Terms to know
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A
  • Airdrop The term airdrop is sometimes used to describe the process of distributing tokens after the network of an ICO or fork goes live.
  • Altcoin / Alt An altcoin (sometimes just called an “alt”). Any coin that isn’t Bitcoin.
  • All Time High (ATH) The highest price a given cryptocurrency has seen so far. Not the ideal place to buy an asset.
  • B
  • Bearish / Bullish A bear market is when the price trend is stagnant or downward. A bull market is when the price trend is upward. Those terms are used in different ways, but as a general rule: bull means “up,”and bear means “down.”
  • Bitcoin A decentralized and distributed software that allows for trustless peer-to-peer global financial transactions and record keeping. It can be described as a blockchain based smart contract system with a native cryptocurrency token.
  • Blockchain In cryptocurrency, a distributed digital public ledger where transactions and balances of a given cryptocurrency are recorded. It is secured using cryptographic hashes. Note that not every cryptocurrency is blockchain-based.
  • Block Height Blocks are added to the blockchain sequentially. The current block number is called the block height.
  • Block Size Block size describes the amount of data that can be added to a given block on the blockchain. Bigger blocks allow for more transactions to be stored in blocks, but as a trade-off, more hash power is required to mine a block. This makes transactions faster, but one can argue centralizes mining. In crypto, almost everything is “a trade-off,” just like IRL (In Real Life).
  • Bots Almost all exchanges let users program or use a pre-programmed software that can interact with crypto platforms via an API. One type of software, a type that can execute trades on exchanges, is called a “trading bot” (often referred to as simply a “bot”).
  • Buy Low, Sell High / Buy High, Sell Low To not lose money, you should aim to Buy Low, Sell High. Try not to Buy High, Sell Low. Remember to set stop losses and when all else fails, HODL.
  • Buying the Dip If you are going to average into a coin, can’t do better than buying the dip (especially in a bull market, in a stagnant market, or at what you think might be the end of a bear market). This means buying when the price goes down. For building a long-term position, it works much better than buying when the price goes up. It also helps the market as you are part of the force stopping the dip instead of part of the force causing the run-up.
  • C
  • Cypherpunk Exactly what it sounds like. People who are into cryptography as a means of social change. They were the computer nerds who gave life to cryptocurrency before Bitcoin by gathering in online groups and sharing ideas related to how digital forms of cryptography could change the world (AKA how encryption could help things like open source). It’s an identity, and it’s a term that describes a type of person regardless of whether or not they identify with it. If you have a paper published from the 1990s on nakamotoinstitute.org that describes the future of cryptography and digital currency, you are probably a Cypherpunk.
  • Correction After hitting an all-time high, a coin will enter a period of correction where it steadies out at a given price before rising again (ideally, sometimes a correction simply spurs on a “bear market”). In cryptocurrency coins often hit all-time highs and then enter correction periods.
  • CryptoA general term that refers to everything cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency/ Coin /Cryptocurrency Token / Token In simple terms, a cryptocurrency can be called a token, where each token is simply 1 unit of value of that cryptocurrency. The ownership of cryptocurrency tokens is recorded on a digital ledger (generally a blockchain).
  • Cryptography The art/science of encoding and decoding. It is at the core of cryptocurrency to an even greater extent than the concept of currency is.
  • Cryptocurrency Wallet Software that allows you to create cryptocurrency transactions and see balances associated with cryptocurrency addresses.
  • D
  • DApp A decentralized application, often stored on a blockchain. It’s not hosted on a private server; it is hosted on many distributed servers. For example, Cryptokitties (a blockchain-based game that exists on the Ethereum platform where you collect digital cats).
  • DCA Dollar cost averaging. Instead of going all in at once, one might want to dollar cost average into a volatile asset like a cryptocurrency to buy the average price over time to create a long position.
  • Digital Asset: Not every cryptocurrency is meant to be a currency. If it is a digital store of value, it can be called a digital asset (both Cryptokitties and Ether are digital assets, but only Ether is a cryptocurrency token). Digital assets can be fungible or non-fungible. Cryptokitties are represented by non-fungible tokens (meaning unique tokens that can’t be replaced and still retain value; sort of like hand crafted one-off artworks) unlike Ether which is fungible tokens (all Ethers are equally valuable, there is no specific unique Ether that is worth more or less than other Ethers; like how dollars work).
  • DYOR Do Your Own Research. Listening to the person on the internet is step 1, step 2 is doing your own research and making your own investment choices. A Reddit thread is not your fiduciary. For example, I have no specific certification that qualifies me to write a list of crypto acronyms. If you did your DD (Due Diligence), you would know that.
  • E
  • EW Elliot Wave. A pattern that the price movement of assets tends to make. Used in technical analysis.
  • F
  • Fibonacci Fibonacci brought modern mathematics to the west in many ways. He also popularized a set of ratios that are commonly used in trading to find support and resistance levels (Fibonacci retracement levels); they pair nicely with EW.
  • Fork (Cryptocurrency Forks) Like a “save as” for software. When an update is made to the software, a new version and old version are created. Soft forks are meant to be updates to the existing software (generally a blockchain or software that interacts with the blockchain in cryptocurrency). Hard forks are meant to create two identical versions of the software which can both change after the hard fork occurs.
  • FOMO The Fear Of Missing Out. The emotional response that makes people impulse buy tokens at their all-time high. Try to not react to FOMO.
  • FUD Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The emotion that people try to invoke in others when they want to bring the price of a coin down or drum up headlines. It can be smart to react to FUD, as one can’t stop widespread FUD from spurring on a correction, especially after a coin just hit an All Time High. FUD is what causes economic depressions. It is what makes bubbles burst. FUD can be warranted or not.
  • G
  • Gas The Ethereum network requires one to pay “gas” to send a transaction or otherwise execute a smart contract. Gas can be paid in ether (but it is calculated in GWEI, where a GWEI is 1/1000000000th of an Ether.
  • H
  • Hash A hash algorithm turns a large amount of data into a fixed-length hash (a string of characters that acts as a cryptographic key). The same hash will always result from the same data, but modifying the data in any way will completely change the hash. In cryptography most data is encrypted using hash algorithms, they are at the core of cryptocurrency tokens and blockchains. Bitcoin specifically uses SHA-256, SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm.
  • Hash Power The rate at which a given piece of hardware can mine a coin (mining is the cracking of cryptographic codes). It is like horsepower but refers to how fast hardware can decrypt hashes.
  • HODL A misspelling of “hold” that now means Hold On for Dear Life. This is what you have to do when coins enter their common 20% – 80% corrections if you want to come out the other end still owning coins.
  • I
  • ICO An initial coin offering. A process that involves creating a new token and raising money for it. The process is often done using smart contracts on the Ethereum network. After a new token is created, it then has to be distributed. Sometimes to give a token value, to distribute it, and simply to help the devs raise money an initial coin offering is used.
  • K
  • Keys (Cryptographic Keys) Cryptocurrency is largely based on public-key cryptography. The concept is that one key can be known publicly (the public key) and the other can’t (the private key). The public key is encrypted from and linked to a private key that can’t be known. In cryptocurrency, your public address is a hash of your public key. It lets people send you crypto. Meanwhile, your public key is a hash of your private key. Your private key lets you access the crypto associated with a public address.
  • L
  • Laddering Setting incremental buy or sell orders.
  • Lambo A status symbol goal post or meme. It is a reference to a Lamborghini that invokes this mashup of a lamb and Rambo. Somehow everyone’s cognitive dissonance kicks in, and there is this assumption that everyone who owns any amount of any tokens will somehow be driving a Lamborghini within the next 6 months.
  • M
  • MA / EMA / MACD Moving Averages (MA) track help people understand the trend of a coin over time. Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) from the 12-day EMA. When these lines cross, they can tell us about the general trend of the asset. We would be looking for Death Crosses and Golden Crosses. Feel free to Google those terms, specifically check out Investopedia.
  • Maker/Taker Maker fees are fees associated with limit orders. Taker fees are fees associated with market orders. This only applies to exchanges that use a Maker/Taker model and is only relevant when one fee type is lower than the other. GDAX is an example of an exchange where this matters. On GDAX maker orders have no fees, but taker orders do.
  • Mining Running software that cracks cryptographic puzzles and rewards you with coins for solving the puzzle. Mining is how transactions get added to the ledger.
  • Moon Where you want your coin to pass by on its way to Mars. Mooning is when a coin goes on a “run.” That is when the price goes up quick. The opposite is a crash, correction, or dip. Can’t get a Lambo without mooning, can’t see the moon if you don’t HODL.
  • N
  • Node Any computer that hosts the blockchain. The blockchain isn’t stored in one place; it is distributed, each node running it plays an important role in verifying the ledger.
  • P
  • PoS A proof-of-stake system (Pos). It is where mining is done by those who hold coins. The result is a bit like getting paid interest for holding coins.
  • PoW A proof-of-work system (PoW). It is where mining is done by those who have the hash power, time, and energy. The result is that time and energy is traded for rewards.
  • Pump and Dump (PND) People get together on telegram groups and then pump coins to the moon.
  • R
  • ROI A return on investment. What you would ideally like to happen.
  • RSI The relative strength index (RSI) is a momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains and losses over a specified period to measure speed and change of price movements. It is smart to enter a coin when it has a low RSI.
  • S
  • Satoshis (Sats) The smallest fraction of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi (in other words, a satoshi represents one hundred millionths of a bitcoin). Its named after Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is in many ways the center of the crypto economy. Thus, traders often speak of Sats.
  • Satoshi Nakamoto A persona created by the person or people who created Bitcoin. Satoshi may or may not exist and may or may not be alive. He/She sacrificed fame (and potentially a fortune) to remain anonymous.
  • Shhh Coin No one says “shhh,” but the alternative is not something I want to write on the site. This is what people call altcoins they don’t like.
  • Smart Contract Software that acts as a contract. It can do anything you can imagine a digital contract doing. Ethereum’s network made the concept popular, but the reality is Bitcoin’s platform is essentially a blockchain based smart contract system with a native cryptocurrency token (just like Ethereum and Ether).
  • Snapshot Block Forks occur at specific block heights. The block height you have to be in a coin by to qualify for a fork is called a snapshot block. It is the block at which a snapshot of the ledger will be taken to determine the balances of the ledger of the fork.
  • Spoofing When a person or people with a lot of money and coins buy and sell to themselves in a set range to create the illusion of volume.
  • Stop Loss If a certain price is hit, a market order will be triggered. If you are going short in a coin that is on a run, you should consider setting a stop loss (or laddering stop losses).
  • T
  • Technical Analysis (TA) Technical Analysis is the art/science of trying to predict future trends from historic price and volume data. BitcoinToro©s; recommends you to have a knowledge on both Fundamental Analysis (FA) and Technical Analysis (TA) before you start trading Bitcoin.
  • Ticker Symbols Every coin has a trading symbol or ticker symbol. For Ripple, it is XRP, for Bitcoin BTC, for Litecoin LTC, for Ether (ETH), etc. People often refer to coins by their ticker symbol and not their name.
  • Tokenization If you just sent unencrypted data across the internet it would not be secure. So instead of doing that information is tokenized. This is why the term cryptocurrency tokens are used.
  • Transaction Fee To send a transaction a fee must be paid (with most cryptos). This fee is a reward for miners. In Ethereum it is called “Gas,” it might have a unique name for a given cryptocurrency.
  • TX A transaction number. This allows you to track a transaction. If you are freaking out because your transaction is taking too long, you probably just have to wait longer. Try tracking the TX.
  • W
  • Wallet In cryptocurrency, a wallet is software which allows you to store “keys” and create cryptocurrency transactions. It is essentially where you store cryptocurrency addresses which can receive cryptocurrency and where you send cryptocurrency from.
  • Weak Hands When too many new investors (in a given coin) invest in a coin the coin can be said to be “in weak hands.” Long-term investors who have built a position in a coin they love tend to HODL when the going gets rough, new investors with weak hands tend to get “weak knees,” and panic sell in a correction.
  • Whales Whales are cryptocurrency investors with many coins or dollars. These investors can help move markets, or they can help stop markets from moving.
  • Other jargons, mainly used on social networking sites such as Reddit Twitter

  • Altcoin Any cryptocurrency other than bitcoin
  • Ashdraked A situation where you lost all your money
  • BTFD Buy The Fucking Dip (an indication to buy a coin when it has dumped so hard)
  • Dildo Long green or red candles
  • Dump To Sell off a coin
  • Dumping Downward price movement
  • DYOR Do Your Own Research
  • FA Fundamental Analysis
  • JOMO Joy Of Missing Out
  • Long Margin bull position
  • MCAP Market Capitalization
  • OTC Over The Counter
  • Pump Upward price movement
  • Shit(y)coin(s) A coin with no potential value or use
  • Short Margin bear position
  • Swing Zig zag price movement (Upwards and downwards)
  • TA Technical Analysis
  • Reverse Indicator Someone who is always wrong predicting price movements.
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