Hashcash - is a proof-of-work system used to limit email spam and denial-of-service attacks, and more recently has become known for its use in bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) as part of the mining algorithm.
Hashrate - is the number of hashes that can be performed by a bitcoin miner in a given period of time (usually a second).
Initial Coin Offering - (ICO) is an event in which a new cryptocurrency sells advance tokens from its overall coinbase, in exchange for upfront capital. ICOs are frequently used for developers of a new cryptocurrency to raise capital.
A ledger - is an append-only record store, where records are immutable and may hold more general information than financial records.
Litecoin - is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency based on the Scrypt proof-of-work network. Sometimes referred to as the silver of bitcoin’s gold.
Mining - is the process by which transactions are verified and added to a blockchain. This process of solving cryptographic problems using computing hardware also triggers the release of cryptocurrencies.
Multi-signature - (multisig) addresses allow multiple parties to require more than one key to authorize a transaction. The needed number of signatures is agreed at the creation of the address. Multi signature addresses have a much greater resistance to theft.
A node - is any computer that connects to the blockchain network.
A full node - is a node that fully enforces all of the rules of the blockchain.
Peer-to-peer - (P2P) refers to the decentralized interactions that happen between at least two parties in a highly interconnected network. P2P participants deal directly with each other through a single mediation point.
A permissioned ledger - is a ledger where actors must have permission to access the ledger. Permissioned ledgers may have one or many owners. When a new record is added, the ledger’s integrity is checked by a limited consensus process. This is carried out by trusted actors — government departments or banks, for example — which makes maintaining a shared record much simpler that the consensus process used by unpermissioned ledgers.
Permissioned blockchains - provide highly-verifiable data sets because the consensus process creates a digital signature, which can be seen by all parties.
A private key - is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet. Private keys can be thought of as a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.
Proof of Authority - is a consensus mechanism in a private blockchain which essentially gives one client (or a specific number of clients) with one particular private key the right to make all of the blocks in the blockchain.
Proof of Stake - is an alternative to the proof-of-work system, in which your existing stake in a cryptocurrency (the amount of that currency that you hold) is used to calculate the amount of that currency that you can mine.
Proof of Work - is a system that ties mining capability to computational power. Blocks must be hashed, which is in itself an easy computational process, but an additional variable is added to the hashing process to make it more difficult. When a block is successfully hashed, the hashing must have taken some time and computational effort. Thus, a hashed block is considered proof of work.
Protocols - are sets of formal rules describing how to transmit or exchange data, especially across a network.
Ripple - (or Cripple lol) is a payment network built on distributed ledgers that can be used to transfer any currency. The network consists of payment nodes and gateways operated by authorities. Payments are made using a series of IOUs, and the network is based on trust relationships.
A scrypt - is an alternative proof of work system to SHA-256, designed to be particularly friendly to CPU and GPU miners, while offering little advantage to ASIC miners.
SHA 256 - is the cryptographic function used as the basis for bitcoin’s proof of work system.
Smart contracts - are contracts whose terms are recorded in a computer language instead of legal language. Smart contracts can be automatically executed by a computing system, such as a suitable distributed ledger system.
A softfork - is a change to the bitcoin protocol wherein only previously valid blocks/transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes will recognize the new blocks as valid, a softfork is backward-compatible. This kind of fork requires only a majority of the miners upgrading to enforce the new rules.
Stream ciphers - are a method of encrypting text (cyphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to each binary digit in a data stream, one bit at a time.
A token - is a digital identity for something that can be owned.
A tokenless ledger - refers to a distributed ledger that doesn’t require a native currency to operate.
A transaction block - is a collection of transactions on the bitcoin network, gathered into a block that can then be hashed and added to the blockchain.
Transaction fees - are small fees imposed on some transactions sent across the bitcoin network. The transaction fee is awarded to the miner that successfully hashes the block containing the relevant transaction.
Unpermissioned ledgers - such as Bitcoin have no single owner — indeed, they cannot be owned. The purpose of an unpermissioned ledger is to allow anyone to contribute data to the ledger and for everyone in possession of the ledger to have identical copies.
A wallet - is a file that contains a collection of private keys.
Satoshi Nakamoto - is the name used by the unknown person or persons who designed bitcoin and created its original reference implementation. As a part of the implementation, he also devised the first blockchain database. In the process he was the first to solve the double spending problem for digital currency.
The satoshi - is currently the smallest unit of the bitcoin currency recorded on the block chain. It is a one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC).
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