GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Learning crypto lingo is no small feat. For many of us, it’s truly a new language. Here is our handy definition guide for the most commonly used terms. This list continues to grow so keep checking back in.
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An address is a string of letters and numbers that identify you and others so when you send or receive crypto, the crypto knows where to go. Each token in your wallet has its own address. So if you want someone to send you, say, bitcoin, you find your bitcoin address in your wallet and share it with the other person. This is absolutely safe to share as these public addresses can only receive tokens. Similar to a home address or a website, a blockchain address relates to the identity of a user or location. It is the unique string of numbers and letters that denote the location of a wallet on the blockchain that is used to make digital transactions. All blockchains use wallet addresses. In the early days of cryptocurrency, people could send payments to an IP address. However, since there were security vulnerabilities found with this process, now, if a user wants to make cryptocurrency transactions, they need to have a wallet address. Most addresses on a blockchain are anonymous and show no personally identifiable information. However, they are not entirely anonymous, as some addresses are publicly known as being tied to specific people or organizations. And even when anonymous, all transactions on the blockchain are recorded so there are ways of identifying users of a certain address.
Asymmetrical cryptography is also known as public key cryptography, and is a process that uses a private key and a public key to encrypt information. When a cryptocurrency transaction is started, the recipient’s public key is used to encrypt the transaction. The recipient then decrypts it using their private key. One benefit of asymmetrical cryptography is increased data security. It is the most secure way to encrypt data because users are not required to share any of their private key information. This decreases the possibility for hackers to learn private key data and steal cryptocurrency. Usually, asymmetrical cryptography is used to verify digital signatures to ensure the identity and origin of the user. With asymmetrical cryptography, keys do not need to be distributed for transactions to take place. However, it can be a slow process, and isn’t generally used for bulk transactions. Also, if a user loses their private key, they can no longer decrypt transactions they receive.
Altcoin is an abbreviation for alternative coin, and it is used to refer to cryptocurrencies that are not bitcoin (about 40% of the market — and growing). Even Ethereum is sometimes called an altcoin! Bitcoin is considered the first cryptocurrency; any coin developed after is considered an altcoin. Altcoins are of course a major part of cryptocurrency markets — and while not necessarily as popular as bitcoin, each offers something distinct, some use, some mode of operation that may or may not be compelling or successful. Altcoin markets are generally considered more volatile than bitcoin so require just as much care and attention when investing. There are thousands of altcoins — each trying to solve some kind of problem, serve some kind of need. Ethereum, for example, is built to let developers create applications on the Ethereum blockchain — which demands the Ethereum token which is actually ether. The $ANATHA token serves multiple functions perhaps most notably, letting you register a crypto handle (@name) also called human readable address (HRA).
An airdrop in cryptocurrency is a marketing strategy that revolves around sending coins or tokens to a large amount of cryptocurrency wallets to promote awareness of the new currency. Small amounts of a coin are sent to active blockchain community members for free in exchange for a small task, like posting about the company or promoting it via social media. An airdrop is meant to spread awareness of the new currency and increase ownership. It also rewards loyal and early investors, as to get these rewards, often it is required to have some of the coin already in a user’s wallet. Promoting through airdrop and influencers is generally enforced as an anti-spam measure, and is meant to make sure that the new coins that are given away go to as many unique users as possible. As there is a lot of competition in the cryptocurrency markets today, new cryptocurrency startups are trying to stand out by using this method of promotion.
The Anatha app which is built to be a nexus of applications — financial and social. Imagine it as a kind of WeChat, only it treats people as partners, not products — all these services in one app with the value created in the process being automatically and continuously returned to participants. Today, the Anatha app is available for both desktop and mobile on both iOS and Android. Its core functionality is an elegant yet robust ominiwallet. But several features set it apart: it features a Human Readable Address protocol which lets people register a simple @name to send and receive all the tokens the app supports. Most importantly, the Anatha blockchain is engineered to return revenue created on chain to network participants.
This refers to the protocol layer mechanism of the Anatha blockchain that automatically and continuously returns revenue on the chain back to network participants — with the goal of creating a bottom-up, regenerative universal basic income (UBI). “Torus” is a moving geometric shape, akin to a doughnut, in which what moved out of it flows back into it, perpetually creating itself. In the Anatha economy, this means that the inputs of individuals in the network — registering an HRA, sending and receiving tokens, eventually people’s attention and creativity when creating content — becomes value on the network which, in turn, is returned to the creators of that value (the community). It is a perpetual virtuous cycle of abundance.
Asset (also called a Token or Coin)
A cryptocurrency asset, sometimes called a coin or token, is a unit of a cryptocurrency that is specific to one blockchain or platform — ether lives on Ethereum, bitcoin lives on Bitcoin, $ANATHA lives on Anatha. Different assets have different uses: bitcoin is predominantly a store of value while ether is used to develop applications on the Ethereum blockchain.These coins can be bought, sold, sent, received, and stored in wallets and exchanges. Only coins native to the system can be transferred within this network. The coin can be purchased using your national currency (also called “fiat”) and can also usually be traded for other types of cryptocurrency (sometimes called a swap) through an exchange. Every token operates differently — with different uses and different kinds of returns. Usually, a token has a website with things like a whitepaper that explain the functions and behaviors of that token.
Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that makes it difficult or impossible to change or hack the system. It’s actually a ledger — a list of transactions that are recorded just as in a traditional accounting ledger. Only with the blockchain, the ledger is distributed over many different machines so no one person can change it. That’s the heart of blockchain. The term blockchain comes from how it works: the digital ledger is often described as a chain that is made of multiple blocks of data. When new data is added to the network, a block is created and attached to the chain, which involves all computers (or nodes) in the network updating their ledgers to be identical. A blockchain often records information about cryptocurrency transactions. While conventional databases could store this information, blockchain is unique. It is completely decentralized, and is run not by a central administrator, but on multiple computers across a network. Decentralized blockchains are immutable, meaning transactions are permanently recorded and viewable by anyone. There are public and private blockchains. In public blockchains, anyone can participate by reading, writing or auditing data. Private blockchains, however, are controlled by organizations or groups, and only those invited can participate. Blockchains aren’t just used for cryptocurrency and have also been used for smart contracts, voting, and supply chain monitoring. There are many advantages to using blockchain, such as extra security and more efficient asset transfers. But mostly: blockchain removes the need to trust any one organization or person (hence blockchains are called “trustless”).
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto — whose real identity is unknown and may be a group of people — in 2009. Bitcoin offers lower transaction fees than traditional online transfers as it is operated through decentralized blockchains. Bitcoin is also a type of cryptocurrency. There is no physical currency, just balances kept on a public ledger that everyone has access to, making transactions hard to reverse and difficult to fake. Bitcoin is decentralized and so isn’t issued by or backed by any banks or governments. It isn’t legal tender in most parts of the world (except for now it is in El Salvador). However, because of its popularity, it has triggered the launch of hundreds of other forms of cryptocurrency, collectively referred to as altcoins. Since its release in 2009, Bitcoin’s value has risen and fallen tumultuously. Once sold at under $150 per coin, one coin is currently valued at around $50,000. Bitcoin is often used as a way to diversify an investment portfolio, alongside stocks and bonds. For many, it is a hedge against inflation of the US dollar. Some companies are starting to allow purchases with bitcoin, and in some countries with less stable currency, bitcoin is used instead for regular transactions.
ATH stands for all-time high, meaning the highest value the cryptocurrency has ever had, in all time. The term “ATH” refers to the highest price Bitcoin has ever achieved. Bitcoin has broken its previous all time high, set in late 2017. Bitcoin’s first all time high was in 2010, where the price went up to $0.08. Then it reached a value of one dollar per coin, in 2011. As of today, the average price of a single bitcoin is almost $50,000. The Bitcoin all time high is important for various reasons, most importantly, its importance in innovation cycles. When Bitcoin is doing well, other cryptocurrencies tend to do well. And while the price of cryptocurrency can be volatile, through the fear of missing out and holding on to cryptocurrency in hopes that it will skyrocket in value, the price of the coin has an upward trend in value, out performing any fiat currency by an exponent.
In the context of cryptocurrency, a bounty program can refer to a marketing strategy used by cryptocurrency startups during their initial campaigns. Through social media, content creation, forum events and more, a bounty program attracts more people to new types of cryptocurrency at a discounted rate, even sometimes offering free cryptocurrency for people promoting it as well. These types of bounty rewards programs have only increased in popularity, leading to crypto bounty hunters. Bounty hunters pursue a number of these rewards programs, and chase the best paying programs for the most profits. But bounty programs can be ways a blockchain network promotes bug fixes, redesigns, security audits from the community. This allows the community to “own” the project rather than a single governing body (such as a centralized company).
The word “crypto” generally means hidden or secret. In this case, cyrpto is short for cryptocurrency — which is non-national digital currency that is secured using cryptography, making it almost impossible to counterfeit. Most cryptocurrencies are based on decentralized digital ledgers called blockchains. Cryptocurrency is not issued by any central authority or bank, which makes them immune to government interference or manipulation. Cryptocurrency can be an investment, like stocks on the stock market. Or it can be an investment in the future and a divestment from the cruel economic system we live in today. While it can have its pain points, cryptocurrency makes it possible for those who would be blocked from banking, whether due to lack of funds or lack of accessibility to technology, the ability to take part in a global movement of decentralizing finance for all.
Having to do with the inflation model of a token, cryptocurrency inflation refers to how many coins are minted in a year and how many in total. Inflation in cryptocurrency is generally planned at regular intervals. This is how scarcity is planned for the coin and hence how value is created — scarcity = value. If you keep minting new tokens, the value of the existing ones goes down. If yous top minting new tokens, this creates demand and the value goes up. Some cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, half the number of new tokens minted every four years (this is called a “halving”). When cryptocurrency inflation occurs, the amount of coins that can be mined in a specific period of time is now lower, and the reward for mining the coins also goes down. Some cryptocurrencies work off of different models for how many coins are minted. Some others, like Anatha, work on a different model, where 50% of new coins go into the main economic distribution mechanism, and gives back 25% to participants on the network.
See Asset/token/coin above
A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform where users and coin holders can exchange one type of cryptocurrency asset for another asset, like fiat currency or other cryptocurrency. Exchanges can also be performed with gift cards, bank transfers, and credit cards. These exchanges can send cryptocurrencies straight to a crypto wallet. The exchange often works as an intermediary between the buyer and seller of the asset. There are often transaction fees involved, and there might even be a currency exchange fee for certain types of cryptocurrency. There are also decentralized exchanges that do not use a central authority. Decentralized exchanges allow for peer to peer exchanges instead. Decentralized exchanges tend to be more secure and require less personal information to use. Users on cryptocurrency exchanges are often referred to as makers and takers. A taker is a user that places a market order that is immediately filled, while a maker sets the limit price for the transaction.
There are multiple types of protocols used for maintaining consensus that some transaction took place on a blockchain. Often, these are used to combat a 51% attack, where one entity owns the majority of the blockchain. Two popular types of consensus are proof of work and proof of stake. Proof of work is based on hash algorithms. It uses computational resources in order to reach consensus. This can often use a lot of energy, as machines have to complete complex computational problems in order to record the transaction on the blockchain (also called “mining”). In proof of stake consensus, mining resources are allocated to users based on their stake of that network’s token. A miner allocates some cryptocurrency to start validating the block on the blockchain. This takes away the chance for centralized mining systems like proof of work would have. However, proof of stake can be more volatile, as only one entity needs to hold 50% of the cryptocurrency to hold the majority of the coin.
Cold storage / Cold Wallet
A cold wallet is one that cannot be compromised as it is not connected to the internet. Cold storage, where the information is not connected to the internet, is the most secure way to hold cryptocurrency as it cannot be hacked. The cold wallet stores the users private key and wallet address and works with a computer when transactions are made. While most cryptocurrency wallets are hot wallets, or connected to the internet, these are less secure than cold storing your cryptocurrency. A common form of cold wallet is a paper wallet, where balances are printed and transactions are completed using a QR code on the computer. Other popular forms involve offline devices to generate private keys to access their accounts. Of course, while these are less vulnerable to hacking, they are more susceptible to theft, as they are physical devices with your money inside. Also, not all cold wallets are usable with all cryptocurrency, so care needs to be taken in choosing the best cold storage method for you.
Coinbase is a centralized cryptocurrency application — aan exchange — that allows transactions of different types of cryptocurrency to occur. Coinbase is used for purchasing cryptocurrency as well as swapping cryptocurrencies. It can also be used as a kind of wallet to send and receive tokens. Coinbase makes it easy for the average person to buy and hold cryptocurrency. Similar to stock trading apps, the Coinbase app shows users the current trends and prices for popular cryptocurrencies. It also allows users to look at their cryptocurrency portfolios. To use the application, it needs personal data, including a social security number, much as a traditional bank does. This is because it transacts with the US dollar which demands this KYC protocol — know your customer. Coinbase is not a blockchain company; it is not a cryptocurrency: it is a centralized exchange that makes money by charging fees on other people’s money, much as a bank does.
Custodial assets mean your assets are under the control, or custody, of a third party rather than you having control over it. Traditional banks are custodial; the cash in your wallet is non-custodial. Cryptocurrency exchanges are generally considered to be custodial if they are run through a third party, like Paypal or Coinbase. The company protects a user’s assets, but the user must relinquish control to the company to be able to make transactions. With custodial wallets, transactions are not taking place in real time as they would on a non custodial decentralized wallet. Non custodial assets are much more secure as custodial assets are susceptible to hacking and theft. However, when data is lost, with custodial assets, users can get it back while with a non-custodial wallet, if the data is lost, your assets are lost forever (much like if you lose the cash in your wallet, it’s gone forever; but if the bank is hacked, you get your money back.)
A distribution model refers to how newly minted money is distributed. WIth fiat currency, distribution is not always clear. In the US, for example, newly minted dollars usually go to banks which then, presumably, give it to banking customers. Fiat currency distribution has long been a controversial topic — ever since currency was first used. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, uses a transparent distribution model. Most cryptocurrencies distribute newly minted tokens to miners or validators — people running the network on their own dime (they are not employed by any company). At Anatha, however, 50% of inflation is distributed into the main economic distribution mechanism which gives back 25% of the inflation to end users in the community.
A , or decentralized autonomous organization, is an internet-native organization owned and operated by its members. Decisions in a DAO are made from the bottom up and are governed and organized around rulesets enforced on a blockchain. Decisions are made via vote during specific time periods. A DAO has no leader or hierarchical management. A DAO operates by using smart contracts that execute once a certain set of criteria have been met. The DAO’s rules are established by the smart contract and users with a stake in the organization are entitled to vote on new proposals. A decentralized autonomous organization has some advantages over more traditional organizations. Usually, with regular organizations, there needs to be trust in both investors and the leadership teams of the companies. However, with DAO’s, the trust is placed in the code that is behind the organization. In a DAO, anyone is able to put forward an idea to vote on, and internal disputes can be easily solved through utilizing smart contracts and their pre-written rules. In addition, with a DAO, there is no centralized group extracting value from the network — no board or executive sweet who get all the profits. Instead, revenues can be distributed directly to participants or the community can vote on how value should be used.
On the internet, servers that run decentralized networks are not controlled by any one person or organization and so don’t use large server farms to host their content like large corporations do. For example, Google runs on servers owned and managed by Google, on Google land, in Google buildings. In decentralized networks, servers — or what are called “nodes” — are run by community members. Individuals with the technical knowledge can run a node within a decentralized network. Decentralized networks depend on the private machines of tech savvy users to provide secure and private access to certain services over the internet, including but not limited to cryptocurrency. In a decentralized internet, users don’t put their trust in one single entity but in the entirety of the network. In finance, decentralization refers to the lack of a central entity like a government or bank in control of a currency. Lack of central control leads to less potential problems like wealth hoarding and varying inflation rates for more volatile currency. Cryptocurrency runs on a decentralized platform, usually a blockchain, which is owned and operated through all of its users rather than one central controlling entity.
DEX (Decentralized Exchange)
A decentralized exchange is a type of cryptocurrency exchange that allows for peer to peer transactions to take place in a secure manner without needing an intermediary. In centralized exchanges, a central authority such as a bank, government institution, or stockbroker oversees a transaction. This is not the case in decentralized exchanges. Some common methods of decentralizing exchanges is through the use of smart contracts, though not all decentralized exchanges use the same methods. Decentralized exchanges mitigate the risk of theft of hacking and can help to prevent price manipulation. There is no way to reverse a transaction in a decentralized exchange. Decentralized exchanges use multiple different protocols to function. While it can lead to higher security, it also can result in disjointed liquidity across blockchain platforms. This can lead to people being wary of investing in decentralized exchanges. This has led to tools being developed to make sure assets can be more liquid across platforms.
A dip is when an asset has declined in value and is at a lower price than it used to be. Often people use this term to refer to “buying the dip” which is when someone purchases an asset at its low point in hopes that the asset will grow in value. In cryptocurrency, buying the dip is used to describe investing in a coin or token that has experienced a decline in its price. Those who buy the dip are confident that the price of the asset they are investing in will rise. The term first became popular in cryptocurrency in 2018 which is when many people learned first hand how volatile investing in cryptocurrency can be when buying based on emotions rather than in depth research. Buying an asset or coin when it is at a lower value does not always mean that the value will eventually rise.
dApps, or decentralized applications, are programs or apps that run on a blockchain or any distributed system as such as peer to peer networks of computers. They are decentralized, which means that they are outside the control of one single authority such as a company. Most applications we use are owned and operated by a company or organization that has full control over the contents of their platform. Distributed applications, on the other hand, work with networks where the users of the platform can control what is present on the platform. dApps are open source and, because they are decentralized, they often incentivise users to validate transactions by offering tokens to miners. Decentralized applications often run on top of other decentralized programs like Ethereum and Bitcoin. dApps are not just used for cryptocurrency. They have been used in gaming and online gambling for secure transactions. dApps have also been used in decentralized finance to allow for users to lend funds and earn interest on cryptocurrency savings accounts. The Anatha app is a dApp.
Digital identity is a response to the need to verify the identities of users to maintain compliance within a system. It is similar to an ID; however, most digital identities are managed through a blockchain that is decentralized and nearly hack proof. Currently, there are problems with proof of identity such as inaccessibility, data insecurity, and more. In order to gain access to financial institutions, educational facilities ,or employment, people need a way to prove who they are. With 1.1 billion people on the planet with no way to prove their identity, and 20% of these having no financial ability to do so, digital identity can help bridge the gap for those who need it most. Those who are unbanked, without any proof of their identity, may have access to mobile phones, however, which makes it so they can have digital identities in a secure and cost-free way.
A digital asset is a broad term that is used when referring to any asset that is digital. Cryptocurrency assets are digital assets as they utilize the technology involved in cryptocurrency and cryptography. While all cryptocurrencies are digital assets, not all digital assets are, in fact, cryptocurrency assets. Utility tokens are also a form of digital asset. They are not necessarily meant to be used for investments. These can include things like tokenized gold or securities (often called security tokens). Even items that started off as physical assets can be digitized and made into digital assets including art, text, and anything else that could be made digital (NFTs). Not every digital asset even relies on cryptocurrency, however. If an asset is digital and has any value, it is referred to as a digital asset. One benefit of digital assets is their ability to be catalogued much more easily than physical assets through the use of search, tags, categorization, and metadata.
A distributed ledger is a database that lives on multiple different platforms and is synchronized across all of them. The distributed ledger can preside on multiple sites, servers, and machines. Participants at each part of the network can access what has been recorded on the digital ledger and their copy of the distributed ledger is constantly updated so that they are all in sync — often within seconds or minutes of a new transaction. Distributed ledgers use the same technology as blockchain (blockchains are distributed ledgers) and are more secure than standard centralized ledgers that exist on just one server. Distributed ledgers also don’t need one central authority on what is the right version as they must be verified by many different people across the network. These distributed ledgers, because they are visible to all participants, have a very long paper trail, offering an easy flow of information in the case of audits or fraud checks.
DeFi, or decentralized finance, is a blockchain based form of finance that relies on smart contracts rather than central financial institutions. DeFI based use open source smart contract programs to complete and verify transactions. Decentralized finance markets are always open (unlike traditional finance) and there are no limits on buying and selling like there would be in the stock market. DeFi is also built on transparency so anyone can see how the system works as well as all of the transactions that have taken place on the blockchain up to that point. Bitcoin is considered the first DeFi application as it lets you control assets and send them anywhere in the world. Blockchain transactions are immutable — they can’t be altered, ever —, which leads to one controversy around decentralized finance: if there is an incorrect transaction, or coding error, the mistake cannot be fixed. Generally, code for DeFi platforms is open source, which can lead to the code being set up on competing platforms — which can create instabilities as funds shift between platforms. The upside to DeFi is there’s now central body extracting profits and no government monitoring it all.
Delegated Proof of Stake
Delegated proof of stake, similar to proof of stake, is a consensus algorithm used to democratize how a blockchain functions. Delegated proof of stake (DPoS) maintains and validates transactions across the blockchain and combines real time voting with systems based off of reputation to reach consensus. Every token holder has a voice in what goes on in the blockchain but voting power is determined by how many tokens are in their possession. There are many advantages of a delegated proof of stake system. It allows transactions to be validated in seconds with much faster timings than both proof of stake and proof of work processes. It uses less hardware and is even more energy efficient than both PoS and PoW systems. One disadvantage however, is that because users’ voting power is determined by how much stake someone holds, it can cause unbalanced voting abilities and lead to hoarding to maintain voting power.
Dogecoin is an open source cryptocurrency that is built on a peer to peer network. It is an altcoin and also considered a memecoin. It was launched in December 2013 and was created as a joke. Now, it has gained popularity. It is priced very low and has an unlimited supply — unlike most cryptocurrencies which have a limit on how many coins can ever be mined. Dogecoin’s appeal to investors is that it is considered a more consumer friendly version of bitcoin, due to the low prices and ease of investment. Dogecoin is also considered inflationary, unlike bitcoin. This is because there is not a set limit of coins that will ever be mined which means the token is open to having its value plummet. Dogecoin is known for its community contributions to celebrities and charity organizations. While there is some controversy around the community of coin owners, it has been endorsed by celebrities and has a loyal following behind it.
ATH stands for all-time high, meaning the highest value the cryptocurrency has ever had. The term “Ethereum ATH” refers to the highest price Ethereum, the cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin in market cap, has ever achieved. The Ethereum ATH was $4356. This ATH was set in May of 2021. The coin, on release, was worth just under $3.00. Ethereum was launched in 2015, and was co-founded by Vitaly Buterin and Joe Lubin. The token, called ether, was created as a way to pay for apps made on its platform. The coins on Ethereum are called ether, or shortened to ETH. Ethereum users pay transaction fees to use dApps; these fees are called gas and vary depending on how complex or voluminnous the transaction is.
Ethos refers to the character or values behind a person or organization. An ethos can also be the purpose of an organization or the beliefs they hold. Cryptocurrency is built on the radical idea that currency can be decentralized, using blockchains, and not controlled or held onto by a single government entity with all of the control over how the money is created and spent. Cryptocurrency can be the bridge, for some, between poverty and access to technology and other forms of financial institutions. With a large part of the world being unbanked, or having no access to formal financial institutions, or just living somewhere with a volatile fiat currency, cryptocurrency is there to help. Anatha is built on a system that delivers value back to the community, allowing those with limited access to technology and financial institutions to receive a universal basic income (UBI) that can elevate them above the global poverty line.
On the Ethereum blockchain, an ERC20 token is the standard token used for issuing and creating smart contracts, allowing projects to launch a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain, saving them from having to build their own (for better and worse). Created in 2015, ERC stands for “Ethereum request for comment” — a way to share essential requirements and technical details to developers. ERC20 is basically a scripting standard on the Ethereum blockchain, or a set of basic guidelines or functions that new tokens in the Ethereum platform need to follow. The ERC20 protocol drives much of the DeFi world. While the ERC20 standard is common, there are many who believe that the system is more limited than it could be. In light of this, several other alternatives have been developed to address specific concerns within the rules of ERC20.
FOMO is an acronym that stands for the fear of missing out. This fear is a strong force in all markets but is especially prevalent in cryptocurrency and stocks as there’s no such thing as fundamental value. Value in both crypto and stocks is driven mostly by emotion (and other forces such as scarcity). Those invested in cryptocurrency often cite the fear of missing out as one of the reasons to purchase new coins, even in volatile markets. When people are feeling this way, they will be looking to purchase more cryptocurrency, or a new type, just before they believe the price will skyrocket. People who are frequently affected by the fear of missing out will see a growth chart for a stock or cryptocurrency and start to figure out how to get involved — in case there is money to be made. Like all trading, cryptocurrency trading is often driven by emotions so the role of FOMO is a huge factor to consider when trading different types of cryptocurrency.
In cryptocurrency, a fork has various definitions. A fork is what happens when a blockchain diverges into two potential paths or when there is a change in protocol in the blockchain. In blockchains, participants use common rules to maintain the correct history of the blockchain. When these participants are not in agreement on the transactional history on the blockchain, alternative chains, or forks, can emerge. Some forks are short lived and are quickly corrected whereas others are more permanent (such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic). More short lived forks are generally due to maintaining quick consensus in distributed ledgers across the world. Otherwise, permanent forks, often caused by protocol changes, are used to create new features in the blockchain, reversing effects of hacking, or make bug fixes. There are also hard forks and soft forks. A hard fork involves a rule change large enough that the software would otherwise see all older blocks from before the update as invalid. Using current software is important or it can create permanent splits. A soft fork is where a fork occurs on the blockchain when older parts of the network do not follow rules that are being followed by more newly upgraded nodes.
Fiat currency is a currency that has been established as a valid and legal form of tender for purchasing goods and services in a specific country or group of countries. Fiat money doesn’t have intrinsic value as it isn’t backed by anything (such as gold) and is often made of low value material (like paper or cheap metals). It only has value by power of a government’s fiat — its declaration (hence fiat has come to mean national currency). Other than the power that the government has given it, fiat currency holds any value through belief as many people have to agree that the currency is valuable for it to work. When there is a collective agreement that it has market value, it functions as a currency. However, if the currency no longer has people believing in its value, it starts to become intrinsically less valuable. When this happens, the government has the power to control variations in the supply of money, which can lead to hyperinflation and less trust in the currency overall. Unlike cryptocurrency, fiat is backed by nothing other than the declaration, and power, of the government.
A fiat on-ramp is a service where you can buy cryptocurrency using fiat. This is often the easiest way to get cryptocurrency (other than being paid in cryptocurrency for services rendered). Instead of mining, which is time consuming and takes complex and expensive equipment, or using cryptocurrency as a way to have people purchase goods from you, with a fiat on-ramp, you can just buy cryptocurrency with a credit or debit card (buying crypto with cash is more difficult — and rare). Whether this is through online services or a cryptocurrency ATM, all you have to do is exchange your fiat currency for cryptocurrency. The main reason this is called an on-ramp is because it gives you access to the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. There are also fiat off-ramps, where you can exchange your cryptocurrency for your fiat currency of choice if you are looking to cash in on some of your profits.
Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency (Stablecoin)
Fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies are cryptocurrencies that peg their market value to something else. They could be pegged to other currencies, like the US dollar, or the Euro. Cryptocurrencies can have high volatility in valuation - especially in the short term. These high rates of volatility make these types of cryptocurrency difficult to use for everyday transactions. Currency, to maintain its value, needs a way to stay relatively stable over longer time periods, or people won’t trust it enough to use it. Fiat currencies are made stable through the reserves that back them and controlling authorities, like central banks. Sometimes, fiat currency is pegged to another asset, like the value of gold. This way, the currency’s valuation tends to stay relatively stable. When the asset it relies on changes, central banks can manage the supply and demand of the currency. With cryptocurrency, they don’t often have this luxury of central banking authorities. Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency works to bridge the gap between relatively volatile cryptocurrency values and the stability of fiat currency.
Gas refers to the fee required to conduct a transaction or execute a contract on the Ethereum blockchain platform. Every transaction on the platform uses some amount of gas. A gas unit is the smallest type of work processed on the Ethereum network. Depending on the size and type of a transaction, there may be more or less gas required. Miners are paid in fractions of ether (ETH), which is equivalent to the total amount of gas it took them to complete a transaction or other operation. These fractions of ether are also called gwei. Gas measures the amount of work miners need to do in order to include the transactions in a new block. If the transaction needs to happen more quickly, the price of gas will also rise. Cryptocurrency miners set the price of gas based on supply and demand for the computational power of the network the transaction is performed on.
A genesis block is the name given to the first block of a cryptocurrency ever mined. It is sometimes also called block 0, although very early versions of Bitcoin also called it block 1. The blocks used to store information is what makes a blockchain, and each of the blocks has a unique identifying header. The blocks are layered on top of each other as more transactions are completed, with the genesis block as the foundation of the blockchain. The blockchain is visible to all users, and the visible layers and history of each sequence is one of the reasons that blockchain based cryptocurrency is so secure. The genesis block is almost always hard coded into the software of the applications that use the blockchain and is the “ancestor” block that every other bitcoin block can trace its lineage to, and is special in that it produces unspendable coin as the base for the cryptocurrency.
“HODL” is derived from a misspelling of “hold” on a bitcoin forum from 2013 that refers to a buy and hold strategy for cryptocurrency. This term was coined when the price of bitcoin suddenly rose at the time, and encouraged users not to sell. “HODL” was retrofitted to stand for “Hold on for dear life” and encourages users not to sell when the price of the coin has suddenly surged or when prices become unpredictable. Newer traders often are told to “HODL” as reassurance that they should ride out a given slump because of the advantages of holding cryptocurrency. While people can hold cryptocurrency, someone who “HODLs” won’t sell their investments as they believe cryptocurrency is the future of finance. While some people only “HODL” to a certain point, like affording a dream car, others will “HODL” until cryptocurrency is the main form of currency, potentially making them quite wealthy.
HRA - Human Readable Address
A Human Readable Address replaces the long and complex strings of characters that most blockchains use to identify your crypto identity and wallet addresses. A HRA makes it much easier to share your identity and receiving address. HRAs make cryptocurrency more accessible to those potentially less familiar with blockchain. By using a simple @name designation it makes them easier to remember and understand — instead of needing to make sense of the complexities of decentralized blockchain, transfers can happen just as easily as sending money to family and friends. HRAs make it much easier for people across the world to become familiar with and use cryptocurrency by creating memorable names that are easily shareable. HRAs help bridge the gap between the digital world of crypto-economics and the physical world, giving HRA holders better access to the global economy and more control over their financial lives.
A Hot Wallet refers to a cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet. Whether they are web based, mobile, or desktop, hot wallets allow the owner to send, store, and receive tokens easily. Cryptocurrency holders often have a combination of these types of hot wallet which have varying levels of security protection. While mobile wallets are often used because of their accessibility, desktop wallets tend to be feature-rich and are one of the best ways to organize different sources of funds. Web wallets can be accessed from any web browser, and require the user to know and enter their private key to access any funds. Hot wallets are used for everyday payments or trading and are password protected. Because these wallets are connected to the internet, a hot wallet tends to be slightly more vulnerable than “cold storage” methods (meaning on a hardware device). The biggest advantage of holding cryptocurrency in a hot wallet is that it can do basic transactions like swap and sell. Many cryptocurrency owners keep their tokens in a cold wallet and transfer to a hot wallet when needed.
Halving is when the reward for mining a certain cryptocurrency is cut in half. It also cuts the inflation rate— the rate new coins enter circulation. Bitcoin last halved in 2020, leading to fewer rewards for mining the coin. Some cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have a time limit, or a block limit in their blockchains. When the limit has been reached, the reward given to block miners is decreased by half and decreases the rate at which new coins are introduced in half as well. Halving creates a synthetic inflation rate due to the limited number of coins in a given type of cryptocurrency. The first reward for mining Bitcoins, for instance, was 50 Bitcoins per block mined. Now, as the reward has been halved twice, the reward is now 6.25 bitcoins per block. As there is a dwindling supply of bitcoins, this encourages continued interest and work in the blockchain as the finite amount of coins continues to diminish.
Hashing is a way to secure the process of transmitting messages when the message is only intended for a specific recipient. A formula generates the hash, which then protects the contents of the messages from hacking. A hash formula takes an input of any length and transforms it into a fixed length string of seemingly random numbers and letters. In cryptocurrency, transactions are hashed in order to keep both the transaction secure and the details of the user behind the transaction. The numbers and letters do not obviously correspond to a given letter or number in another alphabet, which helps to keep it secure. Even changing a lowercase letter to an uppercase letter can have a profound effect on the final hashed string. One of the most common hashing algorithms in cryptocurrency is the SHA256 algorithm, which is always going to be 256 bits in length, regardless of the length of the original input.
Inflation is what happens when a currency is no longer worth what it was as the currency has devalued over time, causing prices to rise. Fiat currency is very vulnerable to inflation, as the value of the currency is only worth what people believe it is. With cryptocurrency, inflation is low and, most importantly, on a predictable schedule. Cryptocurrency, most specifically Bitcoin, has increased much faster in value than fiat currencies have. However, cryptocurrency is a volatile market, and the value of cryptocurrency changes over time. The way cryptocurrency is able to reduce inflation is that its supply is limited. Unlike a government being able to print more money when reserve is low, there is only a certain amount of each type of cryptocurrency. In the case of Bitcoin, there are only ever going to be 21 million, and every four years, the amount of bitcoin that can be mined/minted is halved.
ICO - Initial Coin Offering
An initial coin offering is similar to an IPO, but for cryptocurrency. When a new cryptocurrency is being marketed, people from all over the world will buy into the company’s initial coin offering, in hopes of making a huge profit. There’s no government oversight when it comes to initial coin offerings, and anyone can launch one. This makes investing in an ICO a potentially risky endeavor, as there is a large amount of fraud in this space. On the other hand, ICOs allow anybody—not just accredited investors—to participate in the early stage of a project. People can invest with common cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, but some also take fiat currency instead. There are many celebrities that are influencers for initial coin offerings, and promote them to the many people following them on social media. If the coin receives enough hype and money, the ICO succeeds and a new cryptocurrency gains market traction. Mind you, not all coin sales are ICOs. Many public token sales have living projects whose tokens are have utility in this communities. These are called utility tokens. The selling of utility tokens is not an ICO but is akin to selling, say, emojis and stickers—it’s a digital good.
Immutability is the same as unchangeability. When it comes to the digital world, an immutable object is one that cannot change or be altered after it is created. One of the key features of cryptocurrency and blockchain is that the transactions that take place within it are immutable and irreversible. No person, government, or other entity can manipulate or falsify the data within the blockchain. Since all of the transactions within a blockchain can be verified at any time, the information being immutable means the data is strong. It also means that the blockchain can be trusted as it is more secure. Immutability often provides clarity in uncertain situations as there is a complete historical and verifiable record of activities that have taken place on the blockchain. Transactions are made to be immutable through hash algorithms, which encrypt the data and make it so that there is a clear record of each activity and action taken on the blockchain. Compare this is a company’s database which can be manipulated behind closed doors—and hence is mutable.
KYC - Know Your Customer
KYC, or Know your Customer, is the process of verifying customer identities and compliance through collecting information from customers to confirm their identities. Regulations can include taxation based on location, or even access by countries and regulatory bylaws. Know your Customer standards are more common now in cryptocurrency as there is now more regulatory oversight from government organizations across the world. These regulations are specifically part of federal anti money laundering regulations (AML) required by the country’s financial institutions. Know your Customer standards are sometimes required for compliance in blockchain organizations and cryptocurrency companies as a way to combat bad actors and malpractice. Having these in place protects against fraud and financing extremist organizations. But there is a dramatic downside of KYC: it excludes everybody who doesn’t have the right piece of paper such as driver’s license or passport. This shuts billions of people out of global finance. KYC, in essence, turns a financial system into a surveillance system. KYC protocols were first introduced and defined by the U.S Treasury in the United states in 2001 as part of the Patriot Act. Of course, cryptocurrency is still new, and so are their regulations. Depending on the location of the cryptocurrency company, different regulations may apply, and some may not use any KYC protocols when users register for new accounts.
A cryptocurrency ledger is a public system that anyone involved in the cryptocurrency can see. A ledger is a record keeping system that retains all of the transactions anyone has ever done on the blockchain. The ledger is public but also maintains the anonymity of the people that use it, as well as the balances and transactional records specifically attributed to them. The ledger is the system the cryptocurrency uses to keep track of all of the transactions associated with the coin. Some participants have a whole copy of the constantly updating ledger on their devices and contribute to the blockchain as more transactions and connections are made. Using the ledger system prevents something called double spending, where the same coin is used more than once for different transactions. Having a ledger, or blockchain in use to keep transactions neat and orderly is necessary for the functioning of the cryptocurrency.
A memecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that has a theme to it, often as a joke. The first memecoin was Dogecoin as it was named after a dog that had become popular across the internet. A memecoin is often a joke that may turn into a cryptocurrency with a high market capitalization. While not generally too popular with serious buyers, as it isn’t accepted as currency anywhere, they’ve still grown in popularity. While some believe investing in memecoin is not a smart move, others think of it as a cheap way to potentially gain wealth very quickly. Typically, these coins don’t have any inherent value. However, popular influencers have been known to promote certain memecoins which tends to make others purchase them, driving up their value. This makes their value very volatile, as one post from an influencer can increase value, and without constantly promoting it, the coin can then lose value through lack of interest. Memecoins tend to be available in a much more limited way than other cryptocurrencies, and make up less than 3% of the total market value of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency mining is the way that new bitcoins are put into circulation. It is also a crucial part of maintaining the blockchain ledger. Mining is performed using complex computers and powerful servers that solve computational math problems. This completes blocks of the verified transactions, adding to the blockchain. It legitimizes and monitors cryptocurrency transactions, making them more secure and ensuring their validity. However, mining isn’t a sure way to get more coin. To gain the reward, the miner has to complete the solution to the problem first - and verify 1MB worth of transactions. This is more likely the more powerful the mining device is. Mining is costly and time consuming - but many are attracted to mining for cryptocurrency because of the reward of new coin. By mining, you can, over time, gain new coins without having to pay any money for them. However, mining isn’t a sure way to get more coin.
When a blockchain is fully developed and deployed, and cryptocurrency transactions are being registered on a blockchain, it is called a mainnet. Before a mainnet of a blockchain project is launched, there is usually an initial coin offering or token sale to generate funds and grow the community. Before a cryptocurrency is ready for a mainnet, it first is on a testnet. This is when the blockchain is not yet running at full capacity and is used for testing. When the coin is ready for the mainnet, a swap is performed, where the original testing tokens are swapped for the coins of the new blockchain. After crowdfunding or whatever sale is completed, and the coin is launched on the mainnet, the coin can be purchased and sold just like any other cryptocurrency. Mainnets provide reliable and effective ways of gauging success of a new blockchain project. A mainnet acts as proof that the cryptocurrency is being worked on over time, making it a safer, more trustworthy, purchase.
A node is a computer that connects to a cryptocurrency network. It supports the network through validating transactions on the blockchain. Full nodes enforce all rules established by the blockchain and hosts and synchronizes an entire copy of the blockchain within it. On the other hand, most of the nodes on a given cryptocurrency network are lightweight nodes, which are easier to use than full nodes, and only work to verify transactions rather than holding a copy of the blockchain itself. There are also pruned and archival nodes. Archival nodes store the entire blockchain from its inception, whereas a pruned node only contains up to a certain amount of the blockchain, due to space limitations on the machine. A node is just a single part. A collection of all of these nodes is called a network. The nodes do not connect independently, but connect to the network, where they can then communicate to verify and validate blockchain transactions.
Non-fungible Token (NFT)
A non-fungible token, an NFT, is one that is unique and can’t be replaced by something else. (Most cyrptocurrencies, like US dollars, are fungible: one unit is equal to another and is hence interchangeable.) It is a unit of data stored on a blockchain, that certifies that the digital asset is unique and not interchangeable with anything else. Non-fungible tokens can be used to represent many things, including media such as photos and videos and other types of digital files. Of course, access to copies of the original file is not restricted to the buyer - anyone can download a copy of the file for free, if it's available online. While anyone can grab a copy, however, NFTs are tracked on blockchains that provide a proof of ownership to the buyer. Ethereum had the first standards for representing NFTs on their blockchain. Other blockchains use proof of stake models in order to support their NFTs. The first NFT was created in 2014; it was a piece of digital art. There have been many other high profile NFT sales, including videos from celebrities, game assets, and digital collectibles.
Non-custodial, often used in the context of cryptocurrency wallets, means decentralized. These types of non-custodial wallets mean that someone owns the private keys to it. Having a decentralized way to hold cryptocurrency means that the user has full control over any funds inside. Non-custodial wallets are considered more secure than custodial wallets but they do require more responsibility and can be less convenient as the user has to remember all of their private keys and keep them safe (or potentially risking access to their funds). Non- custodial wallets can be browser based, software, or hardware. Often, non-custodial wallets are hardware wallets that are turned off when not in use, and not connected to the internet, and must be connected to a computer to make any transactions. Although technically connected to the internet when in use this way, signing for the transaction is done offline, meaning the device is even less likely to be hacked, and is hence very secure. But there are many software non-custodial wallets such as Anatha.
Proof of personhood proves that you are a person and have a unique identity, usually through authentication systems. This tries to solve the problem of Sybil attacks where the system is hacked using multiple pseudonym identities to gain influence on a platform. These systems often are exposed to security vulnerabilities and can leave people open to data theft. CAPTCHA attempts to prove personhood and reduce these attacks using tests that differentiate machines and actual humans. Other approaches to proof of personhood involve social networks to verify people’s identities, in person verification events, or through verifying and then anonymizing the identities of the people involved. Decentralized databases make this anonymity after the first verification possible, so the system knows who you are, but other people cannot. In addition, proof of personhood has been proposed as a solution to creating cryptocurrencies that provide universal basic income to each user in a given time period.
Pump and Dump
Pump and dump scams are designed to take advantage of investors. They often involve influencers that get paid for telling people to buy a certain type of cryptocurrency, in hopes that people buy it and raise the value. Once the value goes up, however, the scammers sell all of their stake in the cryptocurrency, reaping the profits, and leaving everyone else in the dust — as their investments steadily lose value. While these scams often involve stocks, they can be prevalent in any investment system. The Securities and Exchange commission in the US has made pump and dump scams illegal when it comes to stock, but the regulations for cryptocurrency still are lacking. One way to make sure someone doesn’t become a victim of a scam like this is to do research. Instead of falling for the hype of a new coin, take the time to learn about it — if a popular influencer who rarely talks about cryptocurrency suddenly starts talking about a new type of token, it could be a scam. Making good decisions when investing is the best way to avoid these types of scams.
Peer-to-peer simply means any transaction—buying, selling, texting—that happens directly between the two parties involved without a third party intermediary. For example, when transacting in any fiat currency that is not cash based, a third party —banks and/or the government—mediate that transaction. There are also peer-to-peer exchanges. Instead of using a non-distributed ledger, or blockchain, to record transactions, peer-to-peer exchanges match sellers and buyers without holding onto funds during the trade. A peer-to-peer transaction has data related to the person the user is interacting with at all times. The data on the person can range from a cryptocurrency wallet address, to location and any other relevant information, like usernames or IP address. A peer-to-peer exchange generally has to have a built in reputation system. A user is trading with other traders directly, and isn’t overseen by the cryptocurrency platform. Having personal data on the traders a user is interacting with can be beneficial to build up the trust to trade with them. There are platforms that can be used to find and trade with local cryptocurrency users in order to do peer to peer exchanges as well.
To tie value to another asset. (See Fiat Pegged Cryptocurrency)
A protocol is a basic set of rules that allows data to be shared between machines. In cryptocurrency, protocols establish the rules and structure of the distributed database, or blockchain. The first protocols in cryptocurrency started with bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocols explained how the blockchain would work as a distributed ledger, tracking transactions, as well as being self-verifying. Through mining the blockchain, the blockchain is verified, and miners get rewarded for their work. This Bitcoin protocol showed that digital money and cryptocurrencies could be safely shared across the internet. Since then, many other cryptocurrencies have been developed, each with their own protocols. Another protocol was developed by Ethereum which is designed around smart contracts, where the transaction automatically executes when all of the specific criteria have been met. These protocols have allowed for even more decentralized financial transactions that can automate anything, like borrowing loans or taking out insurance.
Proof of Stake (PoS)
Proof of stake means that a person can mine and validate cryptocurrency transactions on the blockchain based on how many coins of that currency they have. In this way, the more coins a miner owns, the more mining power they have. Created as an alternative to Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake gives mining power based on the percentage of coins held by the owner, instead of miners needing to sell coins to foot the bill themselves. Proof of Stake is also seen as less risky in terms of network hacking, as it compensates miners in a way that makes attacks far less advantageous for the hacker. As mining cryptocurrency is only becoming more expensive in the way of electricity use for mining, Proof of Stake tries to address this issue by attributing mining power by the proportion of coins held by a user instead of basing it on energy availability.
Proof of Work (PoW)
Proof of work is a decentralized system that requires a large amount of computational power in order to deter malicious users. It was originally created as a method to combat spam emails, and now has grown into the cryptocurrency world. The amount of energy Proof of Work requires only grows as more users join the blockchain. Proof of Work systems are the basis for mining bitcoin as well as many other types of cryptocurrency as well. Proof of Work requires members of the network to expend effort and energy to solve arbitrary computational puzzles to prevent anyone from hacking the system. Because of Proof of Work systems, bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions can use peer to peer processing in a secure way without needing third party involvement. Proof of Work also makes it difficult to alter any aspect of the blockchain, since it would require updating all of the blocks, using a massive amount of energy. It also makes it difficult for a network’s computational power to be monopolized since the machines to complete these processes are quite expensive.
A public address or public key is a specially generated code that allows users to receive cryptocurrency to their accounts. The address is formed using a hash algorithm — a long, seemingly random string of numbers and letters, usually either 26 or 35 characters long. Depending on the type of cryptocurrency, different types of hashes are used to create the address. A user often has a QR code to represent their public address. A public address is meant to be public and can be shared anywhere. It's similar to sending someone a bank account number in that other people can only send money to the account. An address can be created for free by anyone and anyone can have as many public addresses as they’d like. When using a public address, information can be validated with a private key so that the signature can be validated without sharing any private information.
A private key is, obviously, meant to be kept private. Similar to a verification code or pin number, a private key gives a user access to the funds within a blockchain. Private keys should never be shared and should be kept in the most secure way possible, like a cold wallet stored offline. A private key is specifically to protect users from any unauthorized use of funds from their cryptocurrency accounts. Private keys are usually represented with a long string of numbers and letters, which makes it very difficult for a hacker to crack, many of which are represented in a format meant for importing to cryptocurrency wallets. Digital wallets store a user’s private keys. When the user initializes a transaction, it is digitally signed through the private key. The signature is used to confirm who made the transaction, and ensures that the transaction is immutable, or unable to be changed. It is very important to keep track of a private key, as when a user loses their private key, their access to their cryptocurrency is lost.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the alias of the person who created Bitcoin, authored a whitepaper on bitcoin, and created the first blockchain database. Many people have claimed that they know or are Satoshi Nakamoto but nobody has been verified as the actual person. It is still unclear if the name refers to just one person or a group of people that worked on the Bitcoin project. Nakamoto first started working on the code that became bitcoin in 2007. Nakamoto released the first version of the bitcoin software in 2009, and defined the genesis block for the cryptocurrency. He proposed a decentralized approach to cryptocurrency transactions using blockchains. Nakamoto valued his anonymity and his true identity is still a mystery to this day. However, the value of the coins in his possession is thought to be valued at over $50 billion in value — or 5% of the total market share of Bitcoin.
A security key is a device that electronically authenticates someone’s identity. It facilitates the access or authentication into systems. Security keys are also sometimes referred to as security tokens. These keys can come in many different forms, like chip based hardware tokens, USBs, or wireless devices for remote activation. Smart keys are secondary devices which means that they are dependent on another device. The security keys are often used in conjunction with a password but aren’t always. They are also not always secure as they can be hacked or lost. Security key technology is based on random number generation. A device generates the number, encrypts it, and sends it to a server. The server can then respond accordingly, by allowing access or not, based on the information it receives. The same device is used for every instance of authentication, so the server doesn’t need to store information like usernames or passwords, making the server more secure.
SHA256 is a hash algorithm that can generate strings of messages. SHA256 stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 256 bit and is used for security. They are used to detect if messages have been changed since they were generated. A hash is a mathematical process that takes information and turns it into a seemingly random string of numbers and letters. Hashing is used to make the storage and location of information easy to find and use. They also make the original data unreadable, therefore making it confidential to anyone who may come across it. They are also notoriously difficult to crack — the possible combination of numbers and letters exceeds the number of grains of sand on Earth, leaving hackers with an impossible task. This makes the information much more secure. Hashes cannot be reversed, which makes using it perfect for computer security and other very secure digital processes, like cryptocurrency transactions.
Smart contracts are programs stored on the blockchain that run when the predetermined conditions are met, such as correct passwords or when wallet addresses are entered. They are a self executing contract directly written into the blockchain’s code. They are generally used for automating the execution of agreements, so all parties can be aware of the outcome in the quickest and most efficient way. They can also automate workflows by triggering the next action when all of the necessary conditions are met. Smart contracts make all of the transactions traceable, transparent to all, and irreversible. Smart contracts are faster, more efficient, and more secure than anything on paper and can be trusted just as much if not more than a physical contrat. They are digital, automated, and encrypted, making them a trusted way of sharing information. First proposed in 1994 by Nick Szabo, smart contracts were originally designed to extend electronic transaction functionality, like point of sale systems, to become digital.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that peg their market value to something else— to other cryptocurrencies or to the dollar or, say, to the value of gold or an other asset. Some cryptocurrencies can have high volatility in valuation, especially in the short term. These high rates of volatility make these types of cryptocurrency difficult to use for everyday transactions. Currency, to maintain its value, needs a way to stay relatively stable over longer time periods or people won’t trust it enough to use it. Fiat currencies are made stable through the reserves that back them and controlling authorities, like central banks. This way, the currency’s valuation stays relatively stable. When the asset it relies on changes, central banks can manage the supply and demand of the currency. With cryptocurrency, there are no central banking authorities. Stablecoins work to bridge the gap between relatively volatile cryptocurrency values and the stability of fiat currency.
Staking is a way of earning rewards for holding cryptocurrency. Not all cryptocurrencies allow this but with some, like Ethereum, you can stake some of your cryptocurrency holdings and, over time, earn percentage based rewards. Users lock their tokens up and, in exchange, are rewarded. Staking is made possible through the Proof of Stake algorithm which started as an alternative to more energy intensive forms of mining, like Proof of Work. PoS cryptocurrency networks require users to stake a share of their holdings to secure the network and keep it running. Most people choose to stake their cryptocurrency because they can earn substantially more year over year than with standard savings accounts. Staking can sometimes be risky, however. If the value of a coin goes up 50% in one year, and you’ve staked it, you still only earn the percentage of return on the money that’s been staked.
A smart token is a cryptocurrency token that both transmits the value it contains and also the information needed to execute a transaction simultaneously. Smart tokens differ from regular tokens in cryptocurrency because the latter only transmits value. Smart tokens transmit information and value through incorporating smart contracts that can use the information for authorizing a transaction all at once. The smart token will have all of the following information: the source of value, like a smart wallet, a set of rules, like when you’re allowed to use your tokens, and a state that will record that the full amount has been paid, adjusting balances accordingly. Smart token standards were developed in 2017, following the Bancor decentralized trading protocol. Smart token regulations have led to more security and trust in cryptocurrency trading, through buying and selling directly via their own smart contract without needing to go through a matching exchange.
Meaning portion or slice in french, a tranche refers to a collection of securities that can be split into smaller pieces and sold to investors. Tranches from the same offerings usually have different risk levels and rewards. Tranches are most commonly used in the credit and debt markets. Financial instruments that can be broken up into tranches include bonds, mortgages, loans, and insurance policies. Tranches are often used with credit and debt markets in a process referred to as securitization, where different types of debt are repackaged into funds intended for sale to investors. With tranches, investors are able to structure investments to their cash flow needs. Those who need money sooner could purchase a shorter term investment, whereas those who have the time to spare can opt for longer maturity tranches. Tranches first became popular during the 2008 financial crisis, where banks packaged up tranches of mortgage loans to be sold to investors looking for interest based income. There can also be credit risks with tranches, as, if the loans cannot be paid, the investor does not get a return on their investment.
A treasury is a component of a cryptocurrency blockchain where tokens are stored and from where tokens are distributed, often using smart contracts. It is often decentralized, relying on a collaborative decision making mechanism. Decentralized treasury systems are meant to be secure sources of funds that are community inclusive and utilize collaborative decision making on how the currency is distributed as well as other rules on the blockchain, such as ensuring constant improvement of the blockchain, when the coin inflates, or other important blockchain rules. Funding cryptocurrency treasuries is often done through initial coin offerings (ICOs), utility token sales, or donations from users who see the value in the currency. An open system treasury is where blockchain development is outside of the system (like donations). A closed system treasury does its sourcing for funding internally, and is often more centralized. Hybrid treasuries use a blend of internal and external sources to fund their currencies and distribute them among users.
A token simply means a unit of value on a blockchain, usually a unit of value within a cryptocurrency. Tokens represent a certain unit of value. They enable making transactions with cryptocurrency, similar to coins, but they can be used for more than just payments. They can be used for different utilities such as building applications on a blockchain. The two terms, token and coin, are often used interchangeably.
Quite simply, this is when someone swaps one cryptocurrency for another without involving any fiat currency. Swaps are common on exchanges that don’t take fiat payment. Certain wallets, exchanges, and other platforms have begun to enable instant swap systems for users to directly exchange one crypto asset into another. A token swap can also reference migrating projects or platforms from one blockchain to another. When this happens, the cryptocurrency’s development team provides the means for their investors to swap their native token for another that is compatible with the new blockchain.
Transaction fees for cryptocurrency are paid when currency is transferred to another wallet and depend on the supply of network capacity and speed demand of the cryptocurrency holder at the time of the transaction. Transaction fees can fluctuate based on how busy the server is at the time.The user can choose a specific transaction fee. The network then processes cryptocurrency transactions in order of the highest offered fee to the lowest. Transaction fees were originally introduced with Bitcoin as an anti-spam measure. They incentivize cryptocurrency miners to prioritize transactions with higher fees first. The main factors that determine fees are the size of the transaction and the demand for block space on the blockchain. Some cryptocurrencies have transaction fees that rely on the computational complexity and transaction sizes to determine their fees. There are also cryptocurrencies that do not have fees on their transactions, and rely on proof of work systems to prioritize transactions instead.
Universal basic income, or UBI, is a usually government program where every adult citizen receives a certain amount of money regularly. The goals of this system are to eradicate poverty and replace other need based social programs that would require greater government involvement through providing citizens with enough money to live off of. While many prominent people in the United State’s history have encouraged universal basic income, including Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King Jr, it hasn’t yet taken hold. The concept has become more popular in recent years due to the growth of automation that could leave some workers without a job. Those who support UBI believe that guaranteed income can help alleviate some of the growing pains that come with increasing automation and potential joblessness, as well as support those in need of social services who may have trouble qualifying for assistance. While UBI has many benefits, those who oppose the idea believe it will cost too much money, or disincentive people to work. However, no studies have been able to substantiate the claim. In places where UBI replaced unemployment benefits, people were no more or less likely to find a job than the control group. But UBI need not be government based or extraction based — that is, supported by taxes. Anatha has created a bottom-up UBI in which people are paid for the use of their information, attention, and creativity—with the hope of lifting the billions of people around the world living in extreme poverty.
Across the world, there are billions of citizens with no access to financial institutions or banks. Services like being able to store, send, and receive money, interest generating savings accounts that allow people to build wealth over time, and the ability to take out loans can help make the difference in keeping small businesses alive and supporting those in need. People who can’t access basic financial services like these are referred to as “unbanked”. In some countries, like Canada, Norway, and Japan, most adults have access to these services. However, in other countries, like Iraq, Pakistan, and Cambodia have less than a quarter of adults with this access. One method to bridge the gap between those with this access and without is through cryptocurrency. By using decentralized applications, unbanked citizens can get access to highly secure and individualized accounts to save funds. With free and reliable access to these tools, it can have a huge impact on the quality of life of the citizens of the world without access to financial institutions.
A utility token is a token of cryptocurrency that has actual utility on the blockchain such as the ability to develop applications or access features. This is different from, say, bitcoin which has no utility per se other than as a store of value. Ether, on the other hand, can be used to build applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The ANATHA token is a utility token, as well. It is used to register HRAs and access the Anatha Torus, a crypto sharing economy. Imagine a utility token like a token in an arcade that gives you access to the games.
A blockchain validator is someone who verifies transactions on a blockchain. Once a transaction is sent to a node connected to the cryptocurrency network, the transaction is validated by the node. Once a transaction is verified, it is added to the distributed ledger. In some systems, most notably proof of work systems, like Bitcoin, validators solve complex computations in order to win the right to verify the transactions and receive rewards for the work. This also makes sure everything in the block is valid, allowing people to trust the blockchain without having to trust the miner that created it. This creates trust in the cryptocurrency and also helps to secure the blockchain. Some hard wallets can put your cryptocurrency at increased risk of being stolen. To improve security, make sure to use a wallet that fully validates your transactions, in real time. Any holder of a cryptocurrency can be a validator given the rules of that network.
Vitaly Dmitriyevich "Vitalik" Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer who is best known as one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Born in Russia and a life-long lover of computer programming, Buterin was educated internationally, and won an award for his work in the International Olympiad in Informatics. Buterin became involved with cryptocurrency early in its inception, co-founding Bitcoin Magazine in 2011. Buterin first described Ethereum in a paper in 2013, where he argued that bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development. He then created Ethereum with Gavin Wood in 2014, a decentralized mining network and software development platform. He is also a developer in other software projects, including DarkWallet, and Bitcoin Python libraries. He has also met with Russian president Vladimir Putin about his work with cryptocurrency. He is also well known for his philanthropy, having donated $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency to a COVID relief fund in India.
A digital wallet is used to store, send, and receive cryptocurrency. In many ways, it is closer to a bank account than a wallet—only you are the bank in this instance. These wallets can be for just one cryptocurrency or for many (called an omniwallet). They contain the private keys and passwords for cryptocurrency transactions. The most secure digital wallet is a hardware wallet, or a cold wallet, as the data is stored offline. There are a few types of digital wallets, such as Desktop, Mobile, and Web wallets. Some of these have security concerns, as if the computer is hacked, the keys can be stolen and used to access your coins. Having a secure digital wallet is essential. Some safeguards include encryption, two factor authentication, and storing large amounts in an offline device. Digital wallets can also be restored from their unique twelve word seed, if they are lost or damaged, so it is important to keep that information safe and secure until it's needed.
Web 1.0 refers to the earliest iteration of the internet. In the early days of the internet, there were just a few content creators and a large majority of users who consumed that content. Personal web pages were common and generally hosted on free web hosting services. Web 1.0 was a static, read only internet, as it wasn’t interactive. It allowed people to search for information and read it and not much else. People used basic HTML to make their sites. This original internet helped a generation to build web pages with basic elements. Later on, other coding languages, like CSS, made it easier to code, as it was designed to allow sites to be created with less coding knowledge. Older websites in a web 1.0 format tend to now look dated, and are a product of their time, with limited interactivity. In Web 1.0, ads while using the internet were banned.
Web 3.0 is what the current state of the internet is currently referred to. It's also not just a read-write internet like before, but read-write-execute. It is also referred to as the Semantic web, which improves the ability to connect search and analysis based on the ability to comprehend the meaning of words in search terms and metadata, rather than just keywords and numbers. Web 3.0 allows upgrading the back end of a website, where the first two iterations focused mostly on user experience. In this version of the web, data isn’t owned, but shared. Artificial intelligence is also made possible with the breakthroughs that led to Web 3.0 with natural language processing. 3D graphics are also now possible, and are widely used in places like museum websites, ecommerce and video games. Web 3.0 is also the era of the internet where almost anyone can access any part of the internet from anywhere, regardless of having a computer.
A wrapped cryptocurrency token is a token that has the same value as one from another type of cryptocurrency but has been “wrapped” to live on a different blockchain. They are called wrapped because the original asset is put in a wrapper or digital vault that allows the wrapped token to be created on another blockchain. Usually, blockchains cannot communicate with each other. However, with wrapped tokens, there can be more bridges between different cryptocurrencies. A wrapped token is equal to its unwrapped counterpoint. Wrapped tokens increase the interoperability between blockchains and increase liquidity and capital efficiency of centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges. Wrapped tokens can also help to speed up transactions and make them more affordable.
Zero-Knowledge Protocol, or ZKP is a way of doing authentication where no passwords are exchanged, which means they can’t be stolen and in which user anonymity is maintained. This makes communication secure and protected, and means that what information or files that are being shared are protected as well. ZKP allows you to share something, a “secret”, with someone at the other end without actually revealing it. Zero-knowledge originates from the fact that no information about what you’re sending is actually shared, but the receiver is convinced that you know the information. Through cryptographic algorithms, the receiver knows that something is true without needing the data to prove it. Blockchains allow all parties to see all transactions, which does not allow for anonymity. However, blockchains can use the zero-knowledge protocol to allow for private and confidential transactions by providing the means to prove the transaction was properly carried out without revealing any of the more personal information that was used for the transaction.