Frequently Used Crypto Terms – Let’s Speak Crypto!

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When you’re first learning about cryptocurrency, there are a lot of terms that can be confusing. I still encounter them. Although many of these terms merit their own article, this will be the thimble-sized version of definitions.

Common Terms

Address: Usually refers to a wallet. Cryptocurrency is kept in wallets and each currency has its own address in the wallet. Currencies are sent and received through the addresses, which are usually long.

Altcoin: Any cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin. So named because they were issued as alternatives for Bitcoin. None of them have achieved the success or record of value held by Bitcoin.

Autotraders/Robots: Programs or applications that buy and sell cryptocurrencies automatically based on parameters that you enter. Used to prevent emotional trades based on undue panic or excitement, usually for beginners.

Bear Market: Cryptocurrencies are losing value.

Binance Exchange: A cryptocurrency exchange platform that is highly used and valued by serious investors. Primarily available in Europe.

Bitcoin: The first cryptocurrency and blockchain. Currently the most popular and expensive cryptocurrency.

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Block: Data on the blockchain is stored in blocks, which hold unalterable data.

Blockchain: A form of transport for digital information originally and used by the developers of Bitcoin. Currently being adopted by many organizations that use digital information.

Bull Market: Cryptocurrencies are gaining in value.

Coinbase: A cryptocurrency exchange platform that is frequently used by beginners.

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Crypto: Anything involving the cryptocurrency field of interest.

Crypto Assets: Anything you own in the field of cryptocurrency, especially digital money. Also refers to wallets and mining equipment.

Cryptocurrency: Money that only exists online. Digital money that cannot be carried in cash wallets. Digital coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Digital Coins/Coins: one unit of cryptocurrency such as a Bitcoin. Some can be purchased and held in percentages. Not physical coins.

Ethereum: One of the most widely used blockchains in the world. Uses its own cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH).

Exchange Platform: A website where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Different platforms will work with different currencies; some work with very few.

Fiat: the term used to refer to government-backed currencies such as dollars and Euros.

Halving: When the amount of currency per mined block is lowered by half of its value. This results in raising the value of the coin due to its decreased availability and the greater effort put forth to make the currency.

Holding: Hanging on to the cryptocurrencies you currently own. Neither buying nor selling the currency you are holding.

Interest Bearing Account: A form of bank for cryptocurrencies that will pay interest on the cryptocurrencies you keep in them.

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Market Cap: The current value of a crypto’s coin multiplied by the circulating supply.

Miners Fee: The fee paid to a miner for validating cryptographic transactions on the blockchain.

Mining: The process of making new digital coins. Numerous methods are used.

Network: A peer-to-peer payment system involving compatible wallets. Miners move the currency using math equations to validate the exchange.

Paper Trading: Having a set amount of pretend money that you can use to practice trading. Does not use – gain or lose – real fiat or cryptocurrency.

Stablecoin: A type of cryptocurrency with a non-volatile value. It will strive to stay even with certain fiat currency (usually) – often the USD.

Token: usually a digital coin. Frequently used by new cryptocurrencies.

Trading: The process of exchanging one cryptocurrency for another or for exchanging fiat for cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency for fiat; not to be confused with Forex.

Vault: An online address for storing all types of digital information, including cryptocurrencies.

Volatile: The state of most cryptocurrencies which causes their values to rise and fall without warning.

Wallet: a secure digital storage address that holds cryptocurrency. Online wallets may even hold fiat money. Hardware wallets are physical devices you can carry that are about the size of keychains; they are highly secure. Paper wallets can be made personally.

Not So Common Terms

ASIC: a hardware platform that varies in size and power usage that is designed to perform one action only. Necessary for many PoW coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Baking: A form of mining resembling PoS that is used by Tezos.

Circulating Supply: The number of a currency’s coins that are currently in circulation and liquid.

Daytrading: A method of investing that involves being frequently at your computer buying and selling cryptocurrencies as you watch the values change and make guesses as to the direction of the fluctuating values. Often involving small amounts of currency being traded frequently.

Decentralized: Not operated by a single entity. All investors and/or miners or stakeholders vote to make decisions on the blockchain regarding all decisions about the particular cryptocurrency.

Distributed Ledger: a worldwide database that stores data in a network of computers and servers.

Faucet: A website or application that gives away cryptocurrencies for minor actions. Usually rewarding one Satoshi, which is 0.00000001% of a Bitcoin.

Forks: Divisions in a formerly united blockchain that often result in a separate currency.

Genesis Block: The first block in any blockchain. Bitcoin’s Genesis Block was the first-ever bitcoin block.

Hash Rate: measuring unit for the processing speed of a cryptocurrency network. Higher rates equal to faster transactions.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO): Selling a newly created cryptocurrency to raise money. Sellers and buyers hope this movement will eventually result in a rise in the currency’s value.

Market Cap(italization): The total fiat value of all crypto coins on the market. Each currency has its own market cap.

Mining Pools: Groups of people who combine their resources in order to save money and time while engaging in Proof Of Work (PoW) mining.

Node: a computer on the cryptocurrency network or blockchain

Proof of Stake (PoS): A form of mining that is far less expensive than most PoW methods. It involves using a specified means of choosing the maker of the next block based on that person’s stake. There are no block rewards, so miners get transaction fees.

Proof of Work (PoW): A form of mining that involves investing in equipment (usually expensive) that solves complex algorithms using advanced computing power and electricity. Very few PoW mining techniques use inexpensive methods, such as Pi.

Satoshi Nakamoto: The pseudonym for the individual(s) who created Bitcoin. The true identity of this person has never been publicly revealed. UPDATE: Satoshi revealed himself. He isn’t Japanese. 😉

Smart Contract: A contract written in computer code rather than words. Quicker than a standard contract and negates the need for lawyers.

Whale: An individual with a huge amount of tradeable assets. Whale traders can make such large trades than a small group or a particularly wealthy individual can sway the market.

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30 Thoughts to “Frequently Used Crypto Terms – Let’s Speak Crypto!”

  1. Fred

    Awesome! Thanks for the definitions!

  2. asmadi

    Wow! I just found out about the terms “Baking” and “Whale”. So far, I just assumed that whale is one of the people who bought crypto in the early ICO. Good information, by the way! Thanks!
    Apart from that, it seems like everyone who wants to survive in the future, must understand about this term. Because when everyone no longer holds forex physics, this currency will be the king!

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Asmadi! I’m glad you found my glossary useful!

  3. Parveen

    Hey, Thank you for writing on Frequently Used Crypto Terms – Let’s Speak Crypto. I learn a lot from you post. I am new in this crypto world and your blog post is very useful for me. Now I know about mining. I hear about many times. The process of making new digital coins. The state of most cryptocurrencies which causes their values to rise and fall without warning. Thank you for helping me to understand crytpo terms.


    1. Cattington

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my glossary, Parveen. I’m happy you found it useful!

  4. Juan Saladin

    Cryptos are here to stay. I’m old fashioned in regards to may things nevertheless, I’ve seen many opportunities pass by in my live and one of my new year’s resolutions is to gain some literacy in regards to Crypto currencies in general (not yet willing to invest or become millionaire with them but at least not behaving like a dinasour whenever the topic emerges in a gathering).

    Thisnpostnis great in many ways : you had kept it simple, clear and direct. I mostly new the wallet is some sort of address we’re the digital currencies are pointed to.

    Hash Rate and ICOs are subjects I’d love to see you posting soon.

    thanks for a great post!

    1. Cattington

      Thank you, Juan, especially for the suggestions. I wish you success at all your crypto conversations. 🙂

  5. Kell

    I’m pretty new to cryptocurrency and this really have been helpful. Many of the terms you listed are much unknown to me. I’m glad I stumbled on your article.

    I see this as a kind of a cryptocurrency dictionary that we can relate to anytime, I will bookmark this page for reference.

    Thank you for this post.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you, Kell. I appreciate it. I hope it continues to be of use. 🙂

  6. Iamlooking4answer

    Nice information about the jargons for Cryptocurreny you got there. Crypto has always been confusing. I hope you will be posting more content regarding crypto.

    I have thought about buying cryptocurrency before, around 1 year ago, was planning to buy Ripple (XRP) but when I get into their website, I couldn’t really understand them and the information was overwhelming and didn’t buy it.

    I hope your website can help educate the people to understand more and get involved with cryptocurrency without fear. Hope you will have post that review products related to crypto as there are many scams out there on the internet.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for reading my little glossary and commenting. I wrote an article on XRP and Ripple. On several forums throughout the crypto world, there is some confusion about that company and its crypto. Please stop by any time. 🙂

  7. kay

    I have read a lot of articles about Cryptocurrency and have never quite been able to wrap my head around the whole idea. This article was very thorough and easy to follow, it was exactly what I needed to get a better understanding of what all of these words mean.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hello Kay! I’m so happy you found the article useful. Please let me know if there’s a topic you’d like to learn more about. 🙂

  8. Gigi

    Hi, this is a great post about the jargon used in cryptocurrency. It is very easy to understand with clear explanations. I’ve heard a few of these terms but didn’t actually know what they meant so tend to gloss over articles. This page will be extremely useful for anyone wanting to learn more about cryptocurrency, even if it is just to understand the news.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you, Gigi! I appreciate your comment. 🙂

  9. MrBiizy

    Hello Cattington. It is really cool to see you share this informative and educating article defining the frequently used crypto terms. As a crypto lover, I have come across most of these terms and understood what they truly meant but I didn’t really got the understanding of some terms and I haven’t come across some terms before now. I am very familiar with address, Autotrader/Robot, Bitcoin, etc.


    1. Cattington

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, MrBiizy! It’s always fun to meet another crypto lover. Please feel free to come by any time with suggestions or even corrections! It’s great to meet you. 🙂

  10. Dave Sweney

    I had been looking for a source for crypto terms and this is the first site that I have found that has exactly what I was seeking. There are a lot of things to learn about when it comes to this market, and your page lays it all out nicely and succinctly.

    The potential for crypto is huge, even with the volatility that it has experienced over the years. I see more and more ways to use the currencies, and I believe that having a portion of your investment portfolio in one or more currencies is a good idea. Risky perhaps, but with high risk comes high rewards often.

    This article has been bookmarked so I can get back here, and I will be checking out some of your other content as well. I am glad to have found your website and I am sure there are many others that feel the same. Thanks for your efforts in putting this together!

    1. Cattington

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Dave. Putting this little crypto-dictionary together was actually a lot of fun. I’ll update it as new terms become important. 😀

  11. Iyke

    I’ve been particularly looking forward to a comprehensive and yet straightforward article that helps me make sense of most of the cryptocurrency lingo.

    The term ASIC surely sounds interesting but even more interesting are the proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS) protocols. I would love to know more about those in more details, surely you can help create a post that addresses this.

    Well thought out, thanks for sharing.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for your comment! We’ll definitely go into greater detail with PoS and PoW. 🙂

  12. Neil Brown

    Thanks for providing me with the details of crypto currency, the glossary of definitions is mind boggling if you’re not familiar with them and I am very impressed, as being someone who is not familiar with most of them.

    If this is a list of most frequently used terms, the list must go on with a higher layout of detailed definitions for those that are more versed on the subject. Needless to say, I have found this subject of crypto currency to be an interesting one and would love to delve into it a little more, thanks.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for the comment, Neil. I’m glad you found the article interesting. 🙂

  13. jpaliskis


    Very informative article for the beginners in Cryptocurrency. I’ve never heard about the crypto world but now. It was interesting to read the jargon, like bear market and bull market. And whales.

    I think your post is helpful for those who just started this business and for those who are already in this business ( reminds the terminology of Cryptocurrency ( let’s talk crypto!).

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for your kind words. Remember us if you ever get interested in investing. 🙂

  14. Idris

    I’ve actually always been afraid to try crypto currency as I am not knowledgable in it, but this page is definitely a good start! Knowing the basic terms is the first step to understanding the explanation and steps if I were to start learning crypto currency. 

    I’m definitely bookmarking this page for future reference!

    1. Cattington

      Thank you so much, Idris! I’m happy you find the page useful enough to bookmark. 🙂

  15. Kozakiv

    Thank you for your advice on cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. How we should trade and invest money. I tried investing in cryptocurrencies before and in Bitcoin but it didn’t work. I was losing a lot of money even though I had my own broker. i know today when i read this post it sure would have gone better in the stock market.

    1. Cattington

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

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