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The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Crypto Terminology

Demystify the complex terminology of the crypto space in 2024

Crypto terminology. The ultimate 2024 guide
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Published in: One Trading · 5 min read
Crypto Terminology: The ultimate 2024 guide

Diving into the world of digital assets will become easier with this comprehensive glossary, designed to demystify the complex terminology of the crypto space in 2024. 

The Basics

Blockchain: A decentralised ledger technology (DLT) that records transactions across multiple computers to ensure security, transparency, and immutability.

Mining: The process of validating transactions and adding them to a blockchain, rewarded with newly minted crypto-assets.

Consensus Mechanisms: Protocols used in blockchain networks to achieve agreement on transaction validity. Examples include Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake (PoS), and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).

Crypto: Short for crypto-asset, a digital or virtual asset that uses cryptography for security. 

Altcoins: Digital assets that serve as alternatives to Bitcoin. Examples include Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC), each offering unique functionalities and applications.

Tokens: Digital assets or units of value issued on a blockchain, representing various rights or assets, distinct from crypto-assets intended as currencies.

Web3: The next phase of the internet, incorporating blockchain, decentralisation, and token-based economics to empower users with data control and ownership.

Whales: Individuals or entities holding large amounts of crypto-assets, capable of influencing market prices with their trading activities.

Fiat On-Ramp: A service that allows users to convert their fiat currency (like USD, EUR, etc.) into crypto-assets. These services are essential for bringing new funds into the crypto ecosystem, facilitating the easy exchange of traditional money for digital assets.

Cold Wallet/Storage: A method of storing crypto-assets offline to protect them from hacking and other online vulnerabilities. Cold wallets can be hardware devices (like USB drives) or even paper, with keys printed on them, ensuring high security for digital assets by keeping them disconnected from the internet.


FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The anxiety that an opportunity, especially in trading or investment, is being missed, leading to impulsive decisions.

FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt): Disinformation strategy used to influence perception by spreading negative, dubious, or false information about crypto.

HODL: A term derived from a misspelled "hold," advising traders to keep their crypto assets long-term despite market volatility.

Technical Analysis (TA): A trading discipline used to evaluate investments and identify trading opportunities by analysing statistical trends gathered from trading activity, such as price movement and volume. Unlike fundamental analysis, which attempts to evaluate an asset's value based on external factors and intrinsic properties, technical analysis focuses solely on price charts and market data to predict future price movements.

Pump and Dump: A scheme where the price of a crypto-asset is artificially inflated (pumped) by promoters, who then sell off their holdings (dump) at the elevated price.

Short Selling: A trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a crypto-asset's price. Traders borrow an asset they believe will decrease in value, sell it at its current market price, and aim to buy it back later at a lower price. The difference between the selling price and the buyback price represents the trader's profit, assuming the asset's value decreases as expected.

Swing Trading: A strategy that attempts to capture gains in a crypto asset within a relatively short timeframe, from a few days to several weeks. Swing traders utilise a combination of technical analysis, market trends, and sometimes fundamental analysis to make their trades, capitalising on price "swings" or volatility in the market.

Margin Trading: The practice of using borrowed funds from a broker (or in the case of crypto-assets, an exchange) to trade a financial asset, which forms the collateral for the loan. Margin trading amplifies both potential gains and losses, making it possible for traders to make significant profits or suffer severe losses with relatively small market movements.

Arbitrage: A trading strategy that takes advantage of price differences of the same asset across different markets or exchanges. Traders who engage in arbitrage buy the asset where it is cheaper and sell it where it is more expensive, profiting from the discrepancy in prices.

On-chain Activity

Staking: Participating in a network's security and operations by locking up tokens in return for rewards, prevalent in Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchains.

Gas Fees: The transaction fees paid by users to compensate for the computing energy required to process and validate transactions on a blockchain network. Gas fees are prevalent on networks like Ethereum, where they can fluctuate based on network demand.

Hard Fork: A significant change to a network's protocol that makes previously invalid transactions valid, or vice-versa. This often results in a split of the blockchain, with one path following the new protocol and the other following the old. Hard forks can lead to the creation of a new crypto-asset, as seen with Bitcoin Cash diverging from Bitcoin.

DeFi (Decentralised Finance): Financial services on blockchain technology, enabling lending, borrowing, and trading without traditional financial intermediaries.

Automated Market Makers (AMMs): Decentralised exchanges utilising smart contracts to create markets for any pair of tokens, facilitating trading without traditional market makers.

DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations): Organisations run by smart contracts on a blockchain, allowing for decentralised governance and decision-making by token holders.

Liquidity Pools: Pools of crypto assets locked in a smart contract, providing liquidity for decentralised exchanges and enabling trading pairs and yield farming.

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens): Unique digital tokens representing ownership of specific items or assets, distinguishable from each other and not interchangeable.

Smart Contracts: Self-executing contracts with the terms written into code, allowing for automated and direct transactions when conditions are met.

Stablecoins: Crypto-assets pegged to a stable asset like fiat money or gold to minimise volatility.


Layer 2: Protocols developed atop existing blockchains to enhance scalability and efficiency. They manage transactions off the main chain through mechanisms like sidechains and rollups, enabling faster transactions and reduced fees.

GameFi: The integration of finance into digital games through blockchain technology, using crypto-assets, NFTs, and DeFi concepts. It creates in-game economies where gameplay leads to real-world value generation.

RWA (Real World Assets): The tokenisation of physical assets on the blockchain, enabling real estate, artwork, and commodities to be traded in the digital finance ecosystem. This bridges traditional finance with digital markets.

AI Coins: Tokens associated with blockchain projects that incorporate artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, create decentralised AI services, or marketplaces. They represent the intersection of AI and blockchain technology.

Metaverse: A virtual shared space combining enhanced physical reality, augmented reality, and the internet, powered by blockchain. It includes decentralised platforms for immersive interactions, digital asset trading, and virtual experiences.

SocialFi: The combination of social media and finance on decentralised platforms, enabling users to monetise content and interactions. SocialFi challenges conventional social models by rewarding users for their online activity directly.