Blockchain Glossary

When talking about Blockchain, words are important, their meaning is fundamental. Learn more about this world with a simple approach.


It means Anti-Money Laundering. It includes all national and international laws that aim to fight and stop criminal organisations from laundering their money. There are AML regulations that involve cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.


The first known cryptocurrency based on Blockchain. It was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, and now it is the most popular crypto in the world.

A distributed ledger technology. Data is recorded in chunks called blocks, and each block is connected to the next one by an encrypted digital signature. Everyone in the network owns a copy of the ledger, making any manipulation or information deletion impossible.

The number of blocks in a blockchain. Blocks are linked one to another to form the chain.


A software that allows users to access a blockchain from a device in order to contribute processing transactions. A client does not necessarily include a wallet, but it usually does.

It is a digital element whose value is tied to assets like oil, gold, silver or fiat currency.

Any digital asset designed to work as a currency, so it can be exchanged for goods or services.

A cryptocurrency must satisfy six conditions:

  1. It does not need a central authority to work;
  2. It has a system in place to record transactions and property of the assets;
  3. The system can automatically generate new units and determine their owner;
  4. Property of a cryptocurrency can only be proved cryptographically;
  5. The system allows transactions of cryptocurrency exchange;
  6. When two contradictory instructions for transactions are given, the system only performs one of them.


A ledger that records all transactions made within a network, and whose copies are distributed to a high number of nodes all over the world and simultaneously updated.


The cryptocurrency generated as a reward on the Ethereum blockchain.

The second largest cryptocurrency system in the world, after Bitcoin. It is a distributed ledger blockchain, home to hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency. Its twin blockchain, Ethereum Classic is widely used for its smart contract feature.


The Financial Action Task Force is an international organisation based in Paris that sets standards to prevent and fight financial crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, and so on. Read our article to find out more.

Currencies issued by national governments, e.g.: Euro (EUR), Swiss Franc (CHF), British Pound (GBP).

A malicious attack on a blockchain where hackers end up controlling 51% of the nodes and use such power to double spend. While it is theoretically possible to conduct this kind of attack, it is not cost-effective for the vast majority of the blockchains.


The first block of data on a blockchain. If the block height is 0, then the new block is a genesis block.


A non-reversible mathematical function mapping a string of arbitrary length in a string of fixed length. It is used to encrypt digital data.


It means Initial Coin Offering. They are used to fund crypto projects. It is very common to find start-ups using ICOs to seek investors. Read our article to find out more.

It means Initial Exchange Offering. It is a type of ICO where the cryptos or tokens are sold directly on an exchange platform.


The power for a public authority to apply a set of laws and regulations. Local and national courts have jurisdiction to apply local and national laws of the territory they are based in.


A key can be either public or private and they are both used to decrypt a string of data.

It means Know Your Customer. It is a procedure used by public and private companies to verify the identity of their clients during the onboarding process. Read our article to find out more.


A cryptocurrency born from a fork of Bitcoin. It works with a similar mechanism, but it is faster than Bitcon in processing blocks and validating transactions.


The process of validating transactions and blocks and adding them to a blockchain. Mining is done by miners, who use a client software to validate transactions.


A member of a blockchain who holds a copy of the ledger.


An oracle can be either human or machine and it uploads data to a blockchain that could not be automatically got. They are mainly used to trigger auomations of smart contracts.


A piece of data containing information about stakes of cryptocurrency held by miners. Based on various criteria, a function finds out who has the best stake and the right to generate next block.

A piece of data miners are required to produce in order to generate a block. It usually involves the solution of a mathematical problem.

An exchange of data between two peers in a network executed with no intermediaries.


A request from a client or server to a database to retrieve information from it. Apart from rare exceptions, queries are not possible on a blockchain, as it is not a classic database.


The amount of cryptocurrency a miner receives when they successfully generate a block. The amount is periodically reviewed. Bitcoin, for example, halves the reward amount every four years. It is expected to be zero in 2140.


The pseudonym of the person or the group who created Bitcoin. Their identity is still unknown, though many people claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. His alleged date of birth is the 5th of April 1975, and based on the British grammar used in the Bitcoin white paper they are thought to be of British origins.

A tokenised financial asset. It can be traded and sold in exchange for money or cryptocurrency in STOs. Its value is tied to the actual tokenised value of the asset.

A contract where conditions and actions are automatically verified and executed via software and no third party is needed. Read our article to find out more.

A cryptocurrency whose value is tied to a fiat currency, other cryptos or commodities. Read our article to find out more.

It means Security Token Offering. It is a type of public offering in which security tokens are traded or exchanged for cryptos or fiat.


It is the action of substituting sensitive data with non-sensitive equivalent, which is called token. Any kind of asset can be tokenised and tokens recorded on a blockchain can be traded or sold.


A digital element whose value is tied to a developing cryptocurrency. It is usually issued by start-ups looking for funds. Investors can buy utility tokens at an early development stage and sell them when their value increases.


A node that takes part in a validation process, either providing Proof of Stake or Proof of Work.


A client software that provides a digital storage for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. It has a string known as address to send and receive money.

In the Blockchain industry, a document, report or guide explaining the mission and vision of a project as well as how it works.


A cryptocurrency issued by Ripple used by various banks and important service providers.


Similar to a white paper, but it contains information that has not been approved or published yet and could be subject to substantial modifications.


It means zero knowledge Succint Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge. It is a proof that allows a user to verify transactions without revealing any data of that same transaction.

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