the spending and management of your bitcoins.

 

Ether

Is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain which is used to pay for transaction fees, miner rewards and other services on the network.

 

Exchange

A place where buyers and sellers can trade cryptocurrencies.

 

Fiat Currency

Is any money declared by a government to be valid for meeting a financial obligation (USD, EUR etc.).

 

Fork

A split in the blockchain where there are temporarily two different blockchains which miners can work on. These can occur if software updates to a Bitcoin client are incompatible or if developers decide that changes must be made to the programming of a coin. This deliberate change is called a "hard fork". It can also be used to describe a separate cryptocurrency which has been split from the main blockchain.

 

Hardware wallet

A bitcoin wallet which stores a user’s bitcoins offline on hardware devices.

 

Hot wallet

A bitcoin wallet that has an active connection to the internet.

 

Initial Coin Offering  (ICO)

When someone offers investors some units of a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token in exchange against cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

 

Miner

 A miner can build a block and add it to the blockchain. With Bitcoin, miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins in exchange.

 

Mining

The process of computers validating transactions in the Bitcoin network, adding blocks onto the blockchain.

 

Mining algorithm

The algorithm used by a cryptocurrency to sign transactions, these vary across different cryptocurrencies.

 

Mining pool

A group of miners who have decided to combine their computing power for mining. This allows rewards to be distributed more consistently between participants in the pool.

 

Paper wallet

A form of cold storage where a private key for Bitcoin address is printed on a piece of paper (with or without encryption) and then all traces of the key are removed from the computer where it was generated.

 

Pool

A collection of mining clients which collectively mine a block, and then split the reward between them. Mining pools are a useful way to increase your probability of successfully mining a block as the difficulty rises.

 

Private key

This unique identifier code is issued to investors to be used as a digital signature during transactions.

 

Satoshi Nakamoto

Is a person or group of people who created the bitcoin protocol and reference software. In 2009, they released the first bitcoin software that launched the network and the first units of the bitcoin cryptocurrency, called bitcoins.

 

Smart contract

A two way smart contract is an unalterable agreement stored on the blockchain that has specific logic operations akin to a real world contract. Once signed it can never be altered.

 

Wallet

Wallets are where public and private keys are stored, they come in many different varieties.

 

Wire transfer

Electronically transferring money from one person to another. Commonly used to send and retrieve fiat currency from bitcoin exchanges.