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Essential Crypto Terms | Notum

By Notum

Feb 04, 20229 min read



A vast world of crypto and blockchains is getting wider every day, which means that there are many new words to name and describe new concepts, mechanisms, and things, and there will be even more in the distant future. Suppose you want to keep up, to understand people in different crypto communities, and to talk to crypto enthusiasts in the same language. In that case, you urgently need to extend your vocabulary and embrace some new terms we can’t imagine a blockchain without. 

Have you ever experienced FOMO? Did you HODl your crypto? Do you have tokens, coins, or altcoins in your crypto wallet? Do you have any NFT from Cyberpunks? Are you a miner, and what exactly do you mine? 

If you didn’t answer all those questions and it doesn’t ring a bell, maybe it’s worth reading the article then and exploring even more crypto words.


  • 51% attack/hack —  it usually happens to blockchains that use proof of work (PoW), the attacker is able to get control of more than 50 percent of the hashing power.
  • ADA — stands for a native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain platform, which was launched by Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of the Ethereum network, in 2017. ADA is the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano platform. It was named after Ada Lovelace, the 19th-century mathematician and the daughter of a famous English poet Lord Byron. 
  • Airdrop — refers to cryptocurrency coins or tokens, NFTs for free. Some new projects may start airdropping of free assets to use this strategy as a marketing strategy for NFT/ crypto-related projects to attract attention and new followers. 
  • Address — is a string of symbols that acts as a place where users can receive, store, or send cryptocurrency. Every crypto address is unique.
  • Altcoin — a name for an alternative coin, all coins that are not bitcoin (BTC). The biggest one is Ethereum (ETH).  
  • Ape — it’s when you buy a new coin. As an example, I’m aping ADA this today. 
  • Atomic swap – a straight exchange from separate blockchains. The swap is managed between two people without a third party’s interference.


  • Bagholder — it is someone who holds instead of selling their crypto that is losing its value for good. 
  • Bitcoin Maximalist —  describes a person who believes that Bitcoin (BTC) is the only cryptocurrency that is worth investing in. 
  • Blockchain — it’s a series of blocks, is a digital ledger of all the verified transactions made on a particular cryptocurrency. Decentralized apps (dApps) could be built using this technology. 
  • Blocks — it’s a core of a blockchain, and each block carries historical data of all the transactions that were made on crypto until it becomes completed. Blocks should be verified before being added to a blockchain. 
  • BSC — stands for Binance Smart Chain. It’s supposed to be an alternative to Ethereum. DeFi platforms like PancakeSwap use BSC, which gives an opportunity to gain lower transaction fees. It runs simultaneously with Binance’s native Binance Chain (BC), supplying the high transaction ability of BC with added smart contract practicality.
  • BTD — means to “buy the dips”. It’s when you purchase an asset after its price has dropped, which is usually thought of as a bargain as the asset is likely to bounce back and increase in price after a while. 


  • Cryptosis — that’s when one is totally obsessed with everything about cryptocurrencies and the market and what to learn more on the topic.


  • dApps — an acronym of “decentralized application”, which is a software application that partially runs on a distributed network (i.e. blockchain) instead of a centralized server. With the ability to decentralize information and services, there won’t be a single entity that has total control over all the information and related services on the application.
  • DeFi — an acronym for ‘Decentralized Finance’. It is the technology underlying the majority of cryptocurrencies. The most popular DeFi projects are decentralized exchanges, which automate the exchange of cryptocurrencies among buyers and sellers, reducing a middleman’s role. 
  • Delist — is a process of canceling the listing of an NFT for sale from an open market.
  • DEX —a shortened version of a “decentralized exchange”. In a centralized exchange, your assets are held by the exchange completely. On the contrary, a DEX is a peer-to-peer platform where transactions run directly between crypto traders without a middleman. Some well-known DEX examples are Uniswap, PancakeSwap, dYdX, and SimpleSwap.
  • Discord — one of the most popular social media for NFTs and gaming projects. Lots of NFT projects have their Discord channels to keep the community updated and informed about the project’s news.
  • DYOR — a shortened form of a golden rule “do your own research”. It is always a brilliant idea to DYOR before investing in any asset!


  • ETH — ETH means Ether, which is the Ethereum blockchain native currency. The second in popularity after bitcoin (BTC).


  • Fiat money — Fiat is a term for describing any currency controlled by a central authority, like the U.S. dollar, Euro, or Pound. Bitcoin or Ether, on the contrary, in its decentralized design, is in opposition to traditional fiat currencies.
  • Flippening — it’s when you buy crypto at low prices and quickly sell it to gain a profit. Flipping is especially popular in the NFT space, where people buy and sell NFTs to make a swift profit during the early stages of the projects. 
  • Fork — happens when a cryptocurrency or blockchain-based network splits off into two separate projects with their own code and set of governing rules. There is a “soft” fork, only one blockchain will remain working, and a “hard” fork results in two new brand chains being operational. Bitcoin Classic is a hard fork of Bitcoin, so both cryptocurrencies run on divided blockchains, with their own miners, nodes, and network participants.
  • FOMO — is an acronym for “fear of missing out”, describes people, especially newbies, rushing into buying definite crypto only because they see many others are doing so, without doing due diligence.
  • FUD — a shortened form of “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”. It appears when the price of a coin or NFT project drops, or when some negative news or gossip about the project suddenly turns up. People tend to panic and sell their assets when there is FUD, logically, they make the worst investment decisions when they experience FUD.


  • Gas — the fee you need to pay to the blockchain network for all kinds of transactions. It goes straight to the “miners” of a blockchain network to compensate for the computing energy they share to solve difficult math puzzles for verifying transactions. High gas fees are the highest when there is a lot of demand on the network. Ethereum’s gas fees are sometimes extremely high because of the huge demand, also because the majority of the Crypto and NFT projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain.


  • Halving — one of the most expected events for Bitcoin. That’s a process of halving the rewards of mining Bitcoin (BTC) after around 210,000 blocks are already mined. As a rule, it takes around four years. Halving is to ensure that the number of Bitcoin in circulation does not increase proportionally.
  • Hash rate — it’s the measure of computing and processing power used in crypto mining, the process of getting cryptocurrency through mighty computers and special software. A higher hash rate demonstrates a more strong network. 
  • Hodl — According to Internet gossip, a crypto enthusiast once was drunk and he typed “Hodl” on an Internet chat forum instead of a correct “Hold”, explaining to other investors why not to sell crypto. The idea behind Hodl is that Bitcoin’s price will be even higher, regardless of huge dips. Everything you need to do is to hodl your horses. Read the article to learn even more about a hodling strategy. 


  • ICO — an acronym for Initial Coin Offering, that’s a scheme how blockchain projects raise money and launch their digital currency networks. Unfortunately, many ICOs were classic pump-and-dump schemes, so you should be aware of that fact. There is an article on the related topic in our blog. 


  • Metaverse — it’s a social construction that uses Web 3.0, blockchain technology, and computer interfaces where people build customs, habits, and values and own some property, animals, items that allow them to live and socialize in the virtual reality using their digital identities. 
  • Miner — Bitcoin miners receive bitcoin as a reward for completing "blocks" of verified transactions, which are added to the blockchain.
  • Mining — a process thanks to which new cryptocurrencies are minted. While mining, complex math puzzles are solved as a way to simultaneously secure and power a network and mint new tokens.
  • Mint – in the NFT space a term stands for the creation of a new NFT. In mining, it refers to the creation of a new coin or token. 
  • Mooning — a way to talk about skyrocketing prices of crypto or NFT.


  • NFT — a shortened version of a Nonfungible Token, which is a digital asset that proves ownership of a digital item, like a digital artwork, online collectible, medical records, or documents.  The majority of cryptocurrencies are “fungible”, meaning there is no distinction between one coin and another; while one NFT isn’t equal to another one due to its uniqueness. 
  • No coiner — refers to someone who’s cynical about cryptocurrency or doesn't own any.


  • P2E — a shortened form of “Play to earn games.” Blockchain-based games that users tokens play to gain crypto.
  • P2P — a decentralized network, where each computer acts as a server and a client simultaneously. Two people can interact straightly with each other without a third party.
  • Pump and Dump —  a way of price manipulation where the price of crypto is going up based on fake recommendations (pump) before the assets are sold at a higher price (dump).


  • Rekt — a slangy term for “wrecked”. In the crypto community, it describes someone who has experienced dramatic financial loss because of poor investment decisions.
  • Rug pull — refers to a situation when a team behind a crypto or NFT project leaves the project and runs away with investors’ crypto. By the way, you can learn how to avoid scams in this article.


  • Satoshi — the smallest unit of bitcoin (BTC). It’s equivalent to 100 millionth of a bitcoin, or less than half a cent. Named after a person (or a team) who founded bitcoin known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • Shill — a process when someone advertises an NFT project on social media as a marketing strategy. There are often “shilling” channels on Discord for the members in the community to post links to their own NFTs or other NFT projects they personally think will succeed soon. 
  • Stablecoin — a crypto-coin or a token whose value is pegged to another source of value, usually fiat currency. For example, one dollar-pegged stablecoin is equivalent to $1. Stablecoins are commonly used to promote cryptocurrency trading and cross-border finance.


  • Token —  a tradable asset or utility that runs on its own blockchain and allows the holder to use it for investment or economic purposes.

  • Wallet — a place where you store your assets. It’s worth mentioning that there are different types of wallets — “hot” are online, your holdings are easily accessible once you have the internet connection. “Cold” wallets store crypto offline, giving them extra security and protection from bad actors, but they are a bit difficult to trade.
  • Whale — investors and trading firms with large amounts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Whales are extremely influential among crypto day traders for their ability to impact the prices with single trades. 
  • When Lambo? — a nice question to ask the one who’s investing in crypto. This phrase came up after the Consensus Investment Conference which was held in New York in November 2018 when BitMEX exchange rented 3 Lamborghinis and parked them outside the event venue to show the presence of successful cryptocurrency investors.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, it was a nice and light reading that will definitely help you to feel like a fish in a crypto ocean. Now you can easily communicate with other crypto fans and enthusiasts on Discord, Twitter, Reddit, and Quora, having a clear understanding of what’s going on, who is hodling and who’s just aping, who has FOMO and why you mustn’t have one. There will be even more slang terms and crypto words in the future, but we’re keeping an eye on them, and will update our crypto glossary for sure!