Crypto Glossary: Web3 and Blockchain

Written by
Shivam Srivastava
January 26, 2024
min. read


In this space we love to speak our technical jargon. This comprehensive crypto glossary serves as an essential resource, offering clear definitions of key terms and concepts in the realms of Web3, blockchain, and crypto trading.

Whether you're a seasoned investor, a budding enthusiast, or someone curious about the field, this glossary is designed to provide a thorough understanding of the jargon and technical terms that frequently surface in discussions about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Mention them in the right context and you’re guaranteed to look extra smart. 

The entries are alphabetically sorted for ease of navigation and include standard terms found in a typical crypto glossary, detailed explanations akin to those in a crypto glossary PDF, and specific jargon related to crypto trading. This article is a valuable tool for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the crypto world.



Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. Examples include Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.


A unique string of characters that represents a destination for a cryptocurrency transfer.

ASIC: Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, a specialized hardware used for Bitcoin mining.


A marketing stunt that involves sending free coins or tokens to wallet addresses to promote a new virtual currency.


Byzantine Generals' Problem

This problem illustrates the challenge of achieving consensus in a distributed system with potentially unreliable actors. Blockchain consensus protocols must address this to maintain network integrity against malicious participants.


Blocks in blockchain are data structures containing transaction records, similar to folders. They are immutable once added to the blockchain and linked to previous blocks, ensuring data integrity and continuity.


A blockchain is a chain of blocks containing data, secured by cryptographic means. It functions as a decentralized ledger, maintained by a network of nodes following consensus algorithms, without a central authority.


The first and most well-known cryptocurrency, created by an unknown person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bull Market: 

A market condition where prices are rising or are expected to rise.



Cryptography is the art of writing or solving codes. It's essential in the digital age for securing information transmitted over networks. Cryptography enables private, tamper-proof communication by encrypting messages for privacy, verifying integrity, and authenticating senders. It's synonymous with secure communication and forms the foundation of cryptocurrency technology and cryptonetworks.

Cryptographic Hash Function

These are algorithms ensuring data integrity in digital applications. They produce a fixed-length output (cryptographic digest) from any input length. Key attributes include determinism, non-invertibility, and collision resistance, making them vital for checking data tampering in decentralized systems like blockchains.

Cryptographic Digest

A unique, fixed-length tag representing data, cryptographic digests change dramatically with even minute alterations to input data. This sensitivity is crucial in blockchains for creating tamper-proof records, as altering any part of the blockchain would result in a noticeable change in the digest.


A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and operates independently of a central bank.


Cryptonetworks represent a new model for internet-based networks, emphasizing decentralization. They use blockchains and cryptocurrencies to incentivize development and maintenance, enabling open, permissionless participation and securing the network against double-spending.

Consensus Mechanism: 

The process used to achieve agreement on a single data value among distributed processes or systems.

Cold Storage: 

Keeping a reserve of cryptocurrency offline for security, such as on a hardware wallet.


Decentralized Application (DApp): 

An application that operates on a decentralized network, avoiding a single point of failure.

DeFi (Decentralized Finance): 

Financial services, such as borrowing, lending, or trading, that are built on blockchain technology.

DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization): 

An organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent and controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government.

Digital Signatures

These are unique identifiers, similar to physical fingerprints, derived from a public/private key pair. A digital signature assures that a message is authentic and unaltered, playing a critical role in verifying transactions in blockchain technology.


Decentralization distributes control across a broad base of independent actors. While it may decrease efficiency due to higher coordination costs, it enhances redundancy and fault tolerance, as seen in blockchain networks.

Double-Spending Problem

This refers to the challenge of ensuring digital assets aren't spent twice. Bitcoin's proof-of-work system addresses this by incentivizing honest participation and preventing digital asset replication without a central record-keeper.



A technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for implementing tokens.


An open-source, blockchain-based platform known for its smart contract functionality.



Government-issued currency not backed by a physical commodity, like the US dollar or Euro.


A change in protocol causing the blockchain to split into two separate chains, often leading to the creation of a new cryptocurrency.



A fee paid to conduct a transaction or execute a contract on the Ethereum blockchain.

Genesis Block: 

The first block of a blockchain, often referred to as Block 0 or Block 1.


Hash Rate: 

Hash rate refers to the total computational power used in mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It's indicative of network security,


A term derived from a misspelling of "hold," referring to a buy-and-hold strategy in the context of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


ICO (Initial Coin Offering): 

A type of funding using cryptocurrencies, often used as a means of fundraising for new cryptocurrency ventures.


The ability of different blockchain networks to connect and exchange information.


JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out): 

The feeling of contentment with one's own pursuits and activities, without worrying over the possibility of missing out on what others are doing, especially in the context of trading or not buying into a hype.


KYC (Know Your Customer): 

The process of a business verifying the identity of its clients, commonly used in the context of cryptocurrency exchanges.



A record of financial transactions that cannot be changed, only appended with new transactions.


A peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created by Charlie Lee, often considered the silver to Bitcoin's gold.



Miners in blockchain validate transactions and compete to solve cryptographic puzzles for rewards. They secure the network by following protocol rules and contribute to solving the double-spending problem in decentralized networks.


The process of using computer power to process transactions, secure the network, and keep everyone in the system synchronized together.


A type of digital signature that allows two or more users to sign documents as a group.



Any computer that connects to a blockchain network.

NFT (Non-Fungible Token): 

A type of digital asset that represents ownership of a unique item or piece of content, using blockchain technology.



A source of data that feeds information into a blockchain for use in smart contracts.

Over-The-Counter (OTC): 

Trading done directly between two parties, without the supervision of an exchange.



Protocols are sets of rules governing systems. In blockchain, they include consensus protocols, critical for maintaining a shared state across decentralized networks.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network

P2P networks, unlike centralized systems, operate like a web where each node transfers data directly with others. This decentralized structure is key in blockchain technology, ensuring resilience and no single point of failure.

Public Key / Private Key

In cryptographic systems, the private key is a secret code, while the public key is its mathematically derived pair, safe to be public. In blockchain, the public key is an address for asset transfers, and the private key is essential for spending assets, similar to a bank PIN.

Proof of Stake (PoS): 

A type of consensus mechanism where a person can mine or validate block transactions according to the number of coins they hold.


Proof-of-work requires computational effort (mining) to validate transactions and add blocks to a blockchain. It mimics physical mining, where the effort correlates with reward, and ensures network security through computational work.


Quantum Computing: 

An emerging field of computing focusing on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory.

Quick Response Code (QR Code): 

A machine-readable code used for storing addresses and facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.



A technology that acts both as a cryptocurrency (XRP) and a digital payment network for financial transactions.

ROI (Return on Investment): 

A measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment.



The state in blockchain refers to a snapshot of the system at a specific time, like an account balance. Blockchains enable decentralized networks to maintain a shared state, allowing nodes to agree on a global state without central authority.

Smart Contract: 

A self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller directly written into lines of code.

Satoshi Nakamoto: 

The pseudonymous person or group of people who developed Bitcoin, authored the Bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed Bitcoin's original reference implementation.


Tamper-Proof Ledger :

Blockchains are essentially tamper-proof ledgers, using cryptographic digests to secure each transaction. Any modification to a ledger entry alters the entire ledger's digest, enabling decentralized auditing and ensuring data integrity.


A digital asset used in transactions over a blockchain.

Transaction Fee: 

The fee that is paid to miners for processing a transaction on a blockchain network.



A popular decentralized trading protocol, known for its role in facilitating automated trading of decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens.

Utility Token: 

A type of token that serves a specific purpose within a particular ecosystem.



A participant in the blockchain network responsible for verifying transactions and maintaining the integrity of the ledger.


The statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index.



A digital wallet that allows users to store and manage their cryptocurrencies.


A term used to describe an individual or organization that holds a large amount of a particular cryptocurrency.



The digital currency of the Ripple network, often used for bridging between different fiat currencies in transactions.


Yield Farming: 

A process in DeFi where users stake or lend their crypto assets in order to receive returns.


Zero-Knowledge Proof: 

A method by which one party can prove to another party that they know a value, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know that value.


A cryptocurrency aimed at using cryptography to provide enhanced privacy for its users compared to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.