Glossary of Terms

Blockchain: Software that first emerged as the system underpinning Bitcoin. Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is a shared record of information that is maintained and updated by a network of computers rather than a central authority. It is protected and secured by advanced cryptography.

Distributed Ledger Technology: A term often used interchangeably with “blockchain,” although technically blockchain describes the public ledger powering Bitcoin.

Public Ledger: A distributed ledger that is open to everyone on the internet. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a public ledger.

Digital Currency: A virtual currency that relies on cryptography to validate and secure transactions. There are different types of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum are among the best known.

Cryptocurrency: See digital currency.

Coin: A digital currency type that operates independently of any other platform. In other words, a coin has its own platform which is called blockchain.

Token: A digital currency type that requires another platform such as Ethereum or Omni to exist and operate. Crypto Tokens are created over an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Altcoin: A digital currency other than Bitcoin.

Mining: The process through which transactions are verified and added to the blockchain and new units of a digital currency are created.

Miners: Term used to describe the devices or the people that own the devices that validate digital currency transactions. Miners are rewarded with coins for the computing power consumed during mining.

Digital Currency Mining: A process in which transactions for various forms of cryptocurrency are verified and added to the blockchain digital ledger.

Blockchain Mining: See digital currency mining.

GPU mining: A type of digital currency mining using Graphics Processing Units. Can be used to mine a variety of digital currencies.

ASIC (or Application Specific Integrated Circuit) Mining: A type of digital currency mining using a single-purpose chip built for Bitcoin mining.

Initial Coin Offering:  Similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for stocks. Projects launch an ICO by issuing crypto-tokens on the blockchain (usually the Bitcoin or the Ethereum blockchain).

Digital Wallet: Software that allows users to make electronic payments, purchases and store their digital currencies online.

Private Keys: A form of cryptography that allows users to access their cryptocurrency and is an essential part of its security.


Sources: Investopedia, Blockgeeks,, webopedia, Citowise