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Technology 9 min read

35 most used crypto acronyms and slang words




November 30, 2022

There are some things you could know about cryptocurrency and some things you should know. Whether you’re new to web3 or want to refresh your memory, here are the 25 most used crypto acronyms and slang words you should have in your vocabulary to survive.



With a wallet address, people can own crypto coins. A crypto address is a unique identifier that serves as a virtual location where the cryptocurrency can be sent. People can send the cryptocurrency to crypto addresses similarly to how fiat currencies can be sent to bank accounts.



A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, a blockchain stores data electronically in a digital format. Blockchains are best known for maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions. The innovation of a blockchain ensures the fidelity and security of a data record. It generates trust without the need for an authorized third party.



A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency made and secured by a cryptographic algorithm. Cryptocurrencies allow users to transmit assets using the Internet without third-party confirmations or the involvement of a middleman such as a bank or a central authority.



An altcoin is the shortened version of an “alternative coin.” Alternative coins refer to other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin. The most popular altcoin nowadays is Ethereum.



A stablecoin is a currency that pegs or ties its market value to another cryptocurrency, financial instrument, or commodity. Stablecoins may serve as a “lower-risk” crypto alternative in a highly volatile market. One of the most popular stablecoins is Tether (USDT), which mirrors the U.S. dollar value.



KYC means “know your customer” or “know your client.” It is the mandatory process of identifying and verifying the client’s identity when opening an account and complying with anti-money laundering regulations.


Decentralized finance (DeFi)

DeFi is a technology alternative to centralized financial institutions such as banks, exchanges, and insurance companies. DeFi systems achieve distributed consensus using “smart contracts” on blockchains like Ethereum. Developers write smart contracts to execute specific actions only when particular conditions are met.


Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)

DLT is a database of data shared and duplicated across a network of computers in various locations. In contrast to a centralized ledger, it’s a flexible system of recording information. The information on the ledger is updated by people participating in the network instead of a central authority. The ledger can be accessible to some or all users, and the information kept on it can be verified and audited.


Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

ICO is a type of capital-raising activity in the cryptocurrency and blockchain environment. The ICO can be viewed as an initial public offering (IPO) that uses cryptocurrencies.


Private Key

The most critical line of numbers and letters you should not share with anyone. If someone gains access to your private key, they gain access to the crypto wallet with all assets. This key is required to verify transactions when trading your crypto.


Public Ledger

Every blockchain has its own ledger. This is where you can view every transaction ever made on a blockchain, given that it’s public. Some coins distinguish themselves by operating on an anonymous or private ledger.


Smart Contracts

As with a standard legal contract, smart contracts hold multiple parties accountable for something, but instead of verbally instructing them, they instruct them through code. Transparency is ensured by allowing both parties to see and approve the programming before accepting the contract’s terms.


Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

A DAO is an organization run by code, not individuals. DAOs are transparent and decentralized. They are powered by smart contracts via blockchain and can be used to fundraise, manage projects, and vote.



Blockchain technology is immutable, meaning it cannot be altered or manipulated. Decentralized financial systems cannot exist without immutability, as two parties cannot trust one another to make a safe transaction.


Layer 2

Layer 2 is a protocol that runs on top of a blockchain. It is created to help enhance the scalability of a blockchain by allowing it to process more transactions off-chain.



The actual and functional blockchain, known as the mainnet, is where transactions happen in the distributed ledger and where native coins have value. A fully operational blockchain can transmit and receive any transaction and transfer information.



The term “on-chain transaction” refers to a transaction occurring entirely on a blockchain network. Blockchain networks record transactions on public ledgers once they are verified.



Tokenomics is the economic model of a cryptocurrency token. It is typically used to describe the relations between the supply and demand of the token and how the token can be used to incentivize specific behavior.



In web3, the allowlist(whitelist) lists approved investors for an ICO or NFT mint. Investors are linked to their wallet address which needs to be provided to be added to that list.


Gas Price

You must pay a fee when making a transaction on the blockchain. That fee is called a gas price. You can pay higher fees for faster transaction speeds or lower fees for slower transactions.



Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are generated through mining. Using a decentralized network of computers, miners verify transactions and secure blockchains. Blockchains reward miners with coins, which are also used to maintain the blockchains.



Through crypto staking, crypto enthusiasts can earn passive income without actively trading or selling their assets. In other words, it is committing your assets to verify transactions and support a blockchain network.



The term “peer-to-peer” refers to transactions between two users without the involvement of a third party.



The acronym DYOR stands for ‘do your own research.’ In crypto, it reminds investors to check out projects before investing.



An investor or trader who fears missing out on a lucrative opportunity suffers from FOMO, which is short for ‘fear of missing out. Rather than acting logically and rationally, individuals may make investment decisions based on emotion. The fear of missing out can be a major factor affecting cryptocurrency markets and can cause significant volatility. As a result, investors may suffer far more significant financial losses.



It’s a psychological method for creating negative sentiments about a particular asset to prevent further buying or even incite short-selling. FUD stands for “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”



In cryptocurrency, a whale is an entity with a prominent position in a particular cryptocurrency. For example, a Bitcoin whale is a company or individual with 50,000 bitcoins that can move the markets by trading them.


Pump and Dump

“Pump and dump” isn’t just seen in cryptocurrency; it also occurs in stocks. The practice is illegal in regulated securities as it constitutes market manipulation. A pump-and-dump scenario occurs when investors hype or inflate a cryptocurrency’s price and sell it before it falls.



“Flippening” refers to the hypothetical – and some say inevitable – moment when Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin in value.


No Coiner

A “no-coiner” is pessimistic about cryptocurrencies and believes they don’t have a use case. Thus, they do not hold any holdings, crypto tokens, or coins. They’re a “no-coiner.”



It’s an acronym for “Gonna Make It” or “We’re All Gonna Make It.” The term refers to being confident and optimistic about the future.


Ape (Ape into)

This means taking a significant position relative to one’s portfolio size. “I aped into ETH.”


Probably Nothing

In crypto-language, “Probably Nothing” means the opposite – Probably something will happen. It is a polite way of sneaking up on someone with a hint of plausible denial. “Eminem just bought a BAYC Ape. Probably nothing.”



IYKYK is short for “If You Know, You Know.” It’s used in crypto to show you know something more, like “Probably Nothing.”



In the crypto space, normies refer to those who have not explored or stayed away from it.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this list of standard crypto terms has provided you with a better understanding of how the cryptocurrency ecosystem work and communicates. Meanwhile, if you’re searching for more crypto-related articles and posts, check out our Twitter profile and read our Monday Crypto News series and educational content.