16 Basic Cryptocurrency Terms You Need to Know

This article by Kelly Ebbert was originally published on NisonCo and appears here with permission.

Whether you’re just hacking into the crypto industry or you’ve been thinking about starting some cryptocurrency trading on the side, it’s a great move to familiarize yourself with the lingo of the digital land. 

If you’re a crypto enthusiast like me, you’re probably well aware of these terms. However, if you’re less familiar or in need of a review, we’ve got you covered. Take a peek at our glossary of crypto terms you need to know to get the ball rolling. Then, if you’re considering kicking off an SEO campaign, head on over to our crypto SEO keywords search phrases blog to get a real feel for what’s next. 


Altcoins refer to cryptocurrency coins that are not Bitcoin, as Bitcoin makes up the majority of the market share. 


Bitcoin is the first-ever digital currency not beholden to a central bank. 


Blockchain is a digital ledger that exists as a form of record-keeping. Blockchain records transactions and permanently chains them together in chronological order. Most importantly, it cannot be altered, providing the foundation for cryptocurrency’s legitimacy.


A cryptocurrency bubble occurs when a coin or token increasingly exceeds its real value. 

Buy the Dip (BTD)

Buy the Dip (BTD) refers to a reaction to a value declining in price, during which some will buy in for a “bargain” rate to profit if the price increases again.


Cryptocurrency, often referred to as “crypto,” is a digital currency that only exists electronically and records transactions on a decentralized system. Crypto can be used in transactions or stored long term. 

DeFi (Decentralized Finance)

DeFi is a type of financial system that expands blockchain capabilities. DeFi circumvents traditional financial institutions and intermediaries from the trading process, relying instead on smart contracts and cryptocurrency.


Ethereum is a DeFi blockchain platform that hosts cryptocurrencies such as Ether. Ethereum is the most-used blockchain and the largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.

Fiat Currency

Currency backed by a government, but not a tangible commodity like gold. Stablecoins are often attached to fiat currencies for increased legitimacy.


Gas is a fee paid by developers to conduct a transaction on Ethereum’s blockchain. Gas is paid in Ether. 

HODL (Hold on for Dear Life)

A known favorite in the crypto community. HODL is used to try and prevent folks from selling off a portion of their coins or tokens if the value dips.

NFT (Non-Fungible Token) 

NFTs are considered unique units of data that exist in a blockchain. NFTs are very popular among artists who host items such as photographs, audio recordings, or other digital collectibles.

Satoshi Nakamoto 

Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for the creator of Bitcoin and the first-ever blockchain database. No one knows Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity.


A type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to another asset such as fiat currency. This means its value is relatively stable compared to other types of crypto.


Tokens are a subset of cryptocurrency assets built on top of an existing blockchain.


Crypto wallets are apps that can store cryptocurrency acquired by the user which can then be used to exchange and perform transactions. 

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