Crypto Vocabulary

Here is a list of commonly used words when talking about crypto:


A government-issued currency, such as the US dollar.


Someone who owns a lot of crypto. This person typically makes large bids (buys) and asks (sells) in the crypto market which sometimes has an affect on the prices, especially when several whales place trades at the same time.


When the market believes coin prices are going to increase in value.


When the market believes coin prices are going to decrease in value.


All-Time-High. When a coin reaches the highest price it has ever had.


Total Supply multiplied by Current Price


Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. A disinformation strategy to lower prices in the market.


Fear Of Missing Out. Buying any and every coin for the fear of missing out when it moons.


When the price of a coin goes up extremely high.


Someone spelled HOLD wrong on Reddit, but it is used in the crypto community often. Some say it means Hold On for Dear Life. This means, don’t sell your cryptocurrency and hodl it until it goes to the moon.


Initial Coin Offering. A type of crowdfunding. A tech / crypto company comes up with a new idea for a coin and platform. They raise funding from investors (which can include the public), and they use the funds to build their company & platform.


Pretty standard in the world of investment, means a Return on Investment. Once you’ve reached a point where you have more money than your initial investment, that’s when you are considered to have gained a profit.


When you decide to move your cryptocurrency “offline” to a paper or hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S.


Simply put, a blockchain is a distributed ledger. A blockchain is essentially a public database that everyone can access and read, but the data can only be updated by the data owners. Data is copied across thousands and thousands of computers (nodes) worldwide. It is typically decentralized so that the data is not stored on one central server.


When a blockchain splits into two separate chains.


An alternative coin typically built on the Ethereum blockchain (but not always). Some examples of altcoins are: XVG, XRP, NEO, ADA, ARDR, LSK, CVC, ARK, NT, OMG, SYS, SC, STEEM. Each altcoin typically is backed by a technology platform that offers a service that theoretically will help society in the future.


Short for satoshis. The satoshi is currently the smallest unit of the bitcoin currency recorded on the block chain. It is a one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). The unit has been named in collective homage to the original creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.


Websites where you can trade BTC or ETH for other altcoins. For example, you can make an account on Binance, deposit ETH or BTC to your wallet there, and then begin trading for altcoins. There are other exchanges such as Cryptopia, Bittrex, and others.


When a large group of traders band together to raise the price (pump it) of a coin so that people FOMO and buy into the coin. Then when the coin reaches a certain price, the traders sell off the coins (dump them) for a nice profit. The people who FOMO’ed end up losing money. You have to watch out for this.


a free giveaway of new digital assets; normally used to raise awareness about a project


someone holding an investment. Normally used when the investment has recently been under-performing its peers. Often, the holder will not sell at a loss and so is left “holding the bag” until (hopefully) the asset price recovers.


n acronym for “proof of work”… which is a method for securing a blockchain wherein transaction validators must prove they have solved a complex problem before they can finalize a block and collect the associated reward for doing so.


n acronym for “proof of stake” … which is a method for securing a blockchain wherein transaction validators must put something of value behind their votes for the next authentic block. Their value is reduced if they misbehave or try to attack the network.


a supply-limited digital unit that can be assigned to private/public key pairs on a blockchain


decentralized application. While the definition/concept of this is still developing – a decentralized application is usually one running on a blockchain, implemented with smart contracts.


holding (a digital asset), despite volatility, uncertainty, and public skepticism.