Blockchain Terminology Simplified (A-Z)

Blockchain Terminology Simplified (A-Z)

Ernest Obot's photo
Ernest Obot
·Feb 8, 2023·

8 min read

Altcoin Any type of cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.

Avalanche A decentralized, open-source proof of stake blockchain with smart contract functionality. AVAX is the native cryptocurrency of the platform.

Binance Smart Chain A blockchain network built for running smart contract-based applications. BSC runs in parallel with Binance's native Binance Chain (BC), which allows users to get the best of both worlds: the high transaction capacity of BC and the smart contract functionality of BSC.

Blockchain A distributed ledger, mostly known for Bitcoin, the first technology it enabled. Blockchain became attractive for its unmatched level of security. Its most widespread implications are digital currencies and payment systems, online privacy, smart contracts, smart property, decentralised name registration, and more.

Blockchain Node A component of cryptocurrency that is required for most popular currencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin to function. In addition, it’s an essential component of the blockchain network, which is a decentralized ledger used to keep track of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin A digital currency that operates free of any central control or the oversight of banks/governments.

Brownie A Python-based development and testing framework for smart contracts targeting the Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Chainlink A decentralized network of nodes that provide data and information from off-blockchain sources to on-blockchain smart contracts via oracles.

Cryptocurrency A form of digital money not regulated by any central authority. Being virtual in nature, cryptocurrencies use cryptography technology to process, secure, and verify transactions.

Corda An open source blockchain project, designed for business from the start. Only Corda allows you to build interoperable blockchain networks that transact in strict privacy. Corda's smart contract technology allows businesses to transact directly, with value.

Cosmos SDK An open-source framework for building multi-asset public Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains, like the Cosmos Hub, as well as permissioned Proof-of-Authority (PoA) blockchains. Blockchains built with the Cosmos SDK are generally referred to as application-specific blockchains.

dApp A decentralized application is an application that runs on the blockchain or a peer-to-peer (P2P) network of computers instead of a single computer (or centralized servers). dApps allow people to interact with one another without the need for third parties.

DeFi Decentralized finance is an ecosystem of financial applications built on top of blockchain networks like Ethereum and Solana.

DLT Stands for Distributed Ledger Technology. It is also known as a “shared ledger” or simply distributed ledger. It is a digital system that lets users and systems record transactions related to assets. A distributed ledger technology stores the information at multiple locations at any given point of time.

EIPs Stands for Ethereum Improvement Proposals. Describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards.

Elrond A cryptocurrency and blockchain platform designed to handle high volumes of transactions. The platform’s EGLD currency is called eGold, and Elrond also supports decentralized applications through the use of smart contracts.

Embark A framework that enables easy development and deployment of decentralized applications.

EOS A cryptocurrency designed to support large-scale applications. There are no fees to send or receive EOS. Instead, the protocol rewards the entities that run the network periodically with new EOS, effectively substituting inflation for transaction fees.

ERC Stands for Ethereum Request for Comments. Application-level standards for Ethereum and can include token standards, name registries, library/package formats, and more.

Ethereum A blockchain-based software platform that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications, aka dApps. It is like the Android or iOS of the crypto space. Besides providing decentralized processing facilities, Ethereum also has its own cryptocurrency called ether.

Ethereum Nodes Computers or servers that store, validate, and exchange data on the Ethereum network.

ethers.js A lightweight JavaScript library used as an alternative to web3.js to connect JavaScript front-end with smart contracts. It also aims to be a complete and compact library for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain and its ecosystem.

EVM Ethereum Virtual Machine is the runtime environment for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. All smart contracts and state changes on the Ethereum blockchain are executed by transactions. The EVM handles all of the transaction processing on the Ethereum network.

GameFi A combination of the terms gaming and decentralized finance (DeFi) and describes the integration of blockchain applications in the gaming sector for monetization purposes, among other things.

Ganache A personal blockchain for rapid Ethereum and Corda distributed application development. You can use Ganache across the entire development cycle; enabling you to develop, deploy, and test your dApps in a safe and deterministic environment.

Geth A command line interface for running Ethereum node implemented in Go Language.

Hardhat A development environment to compile, deploy, test, and debug Ethereum software. It helps developers manage and automate the recurring tasks that are inherent to the process of building smart contracts and dApps.

Hyperledger A global enterprise blockchain project that offers the necessary framework, standards, guidelines, and tools to build open-source blockchains and related applications for use across various industries.

Hyperledger Fabric An open source, permissioned blockchain framework. It is a modular, general-purpose framework that offers unique identity management and access control features, which make it suitable for a variety of industry applications such as track-and-trace of supply chains, trade finance, loyalty and rewards, as well as clearing and settlement of financial asset

Layer 1 A set of solutions that improve the base protocol itself to make the overall system a lot more scalable. There are two most common layer-1 solutions, and these are the consensus protocol changes as well as sharding.

Layer 2 Refers to a secondary framework or protocol that is built on top of an existing blockchain system. The main goal of these protocols is to solve the transaction speed and scaling difficulties that are being faced by the major cryptocurrency networks.

MetaMask A software cryptocurrency wallet used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to access their Ethereum wallet through a browser extension or mobile app, which can then be used to interact with decentralized applications

Mist fully synchronized wallet, which means that you have to download the entire Ethereum blockchain, which exceeds 1 TB. Mist is an Electron framework-based application that is used for the management of Ethereum wallet and Ethereum applications.

MythX Automatically scans for security vulnerabilities in Ethereum and other EVM-based blockchain smart contracts. MythX's comprehensive range of analysis techniques—including static analysis, dynamic analysis, and symbolic execution—can accurately detect security vulnerabilities to provide an in-depth analysis report.

NFTs Stand for a non-fungible token. A financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain, a form of distributed ledger. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded. NFTs typically contain references to digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.

OpenZeppelin A platform for building secure decentralized applications.

P2P Network A distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes.

Private Blockchain Permissioned blockchains controlled by a single organization. In a private blockchain, the central authority determines who can be a node.

Polkadot An open source, blockchain platform and cryptocurrency. It provides interconnectivity and interoperability between blockchains, by enabling independent chains to securely exchange messages and perform transactions with each other without trusted third-party.

Populus A smart contract development framework for Ethereum. According to their repo, they're the framework "with the most cute animal pictures".

PoS A cryptocurrency consensus mechanism that requires you to stake coins, or set them aside, to be randomly selected as a validator.

PoW Uses randomly selected miners to validate transactions. Proof of Work (POW) uses a competitive validation method to confirm transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.

Public Blockchain Completely open and follow the idea of decentralisation to the T. Bitcoin and Ethereum are both examples of public blockchains. Anyone in the network can access the chain and add blocks.

Quorum An open source blockchain protocol specially designed for use in a private blockchain network, where there is only a single member owning all the nodes, or, a consortium blockchain network, where multiple members each own a portion of the network.

Remix An open-source web and desktop application. It fosters a fast development cycle and has a rich set of plugins with intuitive GUIs. Remix is used for the entire journey of contract development as well as act as a playground for learning and teaching Ethereum.

Replit A coding platform that lets you write code and host apps. It also has many educational features built-in, making it great for teachers and learners too.

Ripple A blockchain-based digital payment network designed to serve the needs of the financial services industry.

Smart Contract A program stored on a blockchain that runs when predetermined conditions are met. Typically, smart contracts are used to automate the execution of an agreement so that all participants can be immediately certain of the outcome, without an intermediary’s involvement or time loss. They can also automate a workflow, triggering the next action when conditions are met.

SmartPy A high-level smart contract library in Python that offers a simple, intuitive and powerful syntax, enabling developers to easily define Michelson smart contracts for the Tezos blockchain.

Solana A public blockchain platform designed to host scalable applications which are decentralized. Its native cryptocurrency is SOL. Like the rest of the world’s most popular blockchains, Solana has a smart contract functionality.

Solidity An object-oriented, high-level programming language designed for developing smart contracts that run on the EVM.

Substrate A framework for building customized blockchains. These blockchains can be run entirely autonomously, which means they don't depend on any external technology to run.

TestRPC A fast and customizable blockchain emulator. It allows making calls to the blockchain without the overheads of running an actual Ethereum node.

Tezos A blockchain built to support and run decentralized applications and smart contracts.

Truffle A development environment, testing framework and asset pipeline for blockchains using the Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Vyper An experimental Python-like programming language for writing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

Waffle A library for writing and testing smart contracts.

web3.js A collection of libraries that allow one to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node using HTTP, IPC, or WebSocket.

Yellow Paper A document similar to that of the white paper that provides details about the project. It is a formal paper that presents a report on a topic or we can say while launching a new cryptocurrency coin, the complete details are written on a yellow paper.

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