Most commonly used Acronyms & terms used in Cryptocurrency lingo

I still remember the good old days of the internet chat rooms & how they become the breeding ground for a new chat lingo that slowly become mainstream with the passage of time (BRB, LOL, TTUL etc.). Fast forward today & we have cryptocurrencies not only changing the financial landscape of the world they have created a new breed of crypto lingo spreading like wildfire in the across the digital media. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.

Blockchain: Perhaps the most widely expressed & understood term. It is a decentralized, digital platform where all the transactions takes place for the cryptocurrencies. Each transaction is added as a block to the existing framework. Since it is a public network with no central authority every node (computer connected to the network) gets a copy of every new transaction recorded. This creates security for the network since all transactions are verified by the entire community rather than a central authority.

Cryptocoin Mining: It is the process by which you provide bookkeeping services to a specific coin network & eventually get rewarded small fraction in the cryptocoin whose transactions you were verifying. With the passage of time it has become difficult & less profitable to mine cryptos since you need much more specialized & expensive hardware & other costs involved.

HODL: It is a slang term used to define the long term investors who are unfazed by the short term volatility & movements in the cryptos & looking for significant returns in the long term. The term originated from a drunken misspelling of the word “hold” in a now-famous post about Bitcoin from 2013.

Altcoins: The word is used pretty much all of cryptocurrencies that were launched following the success of bitcoin, it stands for alternative cryptocurrencies. Some of the most common altcoins include Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin cash, Ripple, Dash IOTA & Stellar.

Fiat currency: Traditional paper currencies that are used as legal tender in different countries of the world. Although we most of us are used calling the currencies by their names like Dollar, Yen, Euro etc. the advent of cryptocurrencies have created the need for distinction between the two payment systems therefore this term is used more often now specially in the crypto discussion forums.

ICO: Stands for Initial Coin offering used to define when a new crypto venture is launched with a publishing of a white paper which defines what the project is all about & what it plans to achieve on completion. Money is raised by selling a percentage of the crypto coins to early backers. Similar to IPO (Iniitial Public offering) for stocks in process but different in the sense that while IPO’s are backed by actual investors & go through a rigorous regulatory process an ICO is backed by supporters interested in a new project. In recent years the number of ICO’s have mushroomed therefore you need to do your due diligence before backing any such project. You can find info about all ICOs being launched or about to be launced on Token Market.

Proof of work (PoW): With the Proof of Work algorithm on the blockchain network crypto miners compete with each other to complete new transactions & get rewarded subsequently. PoW algorithm used to confirm new transactions, collect them in new blocks & add those blocks to the existing nodes (miners)

Flippening: The terms refers to some future event when Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency in terms of market cap. The market share of Bitcoin has been steadily decreasing with the advent of altcoins. There is a website dedicated to keeping an eye on this phenomenon called Flippening Watch.

Hard Fork: This refers to a significant change to a protocol on blockchain network — it is basically a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain where the nodes running the previous software won’t be accepted the newer version. Most well known example of a hard fork is Bitcoin cash from Bitcoin.

FUD: It stands for Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt — referring to the spread of misleading or false information by the opponents of a project to undermine it. This term has gained a lot of traction these days with the exaggerated response from the media about any bad news coming out from the crypto world like sharp correction in prices.

FOMO: Although an existing acronym for Fear of Missing Out in rising markets — it has gained a lot of traction in crypto circles with the recent exponential rise of cryptocurrencies. As more newcomers entered the market, causing the demand to rise even further on the FOMO premise.

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Originally published at on February 16, 2018.



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Faisal Khan

Faisal Khan

A devout futurist keeping a keen eye on the latest in Emerging Tech, Global Economy, Space, Science, Cryptocurrencies & more