The most common crypto terms and definitions
Airdrop: crypto slang for a free distribution of coins or tokens.
Altcoin: any crypto coin other than Bitcoin.
Bear market: a period of time in which crypto prices are falling.
Bitcoin: the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, created in 2009.
Blockchain: a digital ledger of all crypto transactions.
Bull market: a period of time in which crypto prices are rising.
Centralized exchange: a type of crypto exchange where trade orders are processed by a company or organization.
Cryptocurrency: a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure its transactions.
Cryptojacking: the unauthorized use of someone else's computer to mine crypto.
Crypto lending: the practice of lending crypto to earn interest income.
Crypto wallet: a digital or physical storage device for cryptocurrency.
dApp: a decentralized application that runs on a blockchain.
Decentralized exchange: a type of crypto exchange where orders are processed directly between users, without the need for an intermediary.
Decentralized finance (DeFi): financial applications, often built on Ethereum, that are running on the decentralized web.
Distributed ledger: a digital database that is shared across a network of computers.
Ethereum: a blockchain platform that runs smart contracts.
Ether: the native crypto token of the Ethereum network.
Exchange: a platform where users can buy and sell cryptocurrency.
Fiat currency: traditional government-issued currency, such as the US dollar.
Governance token: crypto tokens that give holders voting rights on a blockchain protocol.
HODL: crypto slang for holding onto your coins or tokens for a long-term investment.
Initial Coin Offering (ICO): a fundraising event in which a coin becomes available to purchase for the first time
Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML): the process of verifying the identity of a customer and preventing money laundering.
Liquidity: the ability of an asset to be bought or sold quickly and easily.
Market cap: the total value of all coins or tokens in circulation.
Mining: the process of verifying and adding crypto transactions to the blockchain.
Mooning: crypto slang for a sharp increase in price.
Private key: a secret piece of code that allows crypto holders to access their funds.
Public key: a piece of code that allows crypto holders to receive funds.
Security token: crypto token that represent an investment in a company or project.
Smart contract: a self-executing contract written in code that lives on a blockchain.
Stablecoin: a crypto coin that is pegged to a fiat currency or asset to minimize price volatility.
Staking: crypto slang for holding crypto in a wallet to support the network.
Synthetic crypto: crypto tokens that are backed by real-world assets.
Token: a unit of value on a crypto platform, such as Ethereum.
Trading pairs: the two cryptocurrencies or tokens that are being traded on an exchange.
Utility token: crypto tokens that give users access to a product or service.
Pump and dump: crypto slang for artificially inflating the price of an asset followed by selling it.
Non-fungible token (NFT): a crypto token that represents a unique, indivisible asset.
Wrapped crypto: crypto tokens that are backed by another cryptocurrency.
Whales: large crypto investors who can influence the market.
Whitelist: a list of people who are allowed to participate in a token sale.
51% attack: a type of crypto hacking in which an attacker controls more than 50% of the network.
The bottom line
Hopefully this article has helped you feel more confident about exploring the world of crypto for yourself. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question – so don't be afraid to ask!
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