To the uninitiated, the world of cryptocurrency can be a strange and confusing place. This is in no small part to the lingo that cryptocurrency enthusiasts have developed over the years.

Though the crypto community largely uses a lot of terms that are common to all types of finance and investing, it has evolved over the past decade into a unique vocabulary that’s recognized by enthusiasts the world over.

Below are some of the essential cryptocurrency slang terms you will need to know before diving into blockchain trading. If you want to get into crypto trading, knowing these terms is essential, as these are all used and understood by virtually every crypto trader. If you’re ready to trade, you can keep your risks down by choosing secure coin storage solutions like getting an XMR wallet if you’re trading in Monero for example.

    1. 51% Attack. A type of cyber attack where over half the available computing power is being used up by one party.

    2. Address. A unique character string that functions as a location where parties can send, receive, or store cryptocurrency.

    3. Algorithmic Stablecoin. A cryptocurrency that uses an algorithm to trigger certain actions based on external events. For instance, it might release more coins or purchase them depending on market rates.

    4. Altcoin. These are coins with niche appeal. Broadly speaking, any coin that isn’t Bitcoin or Ethereum.

    5. Bitcoin Maximalist. Otherwise known as a “Bitcoiner”, Bitcoin maximalists are individuals who value Bitcoin over all other coins or otherwise believe only Bitcoin has real value.

    6. Blockchain. A digital ledge consisting of a connected series of immutable series of data blocks.

    7. Blocks. Digital data blocks that carry a historical record, usually of coins and NFTs but also potentially other types of data.

    8. BTFD. An acronym for “Buy The F****** Dip” where traders encourage others to purchase a coin that has fallen in market value.

    9. Cold Wallet. A cryptocurrency wallet is stored on a physical device, such as a thumb drive. While secure from hacking, they are generally more cumbersome to trade with.

    10. dApps. A “decentralized app”. This refers to any practical leveraging of blockchain concepts like cryptocurrency. Usually in the form of games, messenger platforms, and social media applications.

    11. Decentralized API (dAPI). API services that are meant to be used with blockchain technology.

    12. DeFi. A shortening of “decentralized finance”. It is a movement within blockchain communities that seeks to remove banks and other financial institutions as “middlemen” for transactions between two parties.

    13. Fiat/Fiat Currency. Currencies that are issued by a government’s central bank, otherwise known as “conventional currencies”. Cryptocurrencies serve as an alternative to these conventional currencies.

    14. FOMO. “Fear of Missing Out”. It is the anxiety that one may not be able to purchase and “hodl” (see below) a coin at the right time.

    15. Fork. A situation when a cryptocurrency or blockchain-based network splits off into more than one project, each with its own code.

    16. Gas. The cost of computing power for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

    17. Halving. An event on the Bitcoin blockchain where the mining rewards are halved after approximately 210,000 blocks are mined. This is meant to control the supply of available coins.

    18. Hash Rate. A measure of computing power when mining cryptocurrencies. Higher rates usually mean a more efficient mining network.

    19. Hodl. A humorous misspelling of “hold”. Allegedly, the spelling was the result of an investor’s typo on a forum, made as they were enthusiastically encouraging other forumites not to sell. Hodl has since become shorthand for faith in a cryptocurrency.

    20. Hot Wallet. A digital wallet that is hosted online. These are accessible but far more vulnerable to malicious actors than physical or “cold” wallets.

    21. ICO. An Initial Coin Offering. These are fundraising efforts similar to an “Initial Public Offering” for other investments. Many of these are fraudulent “pump and dump” schemes which means investors should always be wary of any ICOs.

    22. Mining. This is the process of using computing power to solve cryptography problems. This is intended to both secure a cryptocurrency network and power it. In some cryptocurrencies, fractions of coins are awarded for this work.

    23. NFT. A nonfungible token is a unique digital certificate secured by a blockchain. It may be used to secure ownership of goods, including both real-world and virtual items. Memes, artworks, and social media posts are among the many virtual assets that could be secured by an NFT.

    24. Paper Hands. Otherwise known as “weak hands”. This refers to a trader that sells their coins at the first sign of devaluation. Investors are often encouraged to “hodl” lest they be called paper hands.

    25. Pump and Dump. A price manipulation scam where the market value of a coin is “pumped” or boosted based on false promises and misdirection (such as celebrity endorsements). Assets are then “dumped” or sold at high prices to naive buyers, at which point the coin begins to devalue rapidly.

    26. Satoshi. This refers to an amount of .0001 Bitcoins. The term is a reference to the mysterious founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakomoto.

    27. Stablecoin. A cryptocurrency or blockchain-based token with a value pegged to that of a commodity or fiat currency. Stablecoins are gaining popularity as an instrument for cross-border finance.

    28. Token. A unit of a digital asset, such as an NFT or a cryptocurrency.

    29. To the Moon/Rocket Emoji. The phrase “to the moon” and rocket emojis indicate a belief that the price of a digital asset will increase significantly.

    30. Rekt. Used to describe massive losses. Derived from the word “wrecked”. Rekt was originally a 2000s gaming term that has since been adopted by the crypto community.

    31. Wallet. A digital or physical storage solution for cryptocurrency and NFTs. Online wallets are often referred to as “hot” while wallets hosted on physical devices are often described as “cold”. Wallets can also be designed for specific functions or coins, as with the case of XMR Wallet, which is primarily meant for use with Monero.

    32. Whale. Parties whose coin holdings can significantly affect cryptocurrency market values. Whales can be highly successful individual traders as well as firms that have substantial holdings. They can also be influential, often imitated parties that have achieved consistent, long-term success in cryptocurrency trading.

The list above is just the tip of the cryptocurrency lingo iceberg. Every coin’s community has its own slang that is unique to them. Additionally, cryptocurrency traders may fall into different geographic subgroups or ideological camps, and each of these will develop unique terms that reflect their shared values. What’s more, every sub-community’s vocabulary is constantly evolving. We will doubtlessly see some of the words above fall out of favor and some new ones crop up, a testament to the vitality of the crypto scene.

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