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Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions concerning terminology, jargon, abbreviations, acronyms and phrases that are essential to the cryptocurrency community.

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163
votes
5answers
225k views

What are “bitcoin days destroyed”?

The concept of bitcoin days destroyed has been proposed as a measure of bitcoin volume. However, I don't think the bitcoin wiki really explains the idea very well. What is the purpose or advantage of ...
150
votes
5answers
243k views

What is a 'Satoshi'?

I am aware that Satoshi Nakamoto is the author of the paper that originated Bitcoin and the creator of the original bitcoin client. However, I often hear the term Satoshi as if it was a monetary unit. ...
67
votes
2answers
30k views

What is an SPV client?

I've seen SPV client mentioned in several places. What exactly is a SPV client? How is it different from a standard client?
59
votes
5answers
26k views

What is a soft fork?

When people talk about possible changes to how Bitcoin works they sometimes say a particular change can be implemented as a soft fork. What does that mean? How does this compare to a hard fork?
51
votes
4answers
778k views

What is the difference between kH/s, MH/s, and GH/s?

I started mining on a friend's computer and it shows 300 kH/s. But when I research other peoples' hash rates I usually see MH/s. Are these speeds the same as kilobytes and megabytes? Also, when I say ...
49
votes
2answers
38k views

What are bitcoin “confirmations”?

When I receive bitcoins I see a certain number of "confirmations" in the client. What do these mean? Why do most sites make me wait for 6 "confirmations" before a purchase will go through?
45
votes
5answers
27k views

What is meant by Bitcoin dust?

I've seen the term "dust" used to describe small transactions that might be considered as spam by the Bitcoin network. Is there is a generally accepted definition of this term?
43
votes
1answer
13k views

What are Channel Factories and how do they work?

One of the open research questions for Lightning Network is that it will take a massive amount of on-chain transactions to create enough payment channels for all the Lightning Network users. Lately, I'...
42
votes
2answers
59k views

What is a share? Can I find it while mining solo, or only when pool mining?

In mining, what is "a share"? When mining solo, do I "find shares"?
36
votes
3answers
8k views

What are checkpoints?

I often read that checkpoints protect the network from a 51% attack because an attacker cannot reverse transactions made before the last checkpoint. How exactly does this checkpoint mechanism work? ...
30
votes
4answers
53k views

What are orphaned and stale blocks?

If I understand it right, a stale block is a block for which an earlier confirmation has been found and was accepted by majority of people. This block is considered invalid and is later never used. ...
30
votes
1answer
9k views

What are colored coins?

What exactly are colored coins? I've tried understanding, but I don't quite get it yet . . . Do any examples exist?
26
votes
4answers
8k views

What are tainted coins exactly?

I've come across the term of a tainted coin several times now. I understand that coins, or better, the origin of a coin can be traced throughout the blockchain. I've read that bitcoins can be ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between BitCoin, Bitcoin, and bitcoin?

I've seen several capitalizations of the term "bitcoin". What do all these mean?
21
votes
2answers
13k views

What does the term “Longest chain” mean?

What does the term "Longest chain" mean, as there is only one 'right' blockchain exists? How another longer chain would make the 'right' chain invalid?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is Bitcoin a currency?

This question seems to be asked every now and then when legal status of Bitcoin is discussed - Is Bitcoin a currency? What are the characteristics that would make it a currency, and what makes it ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “bitcoin” a countable noun?

Should "bitcoin" be used as a countable noun admitting a singular and a plural (so that one says "600 bitcoins are in this wallet") or as a mass noun, (like "water" or "money") (so that one says "How ...
13
votes
1answer
21k views

What is a nonce?

When I see the block info on blockchain, I see that there is a field named "nonce", I could not find any relevant information on web regarding what a nonce is. Please explain what a nonce is what is ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

What's the difference between a bitcoin client and wallet?

I would like to know what is the difference between a client and wallet.
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Replace-by-Fee vs Child-pays-for-Parent?

Both RBF and CPFP attempt to solve the problem of transactions not confirming because of an insufficient fee. What are the pros/cons of using one vs the other? Are both currently functional and ...
11
votes
1answer
11k views

Definition of blockchain height

What is the definition of blockchain height and how is it found/calculated. I get the idea it is related to the SO answer by Gary Rowe, but the word "height" is not mentioned. Yet I see references to ...
10
votes
4answers
413 views

What is the collective name for Bitcoin, Namecoin, etc?

Is there some standard term to describe all Bitcoin-like internet currencies, like Solidcoin, Namecoin and so forth? Like "currency" is to dollar, euro, yen, etc?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What are Tonal Bitcoins?

What are Tonal Bitcoins? In what application is this system of notation superior to the decimal notation? Are there any clients or other services supporting the tonal system?
9
votes
1answer
36k views

What does “accepted shares” mean?

I am running GUIMiner and Triplemining server. I currently have just under 100 "shares" accepted. What does this mean? What are accepted shares used for? How do accepted shares relate to "blocks"? ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What the difference between old segwit (3) and new segwit address (bc)?

i'm not that kind of person who understands cryptography and math, can you tell me simply the main purpose of new segwit address? are transactions fee the same for new segwit (bc1)? instead of "Old ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Plain text for the Bitcoin symbol

It seems that the most widely used symbol for Bitcoin is a B with two vertical lines through it1. It makes sense, as a single letter with a line or two through it is common for many currencies. Is ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does BIP mean?

There is a lot of reference to BIP 16, 17 and the likes. What does BIP actually stand for? I'm unsure if this is a programming reference or a Bitcoin specific reference; either way I'm stumped.
8
votes
1answer
7k views

What was the goal of creating the feature of immature coins?

I just ran into the idea of immature coins. Can someone explain to me the idea behind immature coins and what was the purpose of it?
8
votes
1answer
292 views

When and who coined the term “mining”?

When was the term "mining" (the process of hashing, processing the transactions, adding blocks to the blockchain etc.) first used? Was it there right from the beginning of bitcoin? Who was the ...
8
votes
1answer
236 views

What is meant by transaction 'pinning'?

What is meant by the term 'transaction pinning'?
8
votes
3answers
296 views

What is the preferred way to denote orders of magnitude in BTC?

If I have 36,235.97 BTC, would I shorten that by writing that I have 36.2k BTC or would I write 36.2 kBTC? It seems that latter is proper for SI units, while the former is used more often for money, ...
8
votes
2answers
23k views

What does PPS mean/stand for?

On many mining pools/bonds I see things listed as 105% PPS / 110% PPS weekly payout. What does PPS actually mean?
7
votes
3answers
10k views

What does “ASIC” mean?

I stumbled on the terms "ASIC" and " ASIC Miner", what do they mean? Is this something related to special hardware?
7
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “Activating Best Chain” mean?

What does "Activating Best Chain" mean? My Bitcoin Core doesn't freeze, it just takes a while. I'm curious as to what it's doing.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the minRelayTxFee?

What is the minRelayTxFee? What is it used for, what's the default value and how does the value change?
7
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the difference between a miner and a full node?

I have trouble finding the difference between a full node and a miner. It looks like these two names are used interchangeably which I think is not entirely correct. Miners do process blocks and full ...
6
votes
1answer
14k views

What do `minerd`s feedback messages (LONGPOLL, yay, boo) mean?

I have been testing a script that essentially runs (incomplete command shown here!): minerd --algo scrypt -s 45 --retry-pause 5 --threads $threads --url ... Among the feedback messages, while minerd ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

What does “lock time” mean?

I got a transaction that is still not confirmed for about one week, and I can see a field called "Lock Time" that says: Lock Time Block: 419382 https://blockchain.info/en/tx/...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Who are Alice and Bob?

Simply: Who are Alice and Bob, and why are they mentioned in every Bitcoin-related article I read about that talks about Bitcoin transactions? What is the history or mystery of these two?
6
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the correct term for bitcoin market cap?

Market capitalization is a term that is usually used to refer to the total value of the shares of a company. Given that bitcoin is not a company, is there a better term than market cap that we should ...
6
votes
4answers
961 views

What is a Bitcoin wallet?

What is a wallet in the context of Bitcoin? What are wallets used for? What relation do wallets have to other concepts such as addresses, private-keys, client-software, and Bitcoin balances?
5
votes
4answers
21k views

What is a mBTC?

I have been trying to find out just what is an mBTC is. Everywhere I look I cannot find out what the value is compared to a Bitcoin. I was hoping you could advise me of what the value is.
5
votes
1answer
157 views

What does the blockchain represent?

What does the blockchain represent? Is it the current balance of each account or is it the complete ledger?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the “Count” column in the order book on Bitfinex?

I can't understand what count means here. I would have assumed that it was the number of orders at that price, but the total column does not seem to reflect this. Can't find any info in the ...
5
votes
1answer
911 views

Are There Abbreviations/Acronyms/Codes for Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

I wonder if there are any abbreviations/acronyms/codes for exchanges like Cryptsy, Kraken, and Ccex. Similar to abbreviations as seen for coins in Bitcoin = BTC and Litecoin = LTC.
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What hashing speed does my hardware have?

I'm checking this page to know what hashing speed my hardware has. But there's no explanation about the acronyms. For my Core 2 Quad Q9650, what's the expected hashing speed?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a block?

I know bitcoin has a block chain that is from my best representation a list of blocks. I know the block holds many transactions. But i'm still very much lost as to what a block is and how a block can ...
4
votes
1answer
167 views

Lightning Network: asymmetry in the information tracked by each participant?

In following paper, written by Christian Decker et al., there is a paragraph that is not clear to me. eltoo: A Simple Layer2 Protocol for Bitcoin "The central idea of Lightning is to invalidate ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Donation wallet address

I read that wallet/account is not the same as bitcoin address. The address can be used only for single transaction. How do you receive donations on your address? Are wallet addresses unique for the ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Who has named 10e-8 BTC “Satoshi”?

When and where did the term come up for the first time? Did Satoshi Nakamoto comment on the naming?