If you’re a surfer you know what Ripping, Shredding and Shooting the Curl mean. If you work on Wall Street then you’re familiar with the Dead Cat Bounce, Castles in the Sky and a Flash Crash. If you’re a Mibster then you get what I mean when I talk about Histing, Lagging and Ringer. For every occupation, sport, game, or social event, there is usually an associated vernacular. A lexicon of slang and insider terms that those in the know know and those on the outside puzzle at. Knowing the lingo puts you on the inside, it separates you from the newbs who are fumbling around the outskirts trying be part of the gang. Like joining a tribe, knowing the language of that tribe makes moving around in the tribe easier. Cryptocurrency is a new tribe with a new language all its own. For those just starting out in the crypto game, here are some terms to learn that will make you feel like less of an outsider. This is by no means a comprehensive listing of all words and phrases that are associated with the tribe of altcoins but just enough to get you safely into the conversation. We’ll start broad and basic and then move in to some tighter slang.
These are some general terms that everyone getting into crypto should learn and know.
Cryptocurrency - Is electronic money created by technology that controls it’s creation, protection and the identities of its users.
Blockchain - is technology for creating permanent, secure, digital recordings. They can record any information though the first example was created to record Bitcoin transactions. This is sometimes known as Distributed Ledger Technology, DLT.
Bitcoin - The first digital cash created in 2009 by an unknown person or group of people who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Mining - A computer process of recording and verifying information on the blockchain.
ICO - Initial Coin Offering. This is when a coin first puts their token or currency on the market for people to purchase.
Fiat - Traditional currencies like USD, Euro, Yen, etc, are what would be called fiat currency. This is physical currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but, it’s not backed by a physical commodity.
Block - A recording of information. If you think of the blockchain as a book of records, then each page in the book would be a block.
Genesis Block - This is the first block on a blockchain.
Altcoins - These are alternative currencies to Bitcoin. Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc are all considered altcoins.
Address - Is a string of letters and numbers that is publicly available and allows cryptocurrency to be received, held and sent. Along with this you will hear the term Keys. There are two types of keys, Public Key and Private Key. The Public Key is your address. You can have an unlimited number of addresses. Using a new address for every transaction is recommended. People new to cryptocurrency more-than-likely won't realize they can (and should) have and use multiple addresses. You give this out to people you want to send currency or receive currency from. No one can hack into your account with the public key. The private key is what you use to check your balance and get into your wallet. Never give out your private key.
Wallet or Crypto wallet - A crypto wallet is a software program that stores private and public keys and interacts with various blockchain to enable users to send and receive digital currency and monitor their balance. If you want to use Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you will need to have a crypto or digital wallet. A crypto wallet is basically like your own cryptocurrency bank.
Node - is basically any software or computer that is connected to a cryptocurrency network and maintains a copy of the blockchain.
A little Bit Deeper Now
Slightly more advanced lingo but still stuff you’ll want to know down the line.
Market Capitalization - A way to rank and judge the size of a cryptocurrency and stock. The total dollar value is calculated by taking the total supply and multiplying it by the price. For example, let’s say Bitcoin is worth $4000.000 and there are 16,500,000 coins in existence. That means it’s market cap is 66,000,000,000 or $66 Billion.
51% Attack - This is a situation where more than half of the computing power on a network is operated by a single individual or concentrated group which gives complete and total control over a network.
Double Spend - In the Bitcoin network someone tries to send a BItcoin transaction to two different recipients at the same time. With the creation of the blockchain, the double spend problem was finally solved.
Fork - A split in the blockchain. When two blocks are created at once by two computers, both are valid. Because all recordings are shared among the network of computers, one block will reach one group of computers first while the second block will reach the other group of computers. This is a split in the blockchain or a fork.
Hashing - A hash is a mathematical computer program that takes any set of information and turns it into letters and numbers of a certain length. It used to make storing and finding information easier.
Block Reward - is the reward allotted for hashing or solving the mathematical equation related to the block. Also known as mining. The block reward started at 50 BTC in block #1 and halves every 210,000 blocks. This means every block up until block #210,000 rewards 50 BTC, while block 210,001 rewards 25. Since blocks are mined on average every 10 minutes, 144 blocks are mined per day on average. At 144 blocks per day, 210,000 blocks take, on average, four years to mine. Currently, a Bitcoin block is 25 Bitcoins per block mined.
Insider Slang Time
These are terms those in the know know so, you know …
Sats - Short for Satoshis. A Satoshi is the smallest amount of Bitcoin. One billionth of a Bitcoin or 0.00000001 Bitcoin. Named for the creator, Satoshi Nakamoto
HODL - This is a misspelling of the word “HOLD” which evolved from a shortened form of “Hold on for dear life.” After buying crypto a person who is HODLING intends to keep it even as the price goes up and down.
FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. General disinformation strategy to cause fear among consumers or competition.
FUDSTER - someone who spreads FUD.
Pump & Dump - Hyping up a coin by buying and holding and getting others to do the same only to “dump it” or sell it off at the highest price.
Bag Holder - Someone who wanted to sell at a higher price but the market moved too fast so they are left with a coin they didn’t want at a price they can’t sell at.
Whale - Someone who owns a lot of cryptocurrency
Mooning - When a coin price is experiencing a spike some speculators will claim it’s going to the moon.
Tank - The opposite of mooning.
XBT and BTC - Common abbreviations for Bitcoin. There is no difference between these two.
FOMO - Fear of Missing Out. People see prices drop or rise quickly or a hot coin or ICO on the market and they don’t want to miss out.
Lambo - Abbreviation of Lamborghini which is what a lot of speculators claim they are going to buy with all their altcoin riches. It is a symbol of success in the crypto world.
So, there you go, some terms to use when you infiltrate the tribe. A little information can go a long way, use it wisely. Oh and, if you’re a Mibster, you’re a person who plays marbles. Fun, right?