Web3 is mired in a dizzying array of acronyms that make diving an uphill battle at first. I’m sure I won’t be able to list them all in one go but I opted to publish and iterate vs trying to check them all off the list. Hopefully, this helps you become more familiar with this exciting, dynamic space :)
Alpha: Intelligence, information, inside scoops, knowledge which might give you a leg up in crypto/NFTs/etc.
Cold Wallet: A wallet that stores assets. It is not connected to the internet which adds an additional layer of security. Ledger is a popular choice (http://ledger.refr.cc/patrick6)— this is a referral link to Ledger (if you buy one I get a tiny discount on future purchases I make from them)
DAO: Decentralized Autonomous Organization
Defi: Decentralized finance; financial entities that operate using smart contracts on blockchains that do not rely on central financial intermediaries (like banks)
Diamond Hands: Used to describe holding onto assets for the longer term even if there is pressure to sell
ERC 20, ERC 721, ERC 1155: Most common token standards on Ethereum (for things like NFTs) https://www.web3.university/article/comparing-erc-721-to-erc-1155#:~:text=Both%20allow%20you%20to%20be,(such%20as%20file%20names)
Fiat: Traditional currency like USD or EUR
FUD: Fear, uncertainty and doubt
Fungible: With many goods/assets, it’s not really important which one you have (one US dollar is basically the same as another US dollar). Non-fungible goods/assets mean that every individual good/asset is unique and that some are likely more valuable/different than others
Gas: Transaction fees to process things on a blockchain (like Ethereum) — gas fees are often suggested by a wallet or platform depending on the congestion of the network but you can opt to lower or raise them which may influence the speed (or certainty) with which your transaction is processed. It is not recommended to lower these too much or your transaction might fail. You can track current gas fees here: https://etherscan.io/gastracker
GM: Good morning (say it on Twitter or in your Discords for some community love)
Gwei: Gigawei (1,000,000,000 wei). Wei is the smallest unit of ether (similar to what a penny is relative to a dollar). Gas is measured in Gwei.
HODL: Hold on for dear life (an apt term for many things in this space)
Hot Wallet: An internet connected wallet that stores digital assets (crypto, NFTs). It’s wise to exercise caution with these and generally avoid holding too much value in them to help mitmigate against unnecessary risk exposure.
KYC: Know your customer. Many exchanges/wallets/platforms require you to verify your identity to help fight fraud, money laundering and other risks.
Minting: The process of creating a new block and recording information on the blockchain. This is a common part of participating in NFT drops. Many projects have a “mint” day where you process a transaction to bring your NFT to life (and into your wallet). Some platforms offer “lazy” minting which means the asset is only officially recorded on the blockchain when it is transferred or sold (an option on Rarible, OpenSea and more).
NFT: Non-fungible token (see fungible above). An NFT can be almost anything from a photo to a video to a song to simply a contractual record.
NGMI: Not gonna make it (often used to refer to individuals that make less-than-ideal decisions to buy/sell in the space)
Oracle: A third-party service that allows smart contracts to interface with outside information/data source (example: https://chain.link/)
Paper Hands: A tendency to flip/sell frequently and/or after small increases or decreases in value
Proof of Stake: A mining construct that states a miner can mine/validate block transactions based on how many coins they hold.
Proof of Work: A mining construct that achieves consensus through solving complex mathematical problems using computation to validate/achieve consensus on transactions.
Private Key: Think of this like the key to your house. You should take extreme care to protect these and never give them out to anyone.
Public Address: Think of this like your home address. It’s a semi-public record of your location on the blockchain(s).
Roadmap: Many NFT projects have a “roadmap” that lays out their plans for a project. It’s helpful to look at these with a critical eye. For example, a project that has materialized from nowhere that plans to accomplish a AAA VR gaming title in a year should raise red flags.
Smart Contract: A self-executing contract that spells out the terms for buyers and sellers in code that is recorded and distributed on the blockchain. The code of a smart contracts controls the execution of transactions. Transactions are trackable, immutable and irreversible.
Sniping: A tactic to identify and quickly scoop up NFT assets that are undervalued/underpriced. There are many tools for this but TraitSniper is a useful starting point: https://app.traitsniper.com
Staking: An arrangement where you agree to lock up your assets (cryptocurrency or NFTs) for a period of time in exchange for rewards (usually tokens or additional cryptocurrency or NFTs). Rewards for staking are similar to interest for keeping money in a savings account.
Token: A cryptographic entry that represents an NFT, payment/currency unit, trading asset, information holder, etc. (for a significantly more in-depth answer: https://www.coinbase.com/learn/crypto-basics/what-is-a-token)
Whitelist / Allow List: A method of access control that’s typically used to grant private access to a platform or experience (it’s often used for minting NFT projects)
WGMI: We’re all gonna make it (a supportive rallying cry)
If you have something you’d like to see added, shoot me an email at [email protected] I’ll continue to revisit and evolve this list over time.
First Published here