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Blockchain Glossary

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  • Blockchain Glossary

    Blockchain Glossary
    Terminology Meaning
    A
    Account An account is an object in the state; in a currency system, this is a record of how much money some particular user has; in more complex systems accounts can have different functions.
    Address Cryptocurrency addresses are used to send or receive transactions on the network. An address usually presents itself as a string of alphanumeric characters.
    Altcoins Altcoin is an abbreviation of “Bitcoin alternative”. Currently, the majority of altcoins are forks of Bitcoin with usually minor changes to the proof of work (POW) algorithm of the Bitcoin blockchain. The most prominent altcoin is Litecoin. Litecoin introduces changes to the original Bitcoin protocol such as decreased block generation time, increased maximum number of coins and different hashing algorithm
    ASIC Short form for ‘Application Specific Integrated Circuit’. Often compared to GPUs, ASICs are specially made for mining and may offer significant power savings.
    B
    Bitcoin Bitcoin is the first decentralised, open source cryptocurrency that runs on a global peer to peer network, without the need for middlemen and a centralised issuer.
    Bitcoin ATM A cash point where people can trade fiat currency and bitcoins
    Bitcoin Cash (BTH) It is a new cryptocurrency that appeared as a result of the bitcoin branching on August 1, 2017.
    Block Blocks are packages of data that carry permanently recorded data on the blockchain network.
    Blockchain A blockchain is a shared ledger where transactions are permanently recorded by appending blocks. The blockchain serves as a historical record of all transactions that ever occurred, from the genesis block to the latest block, hence the name blockchain.
    Block Ciphers These are method of encrypting text (to produce ciphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to a block of data at once as a group rather than to one bit at a time.
    Block Explorer Block explorer is an online tool to view all transactions, past and current, on the blockchain. They provide useful information such as network hash rate and transaction growth.
    Block Height The number of blocks connected on the blockchain.
    Block Reward A form of incentive for the miner who successfully calculated the hash in a block during mining. Verification of transactions on the blockchain generates new coins in the process, and the miner is rewarded a portion of those.
    C
    Central Ledger A ledger maintained by a central agency.
    Chain linking Chain linking is the process of connecting two blockchains with each other, thus allowing transactions between the chains to take place. This will allow blockchains like Bitcoin to communicate with other sidechains, allowing the exchange of assets between them
    Circulating Supply An approximation of the number of coins or tokens that are circulating in the public market.
    Client A software program a user executes on a desktop, laptop or a mobile device to launch an application
    Cloud Mining Classical cryptocurrency mining requires huge investments in hardware and electricity. Cloud mining companies aim to make mining accessible to everybody. People just can log in to a website and invest money in the company which already has mining datacenters. The money is managed by the company and it is invested in mining equipment. Investors get a share of the revenue.
    Confirmation The successful act of hashing a transaction and adding it to the blockchain.
    Consensus Consensus is achieved when all participants of the network agree on the validity of the transactions, ensuring that the ledgers are exact copies of each other.
    Consortium Blockchains A consortium blockchain is a blockchain where the consensus process is controlled by a pre-selected set of nodes
    Corda It is a blockchain system for creating financial services developed by an R3 banks consortium. It has about 70 financial institutions, including Barclays, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan.
    Crypto Analysis It is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information that is normally required to do so.
    Cryptocurrency Also known as tokens, cryptocurrencies are representations of digital assets.
    Cryptographic Hash Function Cryptographic hashes produce a fixed-size and unique hash value from variable-size transaction input. The SHA-256 computational algorithm is an example of a cryptographic hash.
    Cryptography Refers to the process of encrypting and decrypting information.
    Cryptojacking Cryptojacking is referred as a secret use of a device to mine cryptocurrency.
    D
    DAO Decentralised Autonomous Organizations can be thought of as corporations that run without any human intervention and surrender all forms of control to an incorruptible set of business rules.
    Dapp A decentralised application (Dapp) is an application that is open source, operates autonomously, has its data stored on a blockchain, incentivised in the form of cryptographic tokens and operates on a protocol that shows proof of value.
    DASH A type of cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin software but has anonymity features that makes it impossible to trace transactions to an individual and other capabilities. It was created by Evan Duffield in 2014 and was previously known as XCoin (XCO) and Darkcoin
    Difficulty This refers to how easily a data block of transaction information can be mined successfully
    Digital Signature A digital code generated by public key encryption that is attached to an electronically transmitted document to verify its contents and the sender’s identity.
    Distributed Ledger Distributed ledgers are ledgers in which data is stored across a network of decentralized nodes. A distributed ledger does not have to have its own currency and may be permissioned and private
    Distributed Network A type of network where processing power and data are spread over the nodes rather than having a centralised data centre.
    Double Spending Double spending occurs when a sum of money is spent more than once.
    E
    Ether The primary internal cryptographic token of the Ethereum network. Ether is used to pay transaction and computation fees for Ethereum transactions.
    Ethereum Ethereum is a blockchain-based decentralised platform for apps that run smart contracts, and is aimed at solving issues associated with censorship, fraud and third party interference.
    Ethereum Classic It is a split from an existing cryptocurrency, Ethereum after a hard fork.
    EVM The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a Turing complete virtual machine that allows anyone to execute arbitrary EVM Byte Code. Every Ethereum node runs on the EVM to maintain consensus across the blockchain.
    F
    Fiat Currency Any money declared by a government to be valid for meeting a financial obligation, like USD or EUR
    Fork Forks create an alternate version of the blockchain, leaving two blockchains to run simultaneously on different parts of the network.
    Full node A full node is a node that fully enforces all of the rules of the blockchain
    G
    Gas Gas is a measurement roughly equivalent to computational steps (for Ethereum). Every transaction is required to include a gas limit and a fee that it is willing to pay per gas; miners have the choice of including the transaction and collecting the fee or not. Every operation has a gas expenditure; for most operations it is ~3–10, although some expensive operations have expenditures up to 700 and a transaction itself has an expenditure of 21000.
    Genesis Block The first or first few blocks of a blockchain.
    H
    Hard Fork A type of fork that renders previously invalid transactions valid, and vice versa. This type of fork requires all nodes and users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.
    Halving A reduction in the block reward given to crypto-currency miners once a certain number of blocks have been mined. The Bitcoin block mining reward halves every 210,000 blocks
    Hash The act of performing a hash function on the output data. This is used for confirming coin transactions.
    Hashcash It is a proof-of-work system used to limit email spam and denial-of-service attacks, and more recently has become known for its use in bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) as part of the mining algorithm. Hashcash was proposed in May 1997 by Adam Back
    Hash Rate Measurement of performance for the mining rig is expressed in hashes per second.
    History The past transactions and blocks. Note that the state is a deterministic function of the history.
    Hybrid PoS/Po A hybrid PoS/PoW allows for both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work as consensus distribution algorithms on the network. In this method, a balance between miners and voters (holders) may be achieved, creating a system of community-based governance by both insiders (holders) and outsiders (miners).
    I
    Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ICOs are types of crowdfunding mechanisms conducted on the blockchain. Originally, the main idea of an ICO was to fund new projects by pre-selling coins/tokens to investors interested in the project. Entrepreneurs present a whitepaper describing the business model and the technical specifications of a project before the ICO. They lay out a timeline for the project and set a target budget where they describe the future funds spending as well as coin distribution.
    IPFS The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a hypermedia distribution protocol, addressed by content and identities. IPFS provides a high throughput content-addressed block storage model, with content-addressed hyperlinks. This forms a generalized Merkle DAG, a data structure upon which one can build versioned file systems, blockchains and even a Permanent Web. IPFS combines a distributed hash table, an incentivized block exchange, and a self-certifying namespace.
    L
    Light Client A client that downloads only a small part of the blockchain, allowing users of low-power or low-storage hardware like smartphones and laptops to maintain almost the same guarantee of security by sometimes selectively downloading small parts of the state without needing to spend megabytes of bandwidth and gigabytes of storage on full blockchain validation and maintenance.
    Lightning Network The Lightning network is a decentralized network using smart contract functionality on the blockchain to enable instant payments across a network of participants. The Lightning Network will allow bitcoin transactions to happen instantly, without worrying about block confirmation times. It will allow millions of transactions in a few seconds, at low costs, even between different blockchains, as long as both chains use the same cryptographic hash function.
    Light Node A computer on a blockchain network that only verifies a limited number of transactions relevant to its dealings, making use of the simplified payment verification (SPV) mode
    Litecoin It is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on the Scrypt proof-of-work network. Sometimes referred to as the silver of bitcoin’s gold.
    M
    Merkle tree The basic idea behind Merkle tree is to have some piece of data that is linking to another. You can do this by linking things together with a cryptographic hash. The content itself can be used to determine the hash. By using the cryptographic hashing we can address the content, and content gets immutable because if you change anything in the data, the cryptographic hash changes and the link will be different. Bitcoin uses cryptographic hashing, where every block points to the previous one if you modify the block, the hash will change and will make the block invalid
    Mining Mining is the act of validating blockchain transactions. The necessity of validation warrants an incentive for the miners, usually in the form of coins. In this cryptocurrency boom, mining can be a lucrative business when done properly. By choosing the most efficient and suitable hardware and mining target, mining can produce a stable form of passive income.
    Mining Pool In a mining pool, different users organize together in order to provide computing power for the bitcoin network. If a Bitcoin block is newly created, each of the users in the mining pool receives its fair share proportionately to his mining power. To become a member of a mining pool, the user needs to run software provided by the mining pool. The advantage of the mining pools is that block rewards get distributed across the pool providing more stable income.
    Multi-Signature Multi-signature addresses provide an added layer of security by requiring more than one key to authorize a transaction.
    N
    Node A copy of the ledger operated by a participant of the blockchain network.
    O
    Ommer A child of a parent of a parent of a block that is not the parent, or more generally a child of an ancestor that is not itself an ancestor. If A is an ommer of B, B is a nibling (niece/nephew) of A.
    Oracles Oracles work as a bridge between the real world and the blockchain by providing data to the smart contracts.
    P
    Peer to Peer Peer to Peer (P2P) refers to the decentralized interactions between two parties or more in a highly-interconnected network. Participants of a P2P network deal directly with each other through a single mediation point.
    Permissioned Blockchains Provide highly-verifiable data sets because the consensus process creates a digital signature, which can be seen by all parties.
    Pre-mining It is the production of cryptocoins by the cryptocurrency creator before the official announcement of its appearance. It allows you to emit this cryptocurrency before it enters the market.
    Private Blockchains A fully private blockchain is a blockchain where write permissions are kept centralized to one organization. Read permissions may be public or restricted to an arbitrary extent. Likely applications include database management, auditing, etc. internal to a single company, and so public readability may not be necessary in many cases at all, though in other cases public auditability is desired
    Private Key A private key is a string of data that allows you to access the tokens in a specific wallet. They act as passwords that are kept hidden from anyone but the owner of the address.
    Proof of Authority(PoA) A Proof of authority is a consensus mechanism in a private blockchain which essentially gives one client(or a specific number of clients) with one particular private key the right to make all of the blocks in the blockchain
    Proof of Stake A consensus distribution algorithm that rewards earnings based on the number of coins you own or hold. The more you invest in the coin, the more you gain by mining with this protocol.
    Proof of Work A consensus distribution algorithm that requires an active role in mining data blocks, often consuming resources, such as electricity. The more ‘work’ you do or the more computational power you provide, the more coins you are rewarded with.
    Public Address A public address is the cryptographic hash of a public key. They act as email addresses that can be published anywhere, unlike private keys.
    Public Blockchains A public blockchain is a blockchain that anyone in the world can read, anyone in the world can send transactions to and expect to see them included if they are valid, and anyone in the world can participate in the consensus process
    R
    Ring Signature Ring signature is a cryptographic technology that could provide a decent level of anonymisation on a blockchain. Ring signatures make sure individual transaction outputs on the blockchain can’t be traced. A message signed with a ring signature is endorsed by someone in a particular group of people. One of the security properties of a ring signature is that it should be computationally infeasible to determine which of the group members’ keys was used to produce the signature
    Ripple Ripple is a payment network built on distributed ledgers that can be used to transfer any currency. The network consists of payment nodes and gateways operated by authorities. Payments are made using a series of IOUs, and the network is based on trust relationships.
    S
    Satoshi The smallest unit of Bitcoin, equal to 0.00000001 BTC
    Satoshi Nakamoto Person or group of people who created the bitcoin protocol and reference software, Bitcoin Core (formerly known as Bitcoin-Qt).
    Scrypt Scrypt is a type of cryptographic algorithm and is used by Litecoin. Compared to SHA256, this is quicker as it does not use up as much processing time.
    Serialization The process of converting a data structure into a sequence of bytes. Ethereum internally uses an encoding format called recursive-length prefix encoding (RLP)
    SHA-256 SHA-256 is a cryptographic algorithm used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, it uses a lot of computing power and processing time, forcing miners to form mining pools to capture gains.
    Sidechains Blockchains that are interoperable with each other and with Bitcoin, avoiding liquidity shortages, market fluctuations, fragmentation, security breaches and outright fraud associated with alternative crypto-currencies. “Sidechains are new blockchains which are backed by Bitcoins, via Bitcoin contracts, just as dollars and pounds used to be backed by cold hard gold.
    Smart Contracts Smart contracts encode business rules in a programmable language onto the blockchain and are enforced by the participants of the network.
    Soft Fork A soft fork differs from a hard fork in that only previously valid transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes recognize the new blocks as valid, a soft fork is essentially backward-compatible. This type of fork requires most miners upgrading in order to enforce, while a hard fork requires all nodes to agree on the new version.
    Solidity Solidity is Ethereum’s programming language for developing smart contracts.
    SPV(Simplified Payment Verification) client SPV clients are Bitcoin lightweight clients which do not download and store the whole blockchain locally. These wallets provide a way to verify payments without having to download the complete blockchain. An SPV client only downloads the block headers by connecting to a full node
    Stale A stale is a block that is created when there is already another block with the same parent out there; stales typically get discarded and are wasted effort.
    State The set of data that a blockchain network strictly needs to keep track of, and that represents data currently relevant to applications on the chain. In a currency, this is simply balances; in more complex applications this could refer to other data structures that the application in question needs to keep track of.
    State Channel State channels are interactions which get conducted off the blockchain without significantly increasing the risk of any participant. Moving these interactions off of the chain without requiring any additional trust can lead to significant improvements in cost and speed. State channels work by locking part of the blockchain state so that a specific set of participants must completely agree with each other to update it
    Stream Ciphers Stream Ciphers are a method of encrypting text (cyphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to each binary digit in a data stream, one bit at a time.
    Swarm Swarm is a distributed storage platform and content distribution service, a native base layer service of the Ethereum web three stack. The primary objective of Swarm is to provide a decentralized and redundant store of Ethereum’s public record, in particular, to store and distribute dApp code and data as well as blockchain data
    T
    Testnet A test blockchain used by developers to prevent expending assets on the main chain.
    Token In the context of Blockchains, a token is a digital identity for something that can be owned. Historically, tokens started as meta information encoded in simple Bitcoin transactions, thereby taking advantage of the Bitcoin blockchain’s strong immutability.
    Tokenless Ledger A tokenless ledger refers to a distributed ledger that doesn’t require a native currency to operate.
    Transaction Block A collection of transactions gathered into a block that can then be hashed and added to the blockchain.
    Transaction Fee All cryptocurrency transactions involve a small transaction fee. These transaction fees add up to account for the block reward that a miner receives when he successfully processes a block.
    Turing Complete Turing complete refers to the ability of a machine to perform calculations that any other programmable computer is capable of. An example of this is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
    U
    Uncle Inclusion Mechanism Ethereum has a mechanism where a block may include its uncles; this ensures that miners that create blocks that do not quite get included into the main chain can still get rewarded.
    Unpermissioned Ledgers Unpermissioned ledgers such as Bitcoin have no single owner  -  indeed, they cannot be owned. The purpose of an unpermissioned ledger is to allow anyone to contribute data to the ledger and for everyone in possession of the ledger to have identical copies.
    W
    Wallet A file that houses private keys. It usually contains a software client which allows access to view and create transactions on a specific blockchain that the wallet is designed for.
    Whisper Whisper is a part of the Ethereum p2p protocol suite that allows for messaging between users via the same network that the blockchain runs on. The main task of whisper will be the provision of a communication protocol between dapps
    51% Attack A condition in which more than half the computing power of a cryptocurrency network is controlled by a single malicious miner or group of miners. If he controls 51% of the network that makes him the authority on the network, giving him the power to spend the same coins multiple times, issue transactions that conflict with someone else’s or stop someone else’s transaction from being confirmed
    z
    Zcash It is an anonymous cryptocurrency created in 2016, which hides sender and recipient identity, as well as the amount of the transaction.

    • cryptodevelopers
      #2
      cryptodevelopers commented
      Editing a comment
      Great Resource . Thank you for sharing this. If anyone want to know what is blockchain wallet then I this is great ans . A file that houses private keys. It usually contains a software client which allows access to view and create transactions on a specific blockchain that the wallet is designed for. and we https://cryptodevelopers.net/ provide cryptocurrency wallet development.. like Bitcoin, LTC and ETH etc..
      Last edited by cryptodevelopers; 10-31-2019, 05:34 AM. Reason: Spelling Mistake

    • Carlos321
      #3
      Carlos321 commented
      Editing a comment
      Great post! I've read something about it in https://www.mintme.com I like reading information of this kind and on this side you may find.

    • kanejoyce
      #4
      kanejoyce commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent source. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If you're wondering what a blockchain wallet is, here is a fantastic resource. A file containing private keys. It often includes a software client that provides access to view and create transactions on the blockchain for which the wallet was created.
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