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The ABCs of Web 3.0 and Crypto: A Comprehensive Glossary

A glossary to guide you through some of the most common terms in Web 3 you might encounter.
Alicia Maule
June 6, 2023

Understanding the vocabulary of Web 3.0 and cryptocurrency is the first step in embracing the next generation of the internet and finance. Here's a glossary to guide you through some of the most common terms you might encounter.


Altcoins: Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin is referred to as an altcoin (alternative coin).

Address: A string of alphanumeric characters used to receive cryptocurrency transactions.


Bitcoin: The first decentralized cryptocurrency, created in 2009 by an individual or group using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Blockchain: A digital ledger of all transactions that have ever occurred in a particular cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. It's decentralized and maintained by multiple computers (nodes) on the network.

Block: A 'page' of a blockchain where information about transactions is permanently recorded.

Bored Ape Yacht Club: BAYC consists of 10,000 unique digital "Bored Ape" NFTs that serve as a membership card for an online club. The series is one of the most successful NFT projects in history, reaching over $1B in sales. 

Buterin, Vitalik: Vitalik Buterin is a programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum, an open-source blockchain platform that supports smart contracts. It’s the second largest blockchain after Bitcoin. 


Cryptocurrency: A type of digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. It's decentralized and typically operates on technology called blockchain.

Coin: Refers to a cryptocurrency asset that's native to its own blockchain (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum).


Decentralized Finance (DeFi): An umbrella term for financial services on public blockchains, primarily Ethereum. This is an initiative aiming to use blockchain technology to remove intermediaries from financial transactions, allowing for a more open, unrestricted, and transparent financial system. 

DApp: A decentralized application (DApp) is a software application that runs on a distributed computing system like a blockchain.

DAO: Stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. These are organizations represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government.


El Salvador: The first country in the world to make Bitcoin the national currency.

Ethereum (ETH): An open-source blockchain platform that supports smart contracts. It has its native cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH).

Exchange: A platform where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.


Fiat: Traditional currency issued by a government, such as the U.S. Dollar or Euro.

Fort Worth, Texas: The first city in the U.S. to mine bitcoin.


Gas: A measure of computational work in the Ethereum network. Transactions, including those involving smart contracts, require gas to be completed.

Givepact: The act of giving to the people and causes most in need through cryptocurrency. 


Halving: An event that halves the rate at which new cryptocurrency units are generated. Particularly important in Bitcoin, which has a finite supply.


ICO: Initial Coin Offering, a type of crowdfunding using cryptocurrencies. Think of IPO, initial public offering, but for the crypto world. 

IPFS: The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol designed to create a distributed internet, altering how information is stored and accessed.


Mt. Gox: An Japanese exchange handling 70% of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide, making it the largest Bitcoin intermediary and the world's leading Bitcoin exchange. In 2014, the business filed for bankruptcy following allegations of theft and fraud of Bitcoin. 


Node: A computer that participates in a blockchain network.

NFT: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent ownership of a unique item or piece of content on a blockchain.


Public/Private Key: A cryptographic system used to secure transactions and control access to cryptocurrency wallets. The public key is used to encrypt the message, while the private key decrypts it.

Proof of donation: A Proof of Donation token is a type of non-fungible token (NFT) that represents a record of a charitable donation on the blockchain. This token could be earned by a donor when they contribute to a charitable cause, and it acts as a transparent, verifiable record of the donation.

Proof of Stake/Work: Mechanisms for achieving consensus on the blockchain. Proof of Work (PoW) requires nodes to perform computational work, while Proof of Stake (PoS) involves validators showing ownership of a number of tokens.


Regenerative finance (Re-fi): An emerging movement in the blockchain and finance sectors, and it focuses on the idea of leveraging the power of blockchain technology and Web3 (the decentralized internet) to address urgent global issues like climate change, conservation, biodiversity, and social inequality.


SBF (Sam Bankman-Fried): The founder of the exchange FTX who was charged with various counts of fraud and faces 115 years in prison.  

She-Fi: A leading global Web 3 educational community for women and non-binary people founded by Maggie Love.

Smart Contract: Self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code.

Satoshi Nakamoto: The pseudonymous person or group of people who developed Bitcoin.


Wallet: A digital place to store cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Web 3.0: The generation of internet services that includes decentralized networks and blockchain-based assets like cryptocurrency.


Yuga Labs: Yuga Labs is best known as the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a popular non-fungible token (NFT) collection on the Ethereum blockchain that reached over $1B in sales. 


Zero-Knowledge Proofs: Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) are a cryptographic method that allows one party (the prover) to prove to another party (the verifier) that they know a value x, without conveying any information apart from the fact that they know the value x.

Understanding these terms is a starting point for delving into the world of Web 3.0 and cryptocurrency. This innovative space is constantly evolving, and new terms are being introduced as technology progresses. Stay tuned to our blog for updates and more educational content on the exciting world of digital currencies and the decentralized web.