Cryptocurrency Glossary



  • Addresses

An address is an identifier of between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters, indicating the destination for a payment of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Addresses can be created free of charge to any cryptocurrency user. All cryptocurrency addresses will start with the number 1 or 3.

  • Agreement Ledgers

An agreement ledger is a business agreement where specific agreements are outlined and participants voluntarily agree to, without the need to enter a more arduous contractual arrangement. It is a distributed ledger, used by multiple parties to self-execute and self-enforce itself upon those who originally agree to it.

  • Altcoin

An altcoin is the term short for ‘alternative to Bitcoin’. This means that all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin can be considered to be altcoins. This includes the likes of Ethereum and Litecoin that are now well-established cryptocurrencies but remain an alternative to Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency.

  • Attestation Ledgers

An attestation ledger provides legal proof of all cryptocurrency transactions. It can also be extended to incorporate statements or commitments, providing evidence to third-parties that such statements or commitments have been made.

  • ASIC

An Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) was the evolution of CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs in the world of Bitcoin mining. An ASIC could outperform all of these in terms of mining speed and energy efficiency. Bitcoin ASICs can only be used to mine Bitcoin, although there are a few exceptions to the rule that can mine Litecoin too.

  • App

An app is a mobile application designed to operate as a computer program or software on a smartphone or tablet device. There are apps for everything, including in the world of cryptocurrencies. There are apps that can help you buy, sell and trade cryptos and even store them securely.

  • Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, becoming the first legitimate form of digital cash. It is a decentralized form of digital currency, operating without a centralized bank or overarching administrator. The founder of Bitcoin is said to be pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who has never been photographed or seen before. Although Bitcoin has been labelled a ‘speculative bubble’ in recent times, it is still being widely adopted around the world as a legitimate and recognized form of currency.

  • Block Ciphers

A block cipher is known as a method of encrypting or decrypting text or data one block at a time rather than one bit at a time via a shared, secret key.

  • Block Height

The height of a block is the total number of blocks in the blockchain between the block in question and the genesis block.

  • Block Rewards

A block reward is handed out by the blockchain network to eligible miners of cryptocurrencies for every single block they successfully mine. These rewards are usually in the form of the cryptocurrencies they are mining for.

  • Blockchain

A blockchain is a collection of records or data, known as blocks, which are connected to one another via cryptography. Each block stores a cryptographic hash of the previous block, to ensure the blockchain is extremely resistant to being hacked and modified.

  • Blockchain Algorithm

Blockchain consensus algorithms are mechanisms designed to achieve universal agreement on a single data value. This helps blockchain networks to maintain their reliability in the event of unreliable network participants, known as nodes.

  • Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology concerns itself with the overarching concept of decentralization. Blockchain technology allows digital data to be distributed as opposed to being copied. It was originally founded to underpin the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, but the global technology community is now finding other potential uses for blockchain as it can be programmed to store not only crypto transactions but almost anything of value.

  • Blockchain Wallet

Blockchain Wallet is a digital wallet that enables cryptocurrency buyers and sellers to transfer and store Bitcoin and Ether. The wallet is the brainchild of software company Blockchain, established by entrepreneurs Nicolas Cary and Peter Smith.

  • Blockchain Stock

There is a fast-growing number of fintech companies involved in blockchain technology, many of which are listed on the world’s stock exchanges. Some of the world’s leading tech conglomerates are working on blockchain projects that could influence their future stock value, including IBM and TradeLens and NVIDIA.

  • Blockchain Mining

Mining on a blockchain is the process of adding transactional data to a cryptocurrency’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchain. The decentralized computational process of mining on a blockchain is two-fold: it confirms transactions in a trustworthy, transparent manner and issues new cryptocurrency coins in each new block.

  • Blockchain Supply Chain

Organizational supply chains are crying out for improved efficiency and transparency – that’s where blockchain can really come into its own. Blockchain supply chains can improve the efficiency of everything from logistics to transactional records, with every piece of data recorded on a block, across multiple copies of the public ledger that are shared across many computers (nodes).

  • Blockchain Conference

If you are wondering whether any major blockchain conferences exist to help you underpin your knowledge of the technology, London is playing host to the world’s largest blockchain conference and exhibition in April 2019. Blockchain Expo Global will focus on the future of enterprise technology over two days at London’s Olympia Grand.

  • Blockchain Ledger

A distributed ledger on a blockchain is a database that is stored and updated independently by every node within a blockchain network. Each node within a blockchain network records and processes every transaction made on the distributed ledger. This means that networks are less reliant on the ownership and maintenance of a single, basic database.

  • Blockchain Capital

Blockchain Capital is a leading venture capital firm and a pioneer of investing in Blockchain-enabled technology firms. They are headquartered in San Francisco, California and have a history of raising millions of dollars for blockchain-based start-ups.

  • Blockchain ecosystem

The ‘blockchain ecosystem’ is one of the biggest buzzwords in the fintech industry. In biological terms, an ecosystem is often used to discuss a community of organisms working and interacting with one another in a living environment. This term has now extended to the blockchain industry, with the blockchain ecosystem made up of multiple ‘actors’, including users, developers, miners, investors and transactions.

  • Blockchain Hash

Within a blockchain network, hashes are used to identify the current state of a blockchain. Hashing takes an input string of any size and provide an output of a fixed length via the Secure Hashing Algorithm 256 (SHA-256). Put simply this means that no matter how large your initial data input is, the output will always be 256-bits in length; hugely important when handling vast amounts of data and transactions. Instead of having to remember lengthy inputs, blockchain users can remember and make note of the output hash instead.

  • Cryptoeconomic

Cryptoeconomics is the utilization of incentives and cryptography to design and build innovative applications, platforms and infrastructures. Put simply, it is the process of building new protocols using cryptography to govern the consumption of goods and services in decentralized environments.

  • ICO

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a type of crowdfunding using established cryptocurrencies to help fund new ones. New cryptocurrency projects will sell their underlying tokens to interested parties in exchange for Bitcoin or Ether. Think of it like the digital version of buying shares in a start-up company.

  • Startup

A start-up company is a newly established business venture aiming to develop a viable business model that solves a particular industry problem. In the fintech space, there are dozens of cryptocurrency and blockchain start-ups out there, all looking to develop solutions to bring digital assets and blockchain technology into the mainstream.