cryptocurrency glossary

Cost basis for the fork will be based on the Fair Market Price of the asset on the time the fork is received. ZenLedger accepts fork reception entries through its manual entry interface and selection from a list of probable forks in the app’s user flow. You need the processing power of a good computer to unbundle every block of Bitcoin or currency before you can get access to it. Every block takes about one year to unbundle on a regular desktop PC. While the field of cryptocurrency is new, the mathematical principles and logistics behind it are solid and workable. It’s very likely that majority of the transactions will be carried out in this form of currency sometime in the future. Transactions on the Bitcoin network, for example, are pseudonymous because each transaction is associated with a public key rather than with a person’s real name.

cryptocurrency glossary

In proof-of-work, it is infeasible to present a false “history” of transactions because of the computation that went into producing the chain. But in proof-of-stake, malicious miners can easily “simulate” a blockchain that appears valid but in fact is not. The most advanced cryptocurrency glossary proof-of-stake networks solve this through separating the chain into “epochs” as well as encouraging honest behavior through the slashing mechanism described above. On the other hand, non-fungible tokens represent unique assets whose value is independent from one another.

You will have to file income tax on the currency you receive as a gift, and file a gain or loss when you sell the asset. Cost basis for a gift will be based on the fair market price of the asset at the time the gift was received. ZenLedger accepts gift reception entries through its manual entry interface. cryptocurrency glossary Forks are the creation of a new cryptocurrency token from an existing one. In the case of forks, you could receive a new crypto if you hold the original that the new crypto is forked from. You will have to file income tax on the currency fork you receive, and file a gain or loss when you sell the asset.

cryptocurrency glossary

Take the analogy of a democracy, which could be considered a “decentralized” political system. Even though the American democratic system can be inefficient and messy at times, it has proven remarkably resilient.

Bitcoin (btc)

Nonetheless, Bitcoin transactions are still linked to a specific public key, and thus to a consistent cryptocurrency glossary identity . It can be targeted or distributed to all existing addresses on a given blockchain network.

Atomic Swap A way of letting people directly exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another on a different blockchain or off-chain without a centralized intermediary such as an exchange. This is a special purpose component in computers which is responsible for processing graphics. Some cryptocurrency projects have algorithms that allow for GPUs to be used in the mining process more efficiently than CPUs. This is a subcategory of tokens which usually represent real-life assets like company shares, real estate and so on. Security tokens are expected to make buying, selling and trading those assets much more efficient, even though they are subject to more regulation than other crypto projects.

Cryptonetworks represent a major innovation in terms of decentralization and security. However, early cryptonetworks were highly inefficient compared to modern cryptocurrency glossary payment networks. For example, the Bitcoin network processes about 5 transactions per second, while Visa can handle up to 50,000 transactions per second.

Transaction Pool

  • That’s the heart of an exchange—a secure third-party location where transactions can take place—but not all exchanges are alike.
  • Investors can find market values, exchange rates, and other trading information on exchange web sites, and many exchanges offer wallet services, too.
  • Mining- Mining is the process by which people use advanced computers to process blockchain transactions.
  • An exchange is a service where cryptocurrency investors go to buy and sell their currency of choice.
  • Several exchanges also maintain directories of merchants who accept cryptocurrency as payment.
  • For example, some sell cryptocurrency directly to investors—and buy from them as well—whereas some simply offer a platform where buyers and sellers can connect.

Cryptographic Hash Function – A process that occurs when an input such as a transaction is converted into a fixed, encrypted alphanumeric string that is then registered on the blockchain. A seed phrase or mnemonic seed is a collection of words that can be used to access a cryptocurrency wallet. This key was then encrypted and cryptocurrency glossary transformed into a readable format creating the seed phrase. It is very important to keep seed phrases safe, as anyone who has access to a wallet’s seed phrase is able to access the funds in that wallet. Pump and dump (P&D) is a form of market manipulation, usually performed on small market cap stocks or cryptocurrencies.

ERC20 is the standardized protocol for the creation of digital asset tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Meaning on a paper wallet, in a hardware wallet, on an air-gapped machine or in a “Brain Wallet”. This would be the opposite of a hot wallet or hosted wallet, which is connected to the web for day-to-day transactions. The purpose of using cold storage is to minimize the chances of your cryptocurrency being stolen from a malicious hacker and is commonly used for larger sums of cryptocurrency.

Use Ethereum

In the blockchain industry, tokens are the generalized base unit of a cryptocurrency. cryptocurrency glossary A token is the lowest unit possible; it cannot be divided further.


Some are interest-bearing investment assets, while others are “work tokens” that grant rights to perform a specific service. These are the ultimate flexible financial assets, which unlock tremendous value and enable applications that would otherwise be impossible in traditional finance. Unlike a traditional computer, a blockchain computer can offer strong trust guarantees, rooted in the cryptographic and game-theoretic properties of the system. For example, a user or developer can trust that a piece of code running on a blockchain computer will continue to behave as designed, even if individual computers in the network try to subvert the system. Thus, a blockchain computer enables disintermediated, peer-to-peer interactions and digital services that are owned and operated by communities instead of by corporations. In a blockchain, the blocks themselves can be thought of as the computer hard drive.

An airdrop is the process of distributing free cryptocurrency to multiple qualifying wallet addresses. This is often done as a marketing technique by new cryptocurrency projects with the intent of gaining attention and creating more demand.

Block Depth

For example, an NFT might represent a piece of unique digital artwork, a Mickey Mantle baseball card, or a share of physical North Carolina real estate. Despite this difference, NFTs can be exchanged in the same manner as any other token on a cryptonetwork.

Conducting the proper research on cryptocurrencies may require a would-be investor to explore many areas. One area in particular that could prove helpful is simply learning the basic industry terminology. Certain lingo is highly unique to digital currency, making it unlikely that traders would have picked it up when studying other asset classes like stocks, bonds and commodities. Wallet A cryptocurrency wallet is a secure digital wallet used to store, send, and receive digital currency, and are divided into two categories hosted wallets and cold wallets. Timelock / Locktime A condition for a transaction to only be processed at a certain time or block on the blockchain. Options Market A public market for options, giving the buyer an option to buy or sell a cryptocurrency at a specific strike price, on or before a specific date. Hash trees allow efficient and secure verification of the contents of blockchains, as each change propagates upwards so verification can be done by simply looking at the top hash.

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