A block explorer is a tool that people use to view all cryptocurrency transactions online. Specifically, to view all current and past transactions on the blockchain. It gives the user information on the blockchain’s hash rate. It also tells us the rate of transaction growth and provides other useful information.
Capitulation is when investors give up any previous gains in any security or market by selling their positions during periods of declines. Capitulation can happen at any time, but typically happens during high volume trading and extended declines for securities. A market correction or bear market often leads investors to capitulate or panic sell.
A consensus mechanism is a fault-tolerant mechanism used in computer and blockchain systems to achieve the necessary agreement on a single data value or a single state of the network among distributed processes or multi-agent systems.
The practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries. In the context of cryptocurrency, cryptography validates and secures transaction information.
A governance protocol, characterised by distributing control and authority amongst all participants. Bitcoin is decentralised because many different miners secure the network. As opposed to a centralised network, like banking, where one authority such as the central bank makes decisions.
A decentralised exchange is a cryptocurrency exchange which operates in a decentralised manner, that is, without a centralised authority. Decentralised exchanges allow peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies.
The amount of effort needed to mine blocks. Different cryptocurrencies implement different methods of adjusting the difficulty. In Bitcoin, the mining difficulty adjusts approximately every two weeks to ensure that changes in the number of miners processing transactions don’t drastically increase the rate new Bitcoin is issued into circulation.
A large database that is consensually shared and synchronised across multiple sites, institutions or geographies. It allows transactions to have public “witnesses”, thereby making a cyberattack more difficult.
A dusting attack is a kind of malicious activity through which hackers and scammers try to dismantle the privacy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users by sending out tiny amounts of coins to their personal wallets. The attackers will then track the activity of these wallets. They can then perform a collective analysis of multiple addresses, which allows them to identify wallet owners.
ERC-20 is an official protocol for proposing improvements to the Ethereum (ETH) network. ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, and 20 is the proposal identifier. This is a common standard for creating tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
ERC-721 is a free, open standard that describes how to build non-fungible or unique tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. While most tokens are fungible (every token is the same as every other token), ERC-721 tokens are all unique. Think of them like rare, one-of-a-kind collectables.
Stands for the ‘fear of missing out’. FOMO is an emotionally and fear-based factor that affects traders by swaying them to make a decision on whether to buy or sell for fear of missing out on potential gains.
A fork occurs when a group of participants (miners) run a different version of the software (protocol). If the new version is backwards compatible (if it can successfully use data from earlier versions of the blockchain) then it’s a soft fork, and all participants will remain on the same blockchain. If the new version does not work with the existing blockchain then it’s a hard fork and the blockchain will split into two separate chains.
A full node is a program that fully validates transactions and blocks. Almost all full nodes also help the network by accepting transactions and blocks from other full nodes, validating those transactions and blocks, and then relaying them to further full nodes.
Fungibility is the property of an asset whose individual units are essentially interchangeable, and each of its parts is indistinguishable from another part. For example, local currency is fungible as $1 has the exact same value as another $1 note.
A futures contract is a standardized legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument.
GitHub is a web-based version-control and collaboration platform for software developers. GitHub, which is delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, was started in 2008 and was founded on Git, an open source code management system created by Linus Torvalds to make software builds faster.
Gwei is short for gigawei, or 1,000,000,000 wei. Wei, as the smallest (base) unit of ether, is like what cents are to the dollar and satoshi are to bitcoin. 1 ether = 1,000,000,000 gwei (109). 1 gwei = 0.000000001 ether. Just like 1 cent = 0.01 dollar.
A Bitcoin halving event happens every four years which sees the reward for mining Bitcoin transactions cut in half. This event also cuts in half Bitcoin's inflation rate and the rate at which new Bitcoins enter circulation.
The hash rate measures how powerful a (Bitcoin) miner's machine is. Specifically, it measures the number of times a hash function can be computed per second. A miner's expected profit is directly proportional to the hash rate. Hash rate is also used to measure how much computer power is securing a specific blockchain.
An initial exchange offering (IEO) is a token sale supervised by a cryptocurrency exchange. IEOs are available exclusively to the exchange’s users, although some IEOs may take place in several exchanges. Just like ICOs, IEOs allow investors to get new cryptocurrencies (or tokens) while raising funds for promising crypto projects.
Know-your-customer (KYC) is a compliance process employed to verify the identity of a business’ clients either before or during the time that they start doing business with them. Financial institutions are legally required to apply KYC processes when onboarding new clients.
The Lightning Network is a "Layer 2" payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. It enables fast transactions among participating nodes and has been touted as a solution to the Bitcoin scalability problem.
An order placed by specifying both the amount and price at which you wish to trade. Depending on the price specified, the limit order might trade immediately against existing orders in the order book (in that case it is a taker order), or it might itself be inserted into the orderbook waiting for other orders to trade against it (in that case it is a maker order).
Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. A wide variety of types of malware exist, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, and scareware
Market capitalisation, or market cap, is the market value of a publicly traded company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is equal to the share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding.
An order placed by only specifying the amount you wish to trade. The order executes immediately at the best available rate in the market. In other words, the market order matches with existing orders waiting in the orderbook. A market order is always a taker order.
The maximum supply of a cryptocurrency refers to the maximum number of coins or tokens that will ever be created. Once the maximum supply is reached, there won’t be any new coins mined, minted or produced in any other way.
A Mining farm is a data center, technically equipped to mine Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Mining farms emerged as a result of the constant complication of the mining process, which requires more technical, energy and financial resources.
Miners earn block rewards when solving blocks. Over and above this miners also earn voluntary fees paid by people who wish to send coins. This incentivises miners to include transactions with the highest fees into blocks when the network is congested.
In wallets, multiple signature (or MultiSig) refers to the requirement of multiple authorisations (usually from different people) to successfully send a transaction on a blockchain. For example, you have 5 people authorised to send Bitcoin from a MultiSig wallet but at least 3 of these 5 must approve a transaction before it is authorised.
A device with a copy of the blockchain on it that shares information with other nodes across the network. The node does not necessarily mine cryptocurrency but it does contribute to decentralisation and therefore security of the blockchain. All miners are nodes but not all nodes are miners.
In cryptography, a nonce is an arbitrary number that can be used just once in a cryptographic communication. It’s often a random or pseudo-random number issued in an authentication protocol to ensure that old communications cannot be reused in replay attacks. They can also be useful as initialization vectors and in cryptographic hash functions.
A non-fungible token is a special type of cryptographics token which represents something unique. This means NFTs are not mutually interchangeable by their individual specification. For example, collectables, digital art, and game items could be NFTs.
On-chain transactions refer to those cryptocurrency transactions which occur on the blockchain - that is, on the records of the blockchain - and remain dependent on the state of the blockchain for their validity.
Open-source software is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.
OTC refers to the process of how securities are traded for companies that are not listed on a formal exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Securities that are traded over-the-counter are traded via a broker-dealer network as opposed to on a centralised exchange.
Peer-to-peer. In a P2P network, “peers” are computer systems which are connected to each other via the internet. Files can be shared directly between systems on the network without the need for a central server.
A private key is a digital code, like a password, that is used to authorise cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain. This code, which should be kept secret, authorises the owner to send coins from a specific wallet.
A Proof-of-Stake protocol is a consensus mechanism whereby a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. This means that the more Bitcoin or altcoin owned by a miner, the more mining power he or she has.
A Proof-of-Work system (or protocol, or function) is a consensus mechanism. It deters denial of service attacks and other service abuses such as spam on a network by requiring some work from the service requester, usually meaning processing time by a computer.
A runaway gap occurs when trading activity skips sequential price points, usually driven by intense investor interest. Essentially, there was no trading, defined as an exchange of ownership in a security, between the price point where the runaway gap began and where it ended.
(person) Satoshi Nakamoto is the person credited with inventing Bitcoin. It’s a pseudonym. The identity of the inventor of Bitcoin is unknown. (unit) A satoshi is also the smallest unit into which a Bitcoin is divisible. 1 Satoshi = 0.00000001 Bitcoin.
A seed phrase, seed recovery phrase or backup seed phrase is a list of words which store all the information needed to recover Bitcoin funds on-chain. Wallet software will typically generate a seed phrase and instruct the user to write it down on paper.
SegWit is feature of some blockchain protocols (including Bitcoin and Litecoin), that moves a part of the transaction data out of the main block thereby reducing the effective size of transaction. It therefore allows more transactions to fit into into a single block without having to increase the size of the block.
A software program that is created on a blockchain and identified by an address. Transactions on the blockchain can execute the contract in various ways, for example, by sending some cryptocurrency or data to the contract's address. If executed, a smart contract can, in turn, send more transactions or execute other smart contracts.
A stablecoin is a new class of cryptocurrencies that attempts to offer price stability and are backed by a reserve asset. For example, a stablecoin may be pegged to a currency like the US Dollar or to a commodity’s price, such as gold.
A crypto's support level is the value at which it’s currently believed that a cryptocurrency will not fall beneath. This level is normally supported by a large amount of demand and buying activity because traders believe the asset is undervalued.
This is either a buy order at / above the market price or a sell order at / below the market price. This order executes immediately, without waiting in the order book. Because it matches with maker order and takes them out of the market, it is said to be a ‘taker’ order.
The testnet is an alternative Bitcoin blockchain to be used specifically for testing. Testnet coins are separate and distinct from actual Bitcoin, and are never supposed to have any value. This allows application developers or Bitcoin testers to experiment, without having to use real Bitcoins or worrying about breaking the main Bitcoin blockchain.
Trusted Timestamping is the process of securely keeping track of the creation and modification time of a document. It allows interested parties to know, without a doubt, that a document in question existed at a particular date and time. By design a Bitcoin transaction includes a date and time, held on the Blockchain.
Generally, a token is a cryptocurrency that is not backed by its own blockchain, and instead is provided by functionality of another currency's blockchain. For example, ERC20 tokens provided by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
Roughly every ten minutes (in Bitcoin, that is - other blockchains block times may vary), a new block is created and added to the blockchain through the mining process. This block verifies and records any new transactions. Since subsequent blocks are linked to previous blocks, each subsequent block acts as a confirmation of its predecessors. For example, if a transaction was included in block 101, and the latest block is 110, the transaction is said to have 10 confirmations. In this way, transactions are said to have been confirmed by the (Bitcoin) network.
Sometimes referred to as “2FA". An extra layer of security, usually in addition to a password. Two-factor typically uses a second device (e.g your mobile phone) to provide an extra once-off code. Both your usual password and this unique code are needed to authorise sign-in access or a transaction.
In cryptocurrencies, an unspent transaction output is an abstraction of electronic money. Each UTXO represents a chain of ownership implemented as a chain of Digital Signatures where the owner signs a message transferring ownership of their UTXO to the receiver's Public Key
In finance, volatility is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time, usually measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market price.
Volume is the total amount of anything swapped around in a certain period of time. An exchange usually shows it's own volume for each crypto, that is the amount traded on that particular exchange, normally in the last 24hr unless it says otherwise.
Software with which you send and receive cryptocurrency. Remember, the coins are stored on the blockchain. The wallet contains the private keys that authorise the owner to send these coins to another wallet.
The Ripple network’s xRapid payment service uses the cryptocurrency, XRP which is based on the XRP ledger. XRP is used to facilitate transactions on the Ripple network. Ripple and XRP are often used interchangeably, but technically speaking, Ripple is the payments platform and XRP is a digital asset that operates independently of Ripple.