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  • Cryptionary

    29 June 2022

    Alexander Wilson

    Terms used in the crypto space develop as rapidly as the space itself. Further, there are often no strict or universally accepted meanings for all terms.

    Is there a term you would like to have included – get in touch!

    51% AttackBlockchains work on consensus, so if you want to persuade the network that night is day, or that you really own all the BTC in the World, you need to rewrite the history of at least 50% of the nodes in the network.

    Our expert team of tax advisers are here to support you with a range of tax services in relation to your cryptocurrency activity.

    Whether you are just getting started or have been investing in cryptocurrency for several years, our team of tax specialists can provide bespoke advice to support you to achieve your objectives in a tax-efficient manner. Please contact us!


    AddressA series of numbers and letters (hexadecimal) which identifies where cryptocurrency, tokens etc. may be sent.
    AirdropWhen cryptocurrencies or tokens are delivered to a number of people (or addresses), often as a way of raising awareness of a new cryptocurrency or token and often gratuitously.
    Algorithmic StablecoinA type of stablecoin that uses an algorithm to regulate the value of the coin, for example by issuing new coins if the price rises or buying them from the market if the price starts to fall.
    AltcoinBitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and all the others are called altcoins.
    ApeingA slang term for someone buying a cryptocurrency or token quickly after its release and without doing much research.
    Asset-Backed TokensThese tokens represent or are pegged to (and represent ownership of) real-world assets, such as company shares, property or commodities.
    Automated Market Maker (AMM)Uniswap is an example of an AMM. When someone wants to exchange one currency for another, an exchange needs to find someone else who will buy or sell at the requested price. AMM’s remove that need by providing ‘liquidity pools’ to which anyone can contribute and trades are done through that pool. The whole thing is taken care of by the smart contract.


    BakerA person adding a block to the Tezos blockchain.
    BakingThis is the name for the process used by the Tezos blockchain for adding new blocks of data to the chain. It is analogous to ‘mining’ on the Bitcoin blockchain.
    BEP-2This is a set of rules for creating and using new tokens on the Binance Blockchain, a common standard to ensure compatibility.
    BEP-20This is a set of rules for creating and using new tokens on the Binance Smart Chain, a common standard to ensure compatibility.
    BEP-721This is a set of rules for creating and using new non-fungible tokens on the Binance Smart Chain, a common standard to ensure compatibility.
    Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP)A formal process to change the Bitcoin network. Because the Bitcoin network is decentralised (and no-one is in charge of it), the community as a whole makes decisions about it by consensus.
    Bitcoin PizzaThis is a reference to the first recorded real-World purchase using Bitcoin. Laszlo Hanyecz purchased 2 pizzas for 10,000. To read more about this, click on “Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day”.
    BlockA file containing data of all transactions on a network completed over a period of time. Blocks are linked together in a sequential chain to create a permanent record of all transactions, hence “Blockchain”.
    Block ExplorerAn application that allows you to ‘read’ the blockchain; so, you can see individual transactions, see what assets are held by an address, data about the blockchain itself and so on.
    Block HeaderThe unique identification of each block on the blockchain.
    Block HeightThe number of blocks in the blockchain, or the position of a particular block in that blockchain.
    Block RewardWhen a miner solves the cryptographic puzzle allowing them add a new block to a blockchain, they will receive a ‘block reward’ for doing that. This is the incentive for miners to do the work they do which is important for the validation of the network.
    Block SizeThe amount of data in a block.
    Block TimeAn approximate measure of time which is equivalent to the amount of time it takes for a new block to be added to the blockchain.
    BlockchainLiterally, a virtual chain of blocks. Each block has an identifier and so when a node ‘reads’ the data, it can place the blocks in sequential order. The blockchain as a whole provides the ledger or public database for the network and is the fundamental ingredient for cryptocurrencies and crypto assets.
    Blockchain 1.0The first generation of blockchain (e.g., Bitcoin) which introduced decentralisation and the idea of cryptocurrency itself.
    Blockchain 2.0The second generation of blockchain technology (e.g., Ethereum). This saw the introduction of smart contracts, allowing for more complex transactions (such as AMM’s) through the use of smart contracts.
    Blockchain 3.0The next stage of blockchain development. This is a predicted future for the technology and may include the incorporation of the technology into more day-to-day matters, such as government and business. Arguably, GameFi is an emerging ingredient of 3.0.
    Blockchain ExplorerAn online application (accessed by a web browser) that allows you to search for transactions on a blockchain.
    BountyThis is a reward given to someone who completed a task defined in a smart contract on a blockchain. Examples of this are the reward given to a person who triggers the liquidation function on a lending platform when a borrower’s debt exceeds the required collateral, or the triggering of a the ‘giveBirth’ function defined by the CryptoKitties smart contract, necessary for a pregnant CryptoKitty to give birth.
    BridgeAllows the transfer of tokens or data between different blockchains. If you sent 1 BTC to the Ethereum network, it would cease to exist (the Bitcoin network would record that you had sent it, so that it is no longer available to you but the Ethereum network would not recognise what had been sent to it). Bridges overcome this obstacle.
    BurnRemoving a coin or token from the network so that it is no longer available. This is done sometimes to control inflation.


    Casper (Ethereum)This is the project name for the project to move the Ethereum network from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.
    Central Bank Digital CurrencyA currency issued by a national central bank.
    CentralisedThe opposite of decentralised. A centralised network is controlled by a single organisation or entity. For example, a bank’s network is a centralised network; only the bank has control over it.
    Centralised Exchange (CEX)Centralised exchanges are platforms which allow customers to exchange one cryptocurrency for another or cryptocurrency to fiat and vice versa. These exchanges are owned and operated by a single organisation or entity.
    CoinEither a single unit of a cryptocurrency (e.g., 1 Bitcoin) or the cryptocurrency itself.
    Coin MixerA service which ‘mixes’ transactions with other transactions with the intention of rendering an individual transaction untraceable.
    Cold StorageKeeping a wallet offline. This could be in a hardware wallet, an offline computer or even on a piece of paper.
    Cold WalletSee cold storage.
    Collateralised StablecoinA stablecoin which relies on collateral held in reserve to ensure the stable value of the coin.
    Composable TokenA token which is able to ‘own’ other non-fungible tokens or cryptocurrencies.
    ConfirmationA confirmation happens every time a block is added to the blockchain after the transaction has been done. In many cases, an organisation or platform may require a certain number of confirmations to approve or confirm a transaction.
    ConsensusWhen all (or sufficient) participants (e.g., nodes) in a network agree on the data in the blockchain. This is a fundamental building block of the blockchain technology.
    ContractIn crypto, we probably mean a ‘smart contract’ when we refer to a contract. See smart contract.
    Core WalletA core wallet contains a complete copy of the entire blockchain. Every transaction. Ever.
    Cross-ChainTechnology that supports connection between different blockchains, allowing the transfer of information between them.
    CryptoassetAny asset on one of the blockchains.
    CryptocurrencyA type of cryptoasset which mimics the functionality of fiat currencies.
    Cryptocurrency PairsOn an exchange platform (CEX or DEX) you will see listings of two different cryptocurrencies together (e.g., BTC/ETH). On the platform, you are able to exchange one cryptocurrency for the other.
    CustodialThis refers to platforms which hold your assets (e.g., CEX’s). When you deposit a cryptoasset to a custodial platform, that platform takes control over that asset and holds it on your behalf. This is very much akin to making a cash deposit to a bank.


    DAO, theThe first DAO established by a group of people in 2016 to operate as a kind of venture capital fund and it raised around US$150 million by issuing tokens. It was later compromised by a vulnerability in its code base.
    Dead CoinA cryptocurrency that doesn’t exist anymore.
    DecentralisedThe opposite of centralised. A decentralised network is not controlled by any single individual or entity. Decisions are made by the community by consensus.
    Decentralised Applications (dApps)An application that operates over a decentralised network.
    Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO)A DAO is an organisation that is established and governed by smart contracts on a blockchain. This means that people around the World can group together to achieve a goal. Members of the DAO may not even know one another! Decisions of the DAO are made by consensus (e.g., in a DAO, each member may have a number of the governance token and each token gives them one vote on any issue).
    Decentralised Exchange (DEX)Decentralised exchanges are platforms which allow customers to exchange one cryptocurrency for another. These exchanges are defined and controlled by smart contracts deployed on a blockchain. Although the term ‘decentralised’ might suggest that the platform is not owned or controlled by any one person, in the case of DEX’s this is not the case. As a DEX is defined and controlled by smart contracts and those would be developed and deployed by a specific individual, group or entity and the smart contract will define where rewards for the ‘owners’ are distributed.
    Decentralised Finance (DeFi)A broad term which describes the various decentralised services available as alternatives to the traditional financial services sector; it includes cryptocurrency exchanges, more esoteric trading functions such as futures and derivative trading, borrowing and lending, the equivalent of interest-bearing deposits and even gambling.
    Decentralised GovernanceThe concept of (or the process that defines) governance of a decentralised network or application.
    Decentralised MarketplaceSee also decentralised exchange (DEX).
    Decentralised NetworkA network which operates over a number of different systems and controlled by no one individual institution or person.
    Desktop WalletAn application for storing cryptoassets that operates on a personal computer.
    Deterministic WalletA type of wallet based on a seed (sequence of alphanumeric digits or a sequence of words) from which a number of addresses (or keys) can be derived.
    Dex AggregatorA service which provides a number of different financial tools in one place or through a single interface.
    Distributed ConsensusSee consensus.
    Distributed LedgerA database stored across a number of different decentralised nodes.
    Distributed Ledger TechnologyThe technology that allows for a distributed ledger and the foundation of blockchains.
    Distributed NetworkA network on which data is stored or on which functions operate on many different nodes, rather than on a single node.
    DolphinA person with a reasonably substantial holding of cryptoassets (between a fish and a whale). A slang term and loosely defined.
    DustVery small amounts of cryptocurrencies, often left behind after transactions. Such small amounts would cost more than their worth to transfer and so are effectively worthless. Some centralised platforms will allow a user to ‘sweep’ dust into a single cryptocurrency. This is possible because there is not internal gas fee for such a transaction on the centralised exchange.


    EmissionThe speed or frequency at which coins of a particular cryptocurrency are issued.
    ERC-1155This is a set of rules for creating and using new tokens (both fungible and non-fungible) on the Ethereum Blockchain, a common standard to ensure compatibility. It is a more recent standard developed by Enjin to offer greater security and to overcome some of the limitations of ERC-20 and ERC-721.
    ERC-20This is a set of rules for creating and using new fungible tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain, a common standard to ensure compatibility.
    ERC-223A specific set of rules for transferring tokens on the Ethereum network, intended to solve the problem of lost funds.
    ERC-721This is a set of rules for creating and using new non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain, a common standard to ensure compatibility.
    ERC-827An extension to ERC-20 and which allows the transfer of tokens and data which allows for additional functionality than simple exchange of tokens.
    ERC-948A specific set of rules designed to allow for a subscription-based model on the Ethereum network.
    EthashThe name of the algorithm used by the Ethereum network for its Proof-of-Work protocol.
    Ethereum Request for Comment (ERC)A defined protocol for developers to make suggestions for the improvement of the Ethereum network (hence ERC-20, ERC-721 and so on).
    Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)The software used by developers to create decentralised applications (dApps) on the Ethereum network and by which those dApps function across that network.


    FiatLegal tender backed by a government and central bank (e.g., US dollar or pound sterling).
    Fiat-Pegged CryptocurrencyA cryptocurrency whose value is matched to a fiat currency (e.g., USDC).
    FishSomeone who holds a small amount of cryptoassets (between a minnow and a dolphin). A slang term and loosely defined.
    Flash LoanA flash loan is a complex DeFi service available on some platforms. It allows a user to borrow an unsecured sum instantaneously, with no collateral and no KYC checks. In theory, any amount may be borrowed. The catch is that the smart contract which underpins the concept requires repayment of the loan within the same block, so in reality the loan is for a very short time. If the loan is not repaid, then the entire transaction fails and effectively did not happen (i.e., it is not written to the block). Flash loans are used in arbitrage trading and can be used to repay a secured loan on a platform and borrow back the same amount at a lower interest rate (i.e., refinancing a loan). Flash loans are controversial because they have also been used to exploit systems.
    ForkA fork on a blockchain occurs when an alternative version of a blockchain emerges, leaving the original and the new fork to run concurrently. This may happen where a substantial change is proposed for a network but no consensus reached but a large enough proportion of the community determine that they wish to continue with the proposal and generate a fork to do so.
    Fractional StablecoinsA stablecoin backed by some collateral and by some other means (e.g., it is secured by less than 100% collateral).
    Full NodeA full node contains a complete copy of the entire blockchain. Every transaction. Ever.
    FungibleWhere one unit is interchangeable with another. This is best explained with a bank deposit. You deposit £100 to your bank account. When you withdraw that £100, you will not get back the exact same £1 coins and that does not matter, because all £1 coins are interchangeable with one another.


    GameFiA term to describe the idea of games developed to take advantage of the advantages and economic qualities of the blockchain. Assets are no longer restricted to the game in which they are earned or received and may be traded between players independently of the game system. Players may also earn cryptocurrencies for playing games, giving rise to the term ‘play-to-earn’.
    GasThe term used on the Ethereum network (or more loosely for any network) for the cost of a transaction. More complex transactions require more data and consequently, more ‘gas’. On the Ethereum network, gas is measured in ‘gwei’.
    Gas LimitWhen you start a transaction on the Ethereum network (or more loosely on any network) you may set a limit on the ‘gas’ you are willing to spend on the transaction.
    Gas PriceThis is the price in ‘gwei’ for the gas used in an Ethereum transaction. The price of gas goes up and down depending on demand (e.g., when the network is in high demand or heavily congested, the price of gas will go up).
    Genesis BlockThe first block on a block chain. Often ‘block 0’ or sometimes ‘block 1’.
    Go Ethereum (Geth)An application (or command-line interface, like Windows’ ‘command prompt’) which allows developers to run nodes, mine Ethereum and execute smart contracts.
    Gold-Backed CryptocurrencyA variation or alternative to stablecoins; cryptocurrencies backed by gold as collateral.
    Governance TokenA token which represents voting rights in a decentralised network such as a DAO.
    GweiOne billionth of 1 ETH (0.000000001 ETH) or 1,000,000,000 wei. The unit of measurement for ‘gas’ on the Ethereum network.


    Hard ForkA type of fork of a blockchain network in which the new version is not backward compatible.
    Hardware WalletA wallet for cryptoassets that is in the form of hardware, such as a USB memory stick.
    HashThe result of the algorithm used to complete the Proof-of-Work protocol on blockchains that use that protocol. The hash is a possible solution to the algorithm.
    Hash Power / Hash RateThe computing power of a mining computers used for mining a cryptocurrency, measured in hashes per second (H/s), or kilohashes (KH/s), megahashes (MH/s), giga hashes (GH/s) and so on. This measures how many hashes or possible answers to the algorithm generated by the hardware per second.
    HODLSlang for holding a cryptocurrency for a long period, regardless of falls in value. The term came about as a typographical error on a forum (Bitcointalk) by user GameKyuubi who proclaimed, “I AM HODLING”. This was later (and generously) redefined as ‘holding on (for) dear life’ and enthusiastically adopted in the cryptocurrency investor community, becoming a meme within the hour. GameKyuubi’s post contained multiple spelling errors and they confessed in that post to having consumed a certain amount of whisky. Or was it whiskey?
    Hosted WalletA wallet which is maintained by a third party.
    Hot WalletA wallet that is connected to the internet (e.g., a browser wallet). Considered by some to be less secure than ‘cold wallets’.


    Impermanent LossA difficult concept that arises in the provision of liquidity for a cryptocurrency pair on a DEX platform. On contributing liquidity to the pool, the value of each cryptocurrency in the pool will go up and down over time and the proportion of the two cryptocurrencies in the pool will also go up and down over time, compared to one another. As one received back a proportion of the whole pool when ‘cashing-in’ an LP token, the value of the token may be at a loss compared to the liquidity originally provided.
    Initial Bounty Offering (IBO)Launching a project by inviting contributors to commit skills, rather than capital.
    Initial Coin Offering (ICO)Selling cryptocurrency as part of the process of launching it to raise capital for the project.
    Initial Exchange OfferingLaunching a project by listing on an exchange as a means of generating capital.
    Initial Farm Offering (IFO)Launching a project by raising capital through the farming feature offered on DEX’s.
    Initial Game Offering (IGO)Launching a gaming project by inviting individuals to invest at an early stage.
    Initial NFT Offering (INO)Launching a project through the sale of NFT’s.
    Initial Token Offering (ITO)Launching a project through the sale of tokens (see Initial Coin Offering (ICO)) but the tokens offered have utility in some form (e.g., may be used in a metaverse system).


    JagerThe smallest unit of BNB (Binance Coin).


    Lightning NetworkA protocol for the Bitcoin network that is designed to improve on the network, providing for greater scalability and for faster transactions.
    Liquidity MiningThe process of contributing cryptocurrencies to liquidity pools in return for a share of the fees charged for exchanges from that pool made by users.
    Liquidity PoolA pool of contributed cryptocurrency pairs providing liquidity for users to be able to exchange one cryptocurrency for the other on a DEX.
    Liquidity ProviderPeople who provide liquidity to liquidity pools.
    Liquidity Provider Tokens / Liquidity Pool Tokens (LP Tokens)Tokens received by a liquidity provider as a ‘receipt’ for their contribution to the pool. The LP Tokens entitle the liquidity provider not to the same cryptocurrencies contributed but to a proportion of the pool (see impermanent loss).


    MainnetA term for the core blockchain network (cf. a side chain or a testnet).
    MasternodesA server maintained as a full node with further functionality, such as participating in governance or voting.
    Megahashes Per SecondSee Hash Rate.
    MemecoinCryptocurrencies issued as a joke and / or utilising a meme, the first of which is considered by some to be Dogecoin.
    MempoolTransactions stored on a node which have not yet been confirmed (i.e., written to a block and added to the blockchain, see ‘confirmation’).
    Merge, the (Ethereum 2.0)The Ethereum community is working toward a transition from Proof-of-Work as a consensus model to Proof-of-Stake. This term represents the event that the community is working toward when that transition will be achieved.
    MetaverseA term for a digital universe which contains many of the aspects or features of the real world, often allowing for social interaction as well as commercial activity, from buying items to renting virtual land. The concept is not new (Second Life was released in 2003 and the book ‘Ready Player One’ (“now a major motion picture”) foresaw a modern iteration of the idea before the term became commonplace). Now, the increased application of blockchain technology has given rise to significant new possibilities for the technology.
    MicroBitcoin (μBTC)One millionth of 1 BTC.
    MinerA person who takes part in the process of mining.
    MiningThe process of using computer hardware to solve algorithms (or more loosely, other proof protocols) to add blocks to the blockchain for reward.
    Mining-as-a-ServiceA service that allows users to ‘rent’ mining hardware.
    Mining DifficultyA measure of the difficulty of finding the right has or solution to the algorithm to earn the right to mine the next block on the blockchain.
    Mining PoolA group of miners mining together. The chances of an individual finding the correct hash are very small (though if an individual did so, the reward would be larger). So, miners group together and when one ‘wins’ the reward, it is shared among all of those in the pool.
    Mining RigA computer designed or dedicated for mining. Miners will often strive to make the most efficient machine for this purpose and therefore include only the essentials for that single purpose. Graphics processing chips are very good at mining (often better than general processing chips – because of the type of mathematical problem solving each is designed to do) and so often mining rigs are often little more than a high-end graphics card with only the other elements needed to run it (motherboard, power unit and so on).
    MinnowSomeone with a very small amount of cryptoassets. Less than a fish. Sometimes used interchangeably with ‘fish’.
    MintingGenerally, a term for creating or completing a token or NFT. Specifically, a term for adding new coins to a network which uses the Proof-of-Stake protocol.
    Mnemonic PhraseAlso, a ‘seed phrase’. A list of words that is used to access or restore a wallet.
    Multi-Coin WalletA wallet which is able to hold crypto assets from different blockchains (e.g., Metamask).


    NodeA single part of a network, often a computer.
    Non-CustodialWallets (or keys or addresses) held directly by an individual.
    Non-Fungible Token (NFT)A token or crypto asset which is distinguishable from any other token. Often, NFT’s are unique but they can also be one of a limited number, in which case they remain non-fungible (e.g., 1 of 100 will always be #1 of 100 and is not interchangeable with #2 of 100).
    Nonce(‘number once’) A number which may only be used once. When ‘hashing’, a miner is attempting to find a number (a nonce) which meets the criteria for a valid hash for the block.


    Off-ChainA transaction which is done outside of the blockchain. For example, in some blockchain games, some transactions will be done off-chain and end-results later recorded on the blockchain.
    On-ChainTransactions done on the blockchain directly.
    OracleA node which provides information or data from the real World for use by blockchain applications, therefore bridging the two. For example, a smart contract could consult an oracle for horse-racing results to determine winnings on a wager or likewise, a smart contract could consult an oracle to allow an action to occur if weather conditions or financial market conditions are met.


    Paper WalletThe very brave will store a private key or seed phrase (or mnemonic phrase) written down on a piece of paper. Entirely hack-proof. Entirely losable (and flammable).
    Pegged CurrencyA stablecoin pegged to a real-World asset so that its value (by one mechanism or another) should always match the value of the real-World asset (e.g., USDT).
    Physical BitcoinA physical artifact containing a public and private key; a physical representation of an actual bitcoin (provided that 1 BTC remains held by that private key).
    Play-to-Earn (P2E)A model in which players of a game are rewarded for playing the game or otherwise bringing value to the platform.
    Private KeyAn alphanumeric sequence of digits which represents an identity on the blockchain capable of ‘holding’ cryptoassets. A public key is cryptographically derived from the private key but reverse engineering the private key from the public key is technically impossible (quantum computing may change this). The private key represents control of that identity, if it is lost, all assets held by that private key are effectively lost to the user.
    Proof-of-AuthorityAlternative protocol to Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake which relies on the reputation of validators.
    Proof-of-BurnAlternative protocol to Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake which relies on the miner ‘burning’ tokens in their possession.
    Proof-of-HistoryAlternative protocol to Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake that relies on an encrypted record of transactions in sequence.
    Proof-of-Capacity / Space / Storage / SpacetimeAlternative protocol to Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake that relies on the miner demonstrating that a certain amount of computer memory or storage has been dedicated to the network.
    Proof-of-StakeProof-of-Stake is a consensus protocol that relies on validators holding (or staking) a certain amount of the cryptocurrency.
    Proof-of-TimeAlternative protocol to Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake that relies on validator nodes remaining idle for a certain amount of time.
    Proof-of-WorkA consensus protocol that requires a validator node (or ‘miner’) to successfully solve a difficult algorithmic puzzle to be able to mine a new block on the blockchain.
    Public KeyAn alphanumeric sequence which is derived from a private key. The public key may be shared and is the address to which you would send cryptoassets in order to send them to someone else. The public key is visible on the blockchain, which is publicly available to all, although the public key is largely anonymous.


    REKTSlang. Derived from ‘wrecked’ and meaning a trade resulting in a bad loss.
    Rug PullSlang. A type of scam in which the developers receive capital from investors before abandoning the project. The term may also apply to investors trading heavily in a cryptocurrency pair, driving impermanent losses in others and then liquidating their positions, leaving the liquidity providers with little value remaining in the liquidity pool.


    SatoshiOne hundred-millionth of 1 BTC.
    Satoshi NakamotoThe pseudonym of the creator of the Bitcoin network. The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is not known, though there are several candidates. Some enthusiasts research all information about him that they can find in the hope of finding a hidden trove of BTC in an unused wallet (possibly a foundation for some of the plot in the book ‘Ready Player One’ (“now a major motion picture”)). It is not even known if Satoshi Nakamoto is a single person.
    ScamcoinA coin developed for no other purpose than to scam investors.
    ScholarA term used in the blockchain game Axie Infinity (and subsequently in newer blockchain games). Someone to who plays the game on behalf of the owner of NFT’s used in the game (the manager). The earnings made by the scholar are split between the scholar and the manager so that the manager earns a passive income. The idea developed due a high demand for Axies in poorer areas of the World (the Philippines in particular) which was filled by those in wealthier areas who could afford to buy Axies but did not have the time to play the game to the extent needed to earn meaningful amounts.
    Security TokenA token which represents a security in the real World (e.g., a token representing a share).
    Seed PhraseSee mnemonic phrase.
    Shard (Sharding)Parts of a blockchain split into different multiple strands, each of which records a portion of all of the data which will later be consolidated into the whole. A means of providing greater scalability and speed.
    ShitcoinA coin which is regarded as having no value or prospect of value.
    Side ChainAn addition to a blockchain which runs concurrently to the mainnet or primary chain.
    Silk RoadA now infamous black market operated on the dark web. It was shut down by the FBI but was responsible for increasing awareness of Bitcoin.
    SlippageThe difference in price which occurs when making a trade on a DEX or CEX which results from the movement in price between the cryptocurrencies in a pair from the moment a transaction is started to when it is completed. This is a particular issue in crypto because the price of cryptocurrencies can move very fast, compared with conventional markets.
    Smart ContractA computer program which is written to a blockchain and operates on the blockchain so that when the program delivers an output, that too is recorded on the blockchain.
    Smart TokenA token with additional functionality on top of mere representation of value. A smart token contains additional code which can regulate how it can be used, by whom or how many times.
    Soft ForkSoft forks add different functionality of improvements to the blockchain but without changing the core rules of that blockchain. The old blockchain remains compatible with new transactions on the soft fork.
    Software WalletAn app on a computer which functions as a wallet.
    SolidityThe programming language which is used to write smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
    StablecoinA cryptocurrency that is intended to have a stable value, usually achieved by ‘pegging’ its value to a real-World asset, such as the US dollar.
    StakingActing as a validator for a blockchain using a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. More loosely, any committing any cryptocurrency on a platform in return for a reward.
    Staking PoolA group of individuals combining their resources to be able to stake at a lower individual entry price and increase the chances of receiving a reward (and receiving a smaller cut of that reward in return).


    Terahashes Per SecondSee Hash Rate.
    TestnetA mirror or alternative version of a blockchain used by developers. A testnet is generally fully functional but does not deal with assets of exchangeable value.
    Ticker SymbolOn a stock exchange, ticker symbols are unique identifiers for individual stocks (e.g., AAPL for Apple Inc.) This methodology has been adopted for cryptocurrencies (e.g., BTC for Bitcoin). However, in the crypto space, there is no regulation and the same ticker symbols are sometimes used for different tokens or different ticker symbols used by different platforms for the same token.
    TokenA cryptoasset with utility (cf. a ‘coin’ which represents only value).
    Token StandardA set of rules by which tokens on a network are made and which ensures compatibility.
    TokenomicsIn relation to a specific cryptocurrency or metaverse environment (such as a GameFi game) the term refers to the rules for that specific system which regulate when tokens are issued, how many there will be in circulation and so on. More generally, the term refers to the subject or study of the supply and demand, or ‘economics’ of cryptocurrencies.
    Transaction FeeEvery transaction on the blockchain requires writing data to the blockchain and the transaction fee is the cost of doing so.
    TRC-10The token standard on the TRON network. It allows only the issue of coins and does not allow utilisation of smart contracts.
    TRC-20Token standard on the TRON network which incorporates smart contract utility.
    TumblerSee ‘coin mixer’.


    Utility TokenSee ‘token’. More specifically, a utility token generally refers to a token which


    Vitalik ButerinOne of the key founders of Ethereum and a vocal commentator on matters related to that cryptocurrency.


    WalletAny means of storing a private key, be it on a software app, a piece of hardware, a piece of paper or one’s memory. Many wallets (e.g., software wallets) will provide further functionality, such as sending or receiving cryptocurrencies, interacting with DeFi platforms or GameFi platforms or even operating as a full node.
    Web 1.0The early version of the internet, characterised by commercial and user-generated content which was broadly static. There is no strict definition of Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0; these are broad concepts or ideas used in discourse.
    Web 2.0The current iteration of the internet, with greater user-generated content and a high level of interaction. There is no strict definition of Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0; these are broad concepts or ideas used in discourse.
    Web 3.0The anticipated next iteration of the internet, incorporating the blockchain, with smarter applications, greater automation and use of AI and the incorporation of metaverse environments. What Web 3.0 will entail is something of a matter of speculation. There is no strict definition of Web 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0; these are broad concepts or ideas used in discourse.
    WeiThe smallest possible unit of Ethereum. Equal to one quintillionth of 1 ETH (there being 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 wei (1018) wei to 1 ETH).
    WhaleSomeone with a very large volume of cryptoassets, specifically with a volume such as making that person capable of influencing the market. More cryptoassets than a dolphin.
    WhitelistA list of interested participants in a project working toward launch. Whitelisted people generally get preferential access to early offerings, be they coins, tokens or NFT’s.
    WhitepaperA document setting out some technical detail about a project and a roadmap for that project’s development.
    White Spot

    A place on a whitelist.


    Yield FarmingCommitting or depositing cryptoassets to a DeFi platform for rewards akin to interest.

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