Dictionary of terms Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrency. That is, a collection of less and more advanced concepts
My today's entry is the result of a few weeks' work on creating (probably) the largest dictionary of blockchain technology terms and cryptocurrency in Polish and English (this entry). When I did this I didn't think I would collect so many expressions. At the moment I have collected and described 165 expressions, both secular and more technical. I think that this dictionary will be a very useful thing especially for people taking their first steps in the world of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencys technology.
To easily find the phrase you are interested in, just use the combination Ctrl+F in your browser and type in the search word.
All comments, corrections and even missing phrases are welcome by anyone who wants to add their own contribution :)
ps. my English is not perfect so if you notice any glaring mistakes, please let me know in your comment.
Dictionary of terms Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency
That is, a collection of less and more advanced concepts
A situation which a majority of miners in the blockchain launch an attack on the rest of the nodes (or users). This kind of attack allows for double spending or stealing assets
ABI - Application Binary Interface
An interface between two binary program modules, often one program is a library and the other being run by a user
An Accidental Fork happens when two or more miners find a block almost simultaneously. One chain then becomes longer than the other and the network eventually abandons the blocks that are not in the longer chain. These blocks are then classified as ‘orphaned blocks’.
Address (cryptocurrency address) is used to send and receive transactions on the network. An address usually presents itself as a string of alphanumeric characters. Can also be represented as a scannable QR code.
Merging multiple transactions into one, allowing trustless swaps, and other advanced logic. Used in NEM.
Any cryptocurrency that exists as an alternative to bitcoin. Many altcoins are forks of Bitcoin with minor changes (e.g. Litecoin).
Stands for Application Programming Interface, a software intermediary that helps two separate applications communicate with one another. They define methods of communication between various components.
ASIC - Application Specific Integrated Circuit
Short form for ‘Application Specific Integrated Circuit’. Often compared to GPUs, ASICs are specially made for mining and may offer significant power savings. In the case of bitcoin, they are designed to process SHA-256 hashing problems to mine new bitcoins.
ATH - All Time High
The highest price a coin has ever been
A distributed ledger providing a durable record of agreements, commitments or statements, providing evidence (attestation) that these agreements, commitments or statements were made.
The first, and most popular cryptocurrency based off the decentralized ledger of a blockchain created in 2009. Runs on a global peer to peer network, without the need for middlemen and a centralised issuer. Bitcoin was created by a mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakomoto, and its technology outlined by the white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System."
Blocks are packages of data that carry permanently recorded data on the blockchain network. Miners for "digging" a block (confirmation of transactions in the network) receive a reward in the form of a cryptocurrency.
Block explorer is an online tool to view all transactions, past and current, on the blockchain. They provide useful information such as network hash rate and transaction growth.
Block height refers to the number of blocks connected together in the block chain. For example, Height 0, would be the very first block, which is also called the Genesis Block.
The reward given to a miner which has successfully hashed a transaction block. Block rewards can be a mixture of coins and transaction fees, depending on the policy used by the cryptocurrency in question, and whether all of the coins have already been successfully mined. The current block reward for the Bitcoin network is 12,5 bitcoins for each block.
Blockchain to wspólna księga, w której transakcje są trwale rejestrowane przez dołączane bloki. Blockchain służy jako historyczny zapis wszystkich transakcji, które kiedykolwiek miały miejsce, od bloku genesis do najnowszego bloku, stąd nazwa blockchain.
Otherwise it's a mathematical structure for storing digital transaction (or data) in an immutable, peer-to-peer ledger that is incredibly difficult to fake and yet remains accessible to anyone
Business logic layer
A part of code that determines the rules to be followed when doing business
Business network card
Provides necessary information to connect a blockchain business network
Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)
Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) is the property of a system that is able to resist the class of failures derived from the Byzantine General's Problem. This means that a BFT system is able to continue operating even if some of the nodes fail or act maliciously
Consensus algorithm that combines proof of work and proof of stake. Ethereum is going to use Casper as a transaction to proof of stake
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Allows for a quick transition of assets needed to load internet content (html, js, css etc.)
Maintained by a central, authoritative location or group
A program that initializes and manages a ledgers state through submitted applications
A Blockchain channel is a separate data channel allowing nodes to communicate in private, or transactions to be funded, etc., without the entire network seeing it.
Command line interface
Software that accesses the blockchain via local computer and helps to process its transactions. A client usually includes a cryptocurrency software wallet.
Digital content representation built/generated on a new independent blockchain.
An offline wallet that is always disconnected from the Internet. Cryptographic currencies cannot be stolen/hacked from such a wallet.
Hyperledger command line allowing for administrative task
Composer Rest Server
Generates a REST API from a deployed Blockchain
Indication that the transaction in blockchain was verified by the (miners) network by extraction and added to the blockchain network. Once a transaction is confirmed, it cannot be reversed or double spent. The more confirmations a transaction has, the harder it becomes to perform a double spend attack.
The agreement of all participants of a network on the validity of a transaction. Consensus is achieved when all participants of the network agree on the validity of the transactions, ensuring that the ledgers are exact copies of each other
The process a group of peers responsible for maintaining a distributed ledger use to reach consensus on the ledger’s contents.
A point – either in time, or defined in terms of a set number or volume of records to be added to the ledger – where peers meet to agree the state of the ledger.
A blockchain where the consensus process is controlled by a pre-selected set of nodes
A solution to run a software application reliably when deployed in a different environment other that the one in which is was created. Such as Docker or Kubernetes
A digital currency based on mathematics, where encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. Cryptocurrencies operate independently of a central bank
Create, retrieve, update, delete
Cryptographic Hash Function
A function that receives an input of any size and returns a unique string of a uniform length.
Cryptographic hashes produce a fixed-size and unique hash value from variable-size transaction input. The SHA-256 computational algorithm is an example of a cryptographic hash.
A method for securing communication using code. The main example of cryptography in cryptocurrency is the symmetric-key cryptography used in the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin addresses generated for the wallet have matching private keys that allow for the spending of the cryptocurrency. The corresponding public key coupled with the private key allows funds to be unlocked. This is one example of cryptography in action.
the proposed spec for the mining algorithm in Ethereum 1.0
(The) DAO – also known as the digital Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)
The DAO served as a form of investor-directed venture capital fund that sought to provide enterprise with new decentralized business models. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, The DAO’s code was open source. The organization set the record for most crowdfunded project in 2016, however, those funds were partially stolen by hackers cause an Ethereum hard-fork that created Ethereum Classic.
DApp = Decentralized applications
Decentralized application (Dapp) is an application that is open source, works autonomously, has its own data stored on blockchain, runs on a protocol that shows proof of value.
A Distributed Denial-of-Service(DDoS) attack is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the internet
The transfer of authority and responsibility from a centralized organization, government, or party to a distributed network
Indication of how hard it is to verify blocks in Proof of Work mining. In the Bitcoin network, the difficulty of mining adjusts verifying blocks every 2016 blocks. This is to keep block verification time at ten minutes.
The concept of a shared network of dispersed computers (or nodes) that can process transactions without a centrally located, third-party intermediary
Any digital data that is formatted into binary code and includes the right to use it
A digital identity is an online or networked identity adopted or claimed in cyberspace by an individual, organization, or electronic device
A digital code generated by public key encryption that is attached to an electronically transmitted document to verify its contents and the sender’s identity.
Distributed ledgers are a kind of decentralised database that is dispersed in many places, countries or institutions. Records are stored one by one in a continuous book. The distributed ledger need not have its own currency and the data in the distributed ledger can be either "with permission " or "without permission " to control who can view them.
A type of network where processing power and data are spread over the nodes rather than having a centralised data centre.
A scenario where someone tries to send a bitcoin transaction to two different recipients at the same time.
A data type that represents the enumeration of values of the same type
Externally Owned Account
ERC-20 is a technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for implementing tokens.
A non-fungible Ethereum token standard. Non-fungible meaning that the token standard is used to represent a unique digital asset that is not interchangeable.
A token standard with a focus on security that allows token transfers to act as ETH transactions, using event handling (transaction management) to prevent lost tokens. This standard is an improvement on the ERC20 critical bug.
The proof of work algorithm used by Ethereum 1.0
Ether is the integral element (i.e. native currency) of the Ethereum Blockchain network. Ether functions as a fuel of the Ethereum ecosystem. Ether acts as a medium of incentive or form of payment for the network participants to execute their requested operations on the network.
Ethereum is a public blockchain network. An open platform for the creation of decentralised (DApp) applications, which are implemented through smart contracts, is designed to solve problems of censorship, fraud and third-party interference. This contributes to enhancing the value of the ETH cryptographic currency ecosystem.
It is an open-source blockchain platform that is a computing platform and operating system using a built-in solidity programming language that allows users to build decentralized, customized books. Intelligent contracts are used to validate transactions in a book.
The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a Turing complete virtual machine that allows anyone to execute arbitrary EVM Byte Code. Every Ethereum node runs on the EVM to maintain consensus across the blockchain.
The project is designed to prevent denial-of-service attacks. It is home to smart contracts based on the Ethereum blockchain.
A place to buy and sell cryptocurriencies.
Exchanges are a way to connect your fiat funds to a place where you can buy cryptographic currency. There are centralised exchanges for cryptographic currencies such as BitBay or Binance, and decentralised exchanges that do not have central powers such as Binance DEX or Ether Delta.
All cryptocurrency transactions involve a small transaction fee. These transaction fees add up to account for the block reward that a miner receives when he successfully processes a block.
Legal tender whose value is backed by the governmant that issued it. Ex: PLN, USD, EUR...
Fear of Missing Out
A collectively agreed upon software update by all the nodes on the network. Forks create an alternate version of the blockchain, leaving two blockchains to run simultaneously on different parts of the network.
The ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other individual goods or assets of the same type. Applicable to Corda Distributed Ledger
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Propaganda to lower prices
A measure of how much Ether is paid for a given action performed in Ethereum Blockchain
The initial block within a blockchain
A web based hosting service for version control using git.
Used by blockchain
Golang (Google language)
Created bo google in 2009 GOlang is a programing language based on C
A gossip protocol is a procedure or process of computer-computer communication that is based on the way social networks disseminate information or how epidemics spread. It is a communication protocol
The rules that are established for a Blockchain thet determine how it is governed, administrated, and managed or protected
Alters the blockchain data in a public blockchain. A type of fork that renders previously invalid transactions valid, and vice versa. This type of fork requires all nodes and users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.
A physical device to store cryptocurrencys that can be connected to a network for the purpose of making transactions.
The act of performing a hash function on the output data. This is used for confirming coin transactions.
A function that maps data of an arbitrary size.
Measurement of performance for the mining rig is expressed in hashes per second.
A function that takes an input and outputs an alphanumeric string known as the “hash value” or “digital fingerprint”. The hash is used to confirm coin transactions on the blockchain. Each block in the blockchain contains the hash value that validated the transaction before it and its own hash value.
Bitcoin (BTC) has a limited supply, making it a rare digital commodity. The total amount of bitcoins that will ever be emitted is 21 million. The number of BTCs generated per block is reduced by 50% on average every four years. This is called "halving". The last halving will take place in 2140.
HODL is a humorous mistake in the spelling of "hold", which was made on the largest Bitcoin forum in the world. The thread is called "I AM HODLING".
A wallet that is directly connected to the internet at all times. For this reason, hot wallets are considered to have lower security than a cold storage system or hardware wallet.
A cryptocurrency description where Hot wallets are like checking accounts whereas cold wallets are like savings accounts
A hybrid PoS/PoW allows for both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work as consensus distribution algorithms on the network. In this method, a balance between miners and voters (stakeholders) may be achieved, creating a system of community-based governance by both insiders (stakeholders) and outsiders - miners.
Started by the linux fundation, hyperledger is an umbraella project of open source blockchain
Hyperledger Composer is Blockchain Application Development fremework which simplifys the blockchain application development on Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger project hosted by Linux which hosts Smart Contracts called Chaincode
IDE (Integrated development Environment)
Application for software developers that primary consists of a source code editor, build automation tool, and debugger
"unable to be changed". Data stored in a blockchain is unable to be changed. (not even by administrators)
Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
The form in which capital is raised to fund new cryptocurrency ventures. Modeled after an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The ICO founders receive a new cryptocurrency in return.
To instantine is to create an instance of an object in an object-oriented programing (OOP) language. An instantiated object is given a name and created in memory or on disk using the structure described within a class declaration
A function, quantity, or property that remains unchanged when a specified transformation is applied
IPFS- Inter Planetary File System
Is a protocol and network designed to create a content-addressable, peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing hypermedia in a distributed file system. In a distributed file system aims to help applications run faster, safer and more transparently. IPFS allows objects to be exchanged and interact without a single point of failure. IPFS creates trustless node interrelations. It is also a network resistant to censorship.
A set of building blocks ("primitives"), which collectively provide mechanisms that deploy, maintain, and scale applications. Also defined as an open-source container-orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and managment of containerized applications
Different General Ledger, in which data on different types of transactions are recorded (mainly monetary) for each account.
The ability of an asset to be converted into cash
A decentraliyed network using Smart Contrasc functionalitz in the blockchain to enable instant pazments across a network of participants
total value held in a cryptocurrency. One of the best (and most reliable) places in the network to check market capitalization is Coinpaprica.com.
A tree in which every leaf node is labelled with the hash os a data block and every non-leaf node is labelled with the cryptographic hash of the labels of its child nodes
Process by which transactions are verified and added to blockchain. Requires computing power and electricity to solve "puzzles". Mining rewards coins based on your computing power.
In this cryptocurrency boom, mining can be a lucrative business when done properly. By choosing the most efficient and suitable hardware and mining target, mining can produce a stable form of passive income.
A collection of miners who come together to share thier processing power over a network and agree to split the rewards of a new block fund within the pool
Browser for installing and using DApp
Price going up extremely high
MSP (Membership Service Provider)
A hyperledger Fabric blockchain network can be governed by one or more MSPs
Multi-signature transactions provide an additional layer of security, require multi-party acceptance of transactions, as defined by the (requiring more than one key to confirm the transaction.) rule. Multi signature addresses have a much greater resistance to theft.
A copy of the ledger operated by a user on the blockchain. A computer connected to the blockchain network is referred to as a ‘node’.
A number only used once in a cryptographic communication (often includes a timestamp)
Non-Fungible Token (NFT)
A special type of cryptographic token that is a representation of a unique digital asset that is not interchangeable. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and many network or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.
Nothing a Stake problem
This is caused by validator nodes approving all transactions on old and new software after a hard fork occurs
NPM (Node Packing Manger)
Default package manager runtime enviroment node js. NMP manages dependencies for an application
Open Authorization is a standard that is used by third party services to keep and distribute user's information without exposing thier password
A currency minted off-ledger and used on-ledger. An example of this would be using distributed ledgers to manage a national currency.
Ommer (aka Uncle)
A block which has been completely mined but has not yet been added to the blockchain
A system for managing and implementing changes to a cryptocurrency blockchain
A currency minted on-ledger and used on-ledger. An example of this would be the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
An interface that connects smart contracts and data sources. An Oracle helps communicate data using smart contracts connecting the real world and blockchain. The oracle finds and verifies events and gives this information to the smart contract on the blockchain.
A computer network that allows nodes to share resource
P2P (Peer to Peer)
Decentralized model where two parties complete a transaction without an intermediary third party. The buyer and seller interact directly
PKI (Public Key Inftastructure)
A et of roles, policies and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption
Pragma(s) or Pragma-line
Defines which compiler version the smart contract uses
A closed network where blockchain permissions are held and controlled by a centralized entity. Contrary to a public blockchain a Private Blockchain does not use consensus algorithms like PoW or PoS, instead they use a system know as byzantine fault tolerant (BFT). BFT is not a trustless system makes a BFT system less secure
Private key is an alphanumeric string of data, which allows access to cryptocurrencies in a specific wallet. They act as passwords that are hidden from anyone other than the owner of the address.
Proof of Activity
Active Stakeholders who maintain a full mode are rewarded
Proof of Authority
A consensus mechanism in a private blockchain that grants a single private key the authority to generate all of the blocks.
Proof of Burn
Miners send coins to an inactive address essentially burning them. The burns are then recorded on the blockchain and the user is rewarded
Proof of Capacity
Plotting your hard drive (storing solutions on a hard drive before the mining begins). A hard drive with the fastest solution wins the block
Proof of Elapsed Time
Consensus algorithm in which nodes must wait for a randomly chosen time period and the first node to complete the time period is rewarded
Proof of Stake (PoS)
A consensus algorithm that chooses the owner of a new block based on the wealth they have or (stake). "Miners" are rewarded with cryptographic currencies at their rate. Stake is used to calculate the amount of that currency that you can mine.
The more you the coin, the more you gain by mining with this protocol.
Proof of Work (PoW)
A consensus algorithm which requires a user to "mine" or solve a complex mathematical puzzle in order to verify a transaction. "Miners" are rewarded with cryptocurrencies based on computational power. This kind of consensus is very energy-intensive.
Proof of Importance
Proof of Importance is a blockchain consensus mechanism in NEM. Similar to proof of stake: nodes need to "vest" an amount of currency to be eligible for creating blocks and are selected for creating a block roughly in proportion to some score
A set of rules that dictate how data is exchanged and transmitted. This pertains to cryptocurrency in blockchain when referring to the formal rules that outline how these actions are performed across a specific network.
A public address is a cryptographic abbreviation for a public key. It acts as an e-mail address or bank account address, which can be published anywhere, unlike a private key.
A publically accessible blockchain
Public key cryptography
Encryption that uses two mathematically related keys. A public and private key. It is impossible to derive the private key based on the public key
REST API (representational state transfer API)
Defines restraints based on HTTP
Return of Investment. Gains - initial investment
RPC (Remote Procedure Calls)
A protocol that is used from one program to request a service on another program located on a network
RSA encryption system to encrypt a message with an individual's public key so that only that individual can decrypt the message in a reasonable amount of time.
A Satoshi refers to the smallest unit of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency 0.00000001 BTC. Named after the creator of the Bitcoin protocol Satoshi Nakamoto.
An individual or entity who created Bitcoin protocol having successfully solved the digital currency issue of the "double spend".
A change in the size or scale to handle the network’s demands. This word is used to refer to a blockchain project’s ability to handle network traffic, future growth and capacity in its intended application. E.g. for the payment system.
Scrypt is a type of cryptographic algorithm and is used by Litecoin. Compared to SHA256, this is quicker as it does not use up as much processing time.
The proces by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions
A software development kit provides the necessary tools for a developer to create software on a specific platform
SHA-256 is a member of the SHA-2 cryptographic hash functions designed by the NSA.
SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. SHA-256 is used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin: Mining uses SHA-256 as the Proof of Work (PoW)
Dividing a blockchain into several smaller component networks called shards capable of procesing transactions in parallel
Smart Contract (SM)
SM are contracts whose terms are recorded in a computer language instead of legal language. Smart contracts can be automatically executed by a computing system, such as a suitable distributed ledger system.
The whole thing works in blockchain network where it can not be faked.
A soft fork differs from a hard fork in that only previously valid transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes recognize the new blocks as valid, a soft fork is essentially backward-compatible. This type of fork requires most miners upgrading in order to enforce, while a hard fork requires all nodes to agree on the new version.
A programming language used for writing smart contracts on the Ethereum network.
The definition for a cryptocurrency designed to minimizethe effects of price volatility such as being pegged to a traditional currency, or to exchange traded commodities such as precious metals. It theoretically remains stable in price as it is measured against a known amount of an assets not subject to change.
A function of Proof of Stake where the weight of his or her "vote" is a function of the proportion of tokens he or she owns
STO - Security Token Offering
STO is a digitised derivative of traditional securities in the form of cryptocurrency. It is subject to the same rules and jurisprudence as traditional securities. STOs improve secondary market liquidity, reduce compliance costs, automate trade restrictions, ensure partial ownership and enable asset interoperability.
A test blockchain used by developers to prevent expending assets on the main chain.
Representation of a digital asset built on an existing blockchain. e.g. *BAT token created on blockchain Ethereum technology.
The study, design and implementation of economic system based on blockchain technology.
A tokenless ledger refers to a distributed ledger that doesn’t require a native currency to operate.
A collection of transactions on the bitcoin network, gathered into a block that can then be hashed and added to the blockchain
Turing complete refers to the ability of a machine to perform calculations that any other programmable computer is capable of. An example of this is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Free open source operating system and linux distribution
Unpermissioned ledgers such as Bitcoin have no single owner — indeed, they cannot be owned. The purpose of an unpermissioned ledger is to allow anyone to contribute data to the ledger and for everyone in possession of the ledger to have identical copies. This creates censorship resistance, which means that no actor can prevent a transaction from being added to the ledger. Participants maintain the integrity of the ledger by reaching a consensus about its state
UTXO (Unspent Transaction Outpust)
Unspent transaction outpust are used to determine whether a transactipon is valid
Emulation of a computing system
A programing language created to be a formal introduction to smart contracts
Stores the digital assets you own. A designated storage location for digital assets (cryptocurrency) that has an address used for sending and receiving funds to and from the wallet. The wallet can be online, offline, or on a physical device.
Someone who owns lots of crypto
An authoritative report or proposal that is used in the web 3.0 community as an integral marketing tool to attract investors, educate the public about the project, and present to venture capital firms. Every serious cryptographic project has a WhitePaper prepared.
Zeppelin or Open Zeppelin
Community of like-minded Smart Contract developers
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