Altcoin: Any cryptocurrency that is an alternative to Bitcoin (ex. Ripple, Litecoin, etc).
Blockchain: A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly.
Block: Essentially pages in a blockchains digital ledger. Blocks are where transaction data (or any other type of data) is permanently recorded and cannot be altered. Blocks are organized into a linear sequence over time (which become the blockchain).
Cryptocurrency: A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
Fork: A fork is a permanent divergence of a single blockchain into two separate blockchains.
Mining: Mining is the process of lengthening the blockchain by discovering or solving a given block (ie. validating the transactions from one of the “pages” of the digital ledger).
Node: A node is a computer connected to any given cryptocurrency network that keeps a copy of the entire blockchain.
Wallet: This is a secure digital wallet where you store, send and receive any given cryptocurrency. To use an analogy, think of the wallet as your house.
Public Key: This key is used in connection with your private key and is essentially the address to your cryptocurrency wallet. You would share this with someone who is looking to send cryptocurrency to you. Think of the public key as the address to your house / apartment, you are willing to share this publicly with anyone looking to send you mail, for example.
Private Key: This is an alphanumeric set of characters that is used to complete cryptocurrency transactions. This key is meant to be kept private and is used to unlock your wallet. Think of this private key as the key or passcode into your house. You would not share this publicly with anyone, as you run the risk of them stealing anything within your house (ie. your wallet)
Smart Contract: Is a set of code that is stored, verified and executed on the blockchain. It allows you to exchange anything of value, such as property, shares or money in a transparent way on the blockchain.
Social Media Terms:
HODL (“Hold On for Dear Life”): This term means that an investor is holding onto the coin as they believe the coin will be profitable one day. It apparently originated from the early days of bitcoin where someone misspelled the word HOLD.
REKT (or “wrecked”): Someone who got ruined from an investment because it decreased in value rapidly.
Whale: Traders who have a substantial amount of money and are trading in large volumes. Whales are often able to influence the price of a given coin, especially coins with less liquidity and smaller market caps.
Bagholder: The unfortunate soul who held onto a given token for too long as it declined and was left “holding the bag”.
To the moon: A token that is increasing in value rapidly
FUD (or “Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt”): A person or company that spreads negative sentiment about a given topic or coin. Often used to put others at a disadvantage. Traditionally (in the non-crypto world) it is known as a scare tactic, either accomplished by a threat or making the opponent doubt their standpoint.
Pump N’ Dump: When a trader (or group of traders) with substantial funds increase the price of a coin by promoting / endorsing it. As the buzz around the coin increases, the trading value and price gain upward momentum. These traders then sell the coin once it’s hit a favorable price , causing a downward dip in the price as people panic and sell off their positions.