๐Ÿงพ Glossary

Get more information about terms found in our documentation.

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51% Attack

Itโ€™s also known as Majority Attack. When a miner or group of miners controls more than 50% of the mining power of the network then that group can disrupt the networkโ€™s mining process and can manipulate the network.

A

Address

An address is used to identify private key holders when transferring value.

Airdrop

It's the process of distributing digital assets to the public. Just like transferring some tokens to users' wallet addresses. Nowadays companies use it as a marketing strategy.

Altcoin

Altcoins refers to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.

Archive Node

An archive node stores everything kept in the full node but also builds an archive of historical states. They are necessary if you want to check the state of an account at any given block height.

Attack Surface

The Attack Surface describes all of the different points where an attacker could get into a system, and where they could get data out.

ATOM

The ATOM token is the native staking currency of the Cosmos Hub. Validators use the ATOM tokens to stake and secure the zones within Cosmos.

ATH It stands for All-Time-High. It used to point to the highest value/price of cryptocurrencies ever reached in history.

AVAX

AVAX is the Avalanche networkโ€™s native asset. It has two special uses on the Avalanche network:

  • Validators must stake AVAX

  • Transaction fees will be paid in AVAX

B

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto which launched the era of cryptocurrencies.

Block

A block is a collection of several operations. The operations are located in the payload of the block which is specific to the protocol.

Along with the payload, the block includes a header that contains protocol-agnostic data. It consists of generic information such as the block predecessorโ€™s hash and the blockโ€™s timestamp.

Blockchain

A blockchain is a digital, public ledger that records online transactions. Blockchain is the core technology for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. A blockchain ensures the integrity of a cryptocurrency by encrypting, validating, and permanently recording transactions. A blockchain is similar to a bankโ€™s ledger but open and accessible to everyone who utilizes the cryptocurrency it supports.

BUIDL

Inspired or derived from HODL. A term referring to keeping your heads down and focusing on building your product.

Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) Consensus

A form of consensus algorithm in which up to a third of participants can be faulty or malicious.

C

Candidate Block

A candidate block is a temporary block that miners first mine to receive the block reward.

CELO

The ticker symbol for the Celo native asset, often written in capital letters to avoid confusion with references to the Celo protocol.

Cipher

A cryptographic technique used to encrypt and decrypt messages. Itโ€™s further divided into two categories - symmetric and asymmetric.

Circulating Supply

Circulating Supply is the best approximation of the number of coins that are circulating in the market and in the general public's hands.

Consensus Protocol

A consensus protocol is an algorithm, or series of steps, that a set of computers follow in order to reach an agreement on some piece of information. In a payments system, for example, the computers follow a protocol to agree on who has how much money.

Cosmos

Cosmos is an ecosystem of blockchains that can scale and interoperate with each other. It is powered by the Cosmos Hub, the main communication channel between the Cosmos blockchains.

Cryptocurrency

A digital currency that is built using blockchain technology and secured by cryptography to use as a medium of peer to peer transaction. Eg. BTC, ETH etc.

Cryptography

Cryptography is a method of protecting information and communications through the use of codes so that only those for whom the information is intended can read and process it.

D

DApp

Decentralized applications (dApps) are digital applications or programs that exist and run on a blockchain or P2P network of computers instead of a single computer, and are outside the purview and control of a single authority. They are usually powered by smart contracts.

Decentralized Autonomous Cooperative (DAC)

An organization that is controlled by shareholders rather than a central authority.

Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

A DAO is represented as rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government. It decides which decision will be made by a decentralized organization.

Decentralized Exchange (DEX)

Decentralized exchanges (DEX) are a type of cryptocurrency exchange that allows for direct peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions to take place online securely and without the need of an intermediary.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

A new form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum. DeFi platforms allow people to lend or borrow funds from others, speculate on price movements on a range of assets using derivatives, trade cryptocurrencies, insure against risks, and earn interest in a savings-like account

Double Spending

When crypto coins are spent more than once. Mainly happens due to 51% attack.

E

Eclipse Attack

An Eclipse Attack is a means of attacking a decentralized network through which an attacker seeks to isolate and attack a specific user(s), rather than attack the whole network.

ERC-20

ERC20 is an official protocol for proposing improvements to the Ethereum (ETH) network. Proposed by Fabian Vogelsteller in November 2015.

ERC-721

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) based on Ethereum. Which means every token is unique and not interchangeable.

EVM

The Ethereum Virtual Machine. A runtime environment used by smart contracts on some Web 3 protocols including Ethereum.

F

Fiat

Fiat money is a currency that lacks intrinsic value and is established as a legal tender by government regulation.

Fork

A situation where two blocks are generated pointing to the same block as their parent, and some portion of miners see one block first and some see the other. This may lead to two blockchains growing at the same time. Generally, it is mathematically near-certain that a fork will resolve itself within four blocks as miners on one chain will eventually get lucky and that chain will grow longer and all miners switch to it; however, forks may last longer if miners disagree on whether or not a particular block is valid.

Full Node

A computer running the blockchain software that maintains a full copy of the blockchain locally.

Fungibility

Fungibility is the ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other individual goods or assets of the same type.

G

Gas

Gas refers to the fee, or pricing value, required to successfully conduct a transaction or execute a contract on the blockchain platform.

Genesis Block

The genesis block is the first block in any blockchain-based protocol. It is the basis on which additional blocks are added to form a chain of blocks, hence the term blockchain. This block is sometimes referred to as Block 0.

Governance

Blockchain governance is a process that allows participants to vote on-chain using their staked tokens.

Gwei

Gwei is a denomination of Ether. One gwei equals 0.000000001 or 10^-9 ETH.

H

Halving

When the reward for mining crypto assets (like Bitcoin) decreased to one half of its previous value.

Hash

The output produced by the hash function once data is mapped on the blockchain.

Hash Rate

Speed of mining hardware to calculate new hashes. Measured in hashes per second.

Hashed TimeLock Contracts

Hashed TimeLock Contract or HTLC is a class of payments that use hashlocks and timelocks to require that the receiver of payment either acknowledge receiving the payment prior to a deadline by generating cryptographic proof of payment or forfeit the ability to claim the payment, returning it to the payer.

HODL

This is an acronym for Hold in the crypto industry. Where people hold digital assets and donโ€™t sell them.

History

The past transactions and blocks. Note that the state is a deterministic function of history.

I

Immutability

Immutability can be defined as the ability of a blockchain ledger to remain unchanged, for a blockchain to remain unaltered and indelible.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

A method to raise funds in which new projects sell their cryptocurrency to investors.

Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)

A method to raise funds by reducing the risk for token purchasers by offering a trusted intermediary between the project team and the user.

Interoperability

It means the possibility to freely share value across all blockchain networks without the need for intermediaries.

L

Latency

Latency also referred to as โ€œblock timeโ€, is the time required to generate the next block of transactions in the chain.

Layer 2

A secondary framework or protocol which is built on top of an existing blockchain.

Light-Client

A client that downloads only a small part of the blockchain, allowing users of low-power or low-storage hardware like smartphones and laptops to maintain almost the same guarantee of security by sometimes selectively downloading small parts of the state without needing to spend megabytes of bandwidth and gigabytes of storage on full blockchain validation and maintenance.

Lighting Network

The Lightning Network is a "layer 2" payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency (like bitcoin). It is intended to enable fast transactions among participating nodes.

Luna

Luna is the native staking token recognized by the Terra protocol. Through its role in collateralizing the mechanisms that secure the price-stability of Terra stablecoins and modulate the incentives of validators, Luna serves as a foundational asset for the entire Terra network and ecosystem.

M

Mainet

Mainnet is the term used to describe when a blockchain protocol is fully developed and deployed, meaning that cryptocurrency transactions are being broadcasted, verified, and recorded on a blockchain.

Mainet Swap

A mainnet swap occurs when a project moves from one blockchain to another. Usually, this means a project is transitioning from its testnet phase to its mainnet phase.

Maximum Supply

It refers to the maximum number of coins/tokens that can be ever created for a specific cryptocurrency. For example, itโ€™s 21million for Bitcoin.

Mempool

The mempool is the node's holding area for all the pending transactions. It is the node's collection of all the unconfirmed transactions it has already seen enabling it to decide whether or not to relay a new transaction.

Merged Mining

Mining two or more than two cryptocurrencies at the same time without compromising the mining performance.

Merkle Tree

Itโ€™s a hash-based data structure. Itโ€™s used to organize large amounts of data.

Meta Data

Metadata is defined as the data providing information about one or more aspects of the data; it is used to summarize basic information about data which can make tracking and working with specific data easier.

Mining

Mining is the process of validating the transactions on a blockchain network and adding new blocks to the blockchain.

Multisignature

Multisignature refers to requiring multiple keys to authorize a transaction, rather than a single signature from one key.

N

Node

A node is a computer participating in the network's consensus.

Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a cryptocurrency token that is indivisible and unique. NFTs offer myriad options for creating and trading digital assets โ€” such as original artwork and blockchain-integrated collectible games like CryptoKitties.

O

Off-chain

Transactions that take place on a specific blockchain network, which later grouped together before submitting them on the main blockchain.

On-chain

An interaction that takes place solely through a transaction being executed on the blockchain and updating the state of the ledger.

Oracles

For smart contracts, oracles are a middle-ware product in which data outside of the blockchain (such as real-world data from weather to stocks) is connected to it. That data is then used for conditions of smart contracts.

Open Source Software

Open-source software (OSS) is software that is distributed under a license with its source code, making it available for use, modification, and distribution with its original rights.

P

Peer-to-Peer

Two or more computers are connected together without relying on any centralized server.

Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.

Proof-of-Stake

Proof-of-Stake is a method of consensus that uses the token itself to secure the network, which acts as a sort of virtualized ASIC, instead of using physical hardware to burn through electricity in order to do so.

R

Race Attack

A race attack is executed when an attacker creates two conflicting transactions to manipulate funds to spend them twice.

Routing Attack

A type of attack from Internet service providers to control and affect the web-enabled system.

S

SDK

Software Development Kit. Generally, a suite of developer tools that enable applications to be built on a platform.

Smart Contracts

A smart contract is a contract whose terms are expressed as a computer program with logic and state persisted on the blockchain. Smart contracts can automatically carry out its terms and conditions with total transparency and no counterparty risk.

Smart Digital Assets

A smart digital asset is a digital representation of a real-world thing such as an equity, bond, money etc. They can have a complex ruleset that defines their behavior and how they are handled. This ruleset can include things like, โ€œcanโ€™t be traded until next year,โ€ for example.

Stable Coin

A stablecoin is a new class of cryptocurrencies that attempts to offer price stability and are backed by a reserve asset.

State

The set of data that a blockchain network strictly needs to keep track of and that represents data currently relevant to applications on the chain.

In a currency, this is simply balances; in more complex applications this could refer to other data structures that the application in question needs to keep track of (eg. who has what domain name, what is the status of a given contract, etc).

T

Ticker

Each cryptocurrency has its own 'ticker' or abbreviated symbol that is used to identify it when trading on an exchange or viewing a trading chart. Eg. BTC, ETH, AVAX, NEAR etc.

Token

Digital units issued on a blockchain which later can be redeemed into assets.

Transaction

A transaction queries or modifies the state of a blockchain.

U

UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output)

A UTXO is the amount of digital currency remaining after a cryptocurrency transaction is executed. UTXOs are processed continuously and are responsible for beginning and ending each transaction.

V

Validator

A validator is a node participating in the consensus protocol. Validators work together to achieve consensus as to which transactions have taken place on a blockchain.

Virtual Machines

A Virtual Machine defines the application-level logic of a blockchain. In technical terms, it defines a state machine. It specifies the state that is held, the state transition function, and the transactions that clients can issue in order to query/modify the state. Developers create Virtual Machines that implements some functionality and then create a blockchain that runs the Virtual Machine. Every blockchain runs (is an instance of) a Virtual Machine.

W

Wallet

An app that allows a user to manage an account, and usually stores the associated private key.

Wrapped Token

A wrapped token is an asset hosted on the Ethereum blockchain with a price that is the same as another underlying asset, even if it's not on the same blockchain or on a blockchain at all.

Z

Zero-Knowledge Proof

Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) allow parties to verify the data and transaction without revealing that data. The goal is to prove a statement without leaking extra information.