A Glossary of Terms

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2-Factor Authentication (2FA) 2-factor authentication (2FA) is a
second method of verification, beyond your password, to make your trades and
other transactions secure. There are multiple methods of 2FA, including
pieces of hardware (see U2F, below) and software like Google Authenticator.
Never enable text messages or phone calls as a method of 2FA. This is one of
the worst possible security practices because hackers are very skilled at
calling your phone company, convincing them that they’re you, and then using
text-message or phone-call 2FA to access your accounts.
Actuals Commodities on hand, ready for
shipment, storage and manufacture.
Address Cryptocurrency addresses are used to
send or receive transactions on the network. An address usually presents
itself as a string of alphanumeric characters.
All-or-None (AON) Order An all-or-none (AON) order will be
filled only if it can be executed in its entirety; it’s like an FOK order,
but without the time limit. This can be useful if you’re trying to ensure
that you get a certain price point for all of a moderate-sized order.
All-Time High (ATH) ATH is shorthand for all-time high,
the highest price that an asset has ever had. A common fear in trading crypto
is that FOMO will lead one to irrationally buy an asset at or near its ATH.
All-Time Low (ATL) ATL is an acronym for all-time low,
the lowest price that an asset has ever had. Traders often fear that
emotional forces like FUD will lead them to sell off an asset at or near its
Altcoin “Altcoin” is a term primarily used by
Bitcoin maximalists, proponents of Bitcoin who think that
it is superior to all other cryptocurrencies. They use this term to denote
any and all cryptocurrencies that are not BTC.
Arbitrage Arbitrage is the strategy of
profiting by simultaneously buying and selling an asset in order to take
advantage of market inefficiencies by the same asset being priced differently
in different places. Especially in this early stage of cryptocurrency’s
history, where liquidity varies widely from one exchange to the next, there
are numerous opportunities to exploit pricing differences between exchanges
to profit through arbitrage.
ASIC Cryptocurrency addresses are used to
send or receive transactions on the network. An address usually presents
itself as a string of alphanumeric characters.
Ask A motion to sell (offer), indicating
a willingness to sell a futures contract at a given price.
Ask Price The ask price for a given asset is
the minimum price for which someone is willing to sell that asset. You can
think of this as the “demand” side of “supply and demand.”
At the market An order to buy or sell at the best price possible at the time an order reaches the trading pit.
At the money In options, when the strike price equals the price of the underlying futures.
Bag holder A bag holder is an informal term for
someone who holds an asset that continually decreases in value, to the point
of being worthless. In the cryptocurrency space, this term is sometimes used
pejoratively to refer to people who continue to hold onto an asset due to
faith alone, long after all indicators point to the unlikelihood of its value
ever increasing.
Base Metals: metals that oxidize or corrode
relatively easily, and react variably with diluted hydrochloric acid (HCl) to
form hydrogen. Examples include aluminum, nickel, lead, tin and zinc.
Basis The difference between the price of a
futures contract and the underlying commodity’s spot (or cash) price.
Basis grade Specified grade, or grades. named in
the exchange’s futures contract. Other grades deliverable are subject to
price differentials from the basis or “contract” grade.
Bear Trap A bear trap is the opposite of a bull
trap: It’s a false signal that a cryptocurrency’s price is about to fall,
when it is actually about to rise. It can trick bearish investors into
shorting the cryptocurrency or selling off their position in it. This often
happens when it appears as if a cryptocurrency is about to break through a
particular support level, but the support level ends up holding instead.
Bear Trend A bear trend is a long-term decline
in the overall cryptocurrency market. “Long-term” usually means at least a
few months (e.g., the bear trend beginning in mid-January of this year), and
is represented by indicators like a negatively sloped MA.
Bearish an investor believes a stock will go
down, or underperform
Bid refers to the price a market maker
will pay for a security; it’s the price an investor would receive if selling
the security
Bid Price The bid price for a given asset is
the maximum price that someone is willing to pay for that asset. You can
think of this as the “demand” side of “supply and demand.”
Bid-Ask Spread The bid-ask spread is the difference
between the bid price and ask price for a given asset. This spread is the
profit that market makers earn by buying and selling the asset on behalf of
investors. As an asset’s liquidity increases, this spread decreases
Bitcoin (BTC) Bitcoin (BTC), conceived in a whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008,
was the first modern cryptocurrency that paved the way for the larger cryptocurrency
ecosystem. It is still the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Its primary
use cases are a form of digital currency and as a digital store of value.
Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Cash (BCH) forked from the
Bitcoin network in August of 2017. Its developer team forked it with the
intention of focusing more exclusively on the use case of a cheap, fast,
convenient form of widely accepted digital cash.
Bitcoin SV Bitcoin SV (BSV, “Satoshi Vision”)
forked from Bitcoin Cash’s blockchain in November 2018. Its creation was the
result of a disagreement over Bitcoin Cash’s direction: the Bitcoin SV
developers believe that their version of the cryptocurrency best reflects
Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of what Bitcoin should be, as outlined in
the Bitcoin white paper, Nakamoto’s forum posts, and Nakamoto’s emails.
Bitcoin SV rejected certain updates adopted by the main Bitcoin Cash chain,
including the introduction of code supporting smart contracts and canonical
transaction ordering.
Black Swan A black swan event is something that
is virtually impossible to predict and has a huge impact on the market. A
standard example of a black swan event was Zimbabwe’s peak inflation rate of
almost 80 billion percent back in 2008. Part of responsible risk management
in trading involves considering the possibility of these
impossible-to-predict, marketwide changes — especially in an extremely
volatile market such as crypto. Why call this kind of unpredictable event a
“black swan”? It pays homage to the idiosyncratic history of humankind’s
knowledge of swans. Back in the 2nd century, the Roman poet Juvenal coined
the phrase “rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” to identify something
as impossible. In English, this means “a rare bird in the lands and very much
like a black swan” — a bird that, at the time, was thought to not exist.
17th-century Europeans commonly used this phrase to call something out as
impossible — until, that is, Willem de Vlamingh and his team of Dutch
explorers discovered black swans in Western Australia in 1697. No longer was
the black swan a symbol of impossibility: instead, it evolved into a symbol
of something seemingly impossible that could later become a reality. Nassim
Nicholas Taleb popularized the term’s use with regard to financial markets in
his 2001 book, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in
the Markets.
Block Blocks are packages of data that
carry permanently recorded data on the blockchain network.
Block Height The block height is just the number
of blocks connected together in the block chain. Height 0 for example refers
to the very first block, called the “genesis block.”
Block Reward When a block is successfully mined on
the bitcoin network, there is a block reward that helps incentivize miners to
secure the network. The block reward is part of a “coinbase” transaction
which may also include transaction fees. The block rewards halves roughly
every four years; see also “halving.”
Blockchain A blockchain is a shared ledger where
transactions are permanently recorded by appending blocks. The blockchain
serves as a historical record of all transactions that ever occurred, from
the genesis block to the latest block, hence the name blockchain.
Bollinger Bands Bollinger Bands — named after their
developer, trader John Bollinger — are the lines two standard deviations
above and below an asset’s simple moving average. They’re commonly used as
indicators in technical analysis:
Breaking A quick decline In price.
Brent Crude Brent crude is a crude oil sourced
from the North Sea (between Great Britain and Scandinavia). Brent crude is a
light sweet crude oil, though not as light or sweet as the West Texas
Intermediate (WTI). It contains approximately 0.37% of sulphur. Brent crude
is suitable for production of gasoline and middle distillates.
Broker An individual or firm that arranges
transactions between a buyer and a seller, and gets commissions when the deal
is executed. In commodity futures trading, the term may refer to: (1) Floor
Broker – a person who actually executes orders on the trading floor of an
exchange; (2) Account Executive or Associated Person – the person who deals
with customers in the offices of Futures Commission Merchants; or (3) the
Futures Commission Merchant.
Bull Trap A bull trap is a false signal that a
cryptocurrency’s price is about to rise, when it is actually about to fall.
It gets its name from the fact that it ends up trapping bullish traders in
bad trades.A typical example of a bull trap is when a cryptocurrency looks
like it is about to break through a certain resistance level but subsequently
fails to do so.
Bull Trend A bull trend is a long-term, upward
trend in the overall cryptocurrency market. How different people specifically
define it varies, but it’s typically on the order of months or years rather
than days or weeks, and it’s associated with indicators like a positively
sloped moving average (MA).
Bullion Precious metals that are traded based
on their intrinsic metal value. Bullion may be in the form of bars, plates,
ingots and coin.
Bullish an investor believes that a stock or
the overall market will go higher
Buy on close To buy at the end of the trading
session at a price within the closing range.
Buy on opening To buy at the beginning of a trading
session at a price within the opening range.
Buy the Dips “Buy the dips” is a motto reflecting
the philosophy that one should buy a cryptocurrency when its price has
significantly dropped, with the expectation that it will bounce back
eventually (especially if the cryptocurrency has compelling underlying
value). It’s the second half of Warren Buffett’s timeless advice: “Be fearful
when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”
Buy Wall A buy wall is basically the opposite
of a sell wall: a large number of buy orders, typically placed on the order
book all at once. There are at least a couple of reasons why HNWIs would put
up a sell wall. One is to ensure that the cryptocurrency’s price doesn’t drop
below the position of the sell wall (since anyone else who wants to buy the
cryptocurrency quickly will have to execute their trade at a price higher
than that of the sell wall). Another is to try to drive the cryptocurrency’s
price up before the HNWIs sell some or all of their position in it.
Call An option that gives the buyer the
right to a long position in the underlying futures at a specific price; the
call writer (seller) may be assigned a short position in the underlying
futures if the buyer exercises the call.
Candlestick Chart one of the ways to view or present a
chart. The Candlestick Chart indicates the opening and closing price in a
chosen date range; if the close price is higher than the open price, then
that area of the candlestick is not shaded, and vice versa if the open price is
higher than the close price.
Candlesticks Candlesticks are a graphical
representation of an asset’s trading history. They’re often used in technical
analysis because the shapes of candles are thought to be useful indicators of
where an asset’s price might be heading next. Different candlestick charts
use candlesticks to represent different amounts of time. For instance, on a
1-hour candlestick chart, each candlestick represents a trading period of 1
hour, whereas the candlesticks on a 15-minute chart represent trading periods
of 15 minutes. The color of a candle indicates whether the asset closed at a
higher or lower price than its open price for the period of time that the
candle represents: A “bullish” green candle indicates that the asset closed
higher than it opened, and vice versa for “bearish” red candles. The top and
bottom of a candle’s true body indicate the open and close prices of the
asset. The top of a bullish candle is the price at which it closed the
period, and its bottom is the price at which it opened the period; vice versa
for bearish candles. A candle’s shadows — the lines protruding from the top
and bottom of its true body — indicate the maximum and minimum price of the
asset during the candle’s period.
Cash Commodity The actual physical commodity.
Sometimes called a spot commodity or actuals.
casper Casper is a protected and reliable
utility for DApp based on Ethereum platform. It is the fastest way to ensure
your DApp stores data, i.e., video, photo, audio, text, databases. It is implemented
by joint effort of a variety of vendors, which provide their hard drives and
internet-channels for storing and transferring your files. They will rent
their facilities in exchange for monthly reward, such as tokens. Vendors may
choose to become local data centers, which will ensure a higher access rate
and low response time for all users, both individual and companies.
CFD (Contract for Difference) an object of a electronic transaction
based on the price fluctuation of an underlying asset (e.g. stock or futures
CFTC Commodities Future
Trading Commission
Circulating supply An approximation of the number of
coins or tokens that are circulating in the public market. See also: total
supply and maximum supply.
Coin A coin is a unit of digital value.
When describing cryptocurrencies, they are built using the bitcoin technology
and have no other value unlike tokens which have the potential of software
being built with them.
Cold Storage Cold storage is any kind of cryptocurrency
wallet that is offline — e.g., a paper wallet or hardware wallet that is not
connected to the internet. They’re thought to be especially secure because
your private keys are kept away from places where hackers or other entities
can find them. But they can also be harder to recover if you forget or lose
your information (since, oftentimes, no one else has that information).
Commodities Exchange an institution, organization, or
association that serves as a market for trading various commodities and
derivatives products.
Commodity An article of commerce or a product
that can be used for commerce. In a narrow sense, products traded on an
authorized commodity exchange. The types of commodities include agricultural
products, metals, petroleum, foreign currencies, and financial instruments
and indexes, to name a few.
Confluence Confluence is the presence of
multiple indicators or analytical methods all indicating the same upcoming
movement in an asset’s price. This is a way of mitigating trading risk by
waiting for multiple signals all forecasting the same thing, rather than just
trading on the basis of a single indicator.
Contagion Contagion refers to a disturbance
that spreads from one market to another and has the potential to disrupt
trading strategies that focus too heavily on market correlations. For
example, one might try to profit by watching a pair of tightly correlated
cryptocurrencies, waiting for one of them to have a disproportionately low
price, and then buying that disproportionately cheap cryptocurrency, with the
expectation that its price will rise and restore the correlation between the
pair. But if this is a case of contagion, the entire crypto market might be
heading for a dip, meaning that one will have lost money by taking a long position
on the disproportionately cheap cryptocurrency.
Contract Unit of trading for a financial or
commodity future. Also, actual bilateral agreement between the parties (buyer
and seller) of a futures or options on futures transaction as defined by an
futures exchange.
Cryptoasset Cryptoassets are assets in the form
of a digital token, secured by cryptography and built on blockchain
technology. The term refers to the token itself rather than the software upon
which it is built. For example, Ethereum’s cryptoasset is ether (ETH). In
some cases, including Bitcoin, the software and the cryptoasset bear the same
name — for those currencies, you can distinguish between them because the
name of the software is capitalized (“Bitcoin”) while the cryptoasset is written
in all lowercase (“bitcoin,” or “BTC”).
Cryptocurrency Also known as tokens,
cryptocurrencies are representations of digital assets.
CTA Commodity Trading Advisor
Daily Trading Limit The maximum price range set by the
exchange each day for a contract. A Trading Limit does not halt trading, but
rather, limits how far the price can move in a given day.
Dapp A decentralised application (Dapp) is
an application that is open source, operates autonomously, has its data
stored on a blockchain, incentivised in the form of cryptographic tokens and
operates on a protocol that shows proof of value.
Day Trading Day trading is like swing trading but
with a higher trade frequency. As the name suggests, day traders trade
multiple times per day, typically trying to routinely profit from small
fluctuations in a market.
Decentralized Cryptocurrencies use decentralized
control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking
systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through a
blockchain, which is a public transaction database, functioning as a
distributed ledger.
Decentralized applications (dApps) For an application to be considered a
Dapp or decentralized application it must meet the following criteria (1)
Application must be completely open-source, it must operate autonomously, and
with no entity controlling the majority of its tokens. The application may
adapt its protocol in response to proposed improvements and market feedback,
but all changes must be decided by consensus of its users. (2) Application
data and records of operation must be cryptographically stored in a public,
decentralized blockchain in order to avoid any central points of failure. (3)
The application must use a cryptographic token (bitcoin or a token native to
its system) which is necessary for access to the application, and any
contribution of value from miners/farmers should be rewarded with the
application’s tokens. (4) The application must generate tokens according to a
standard cryptographic algorithm acting as a proof of the value nodes are
contributing to the application (Bitcoin uses the Proof of Work Algorithm)
Delivery The transfer of the cash commodity
from the seller of a futures contract to the buyer of a futures contract.
Each futures exchanges has specific procedures for delivery of a cash
commodity. Some futures contracts, such as stock index contracts, are cash
Depth Depth refers to the ability of a
market for a specific asset to sustain large orders of that asset without the
asset’s price moving significantly. The more open limit orders there are on
both sides of an exchange’s order book for an asset, the more depth that book
has. Depth is also closely tied to liquidity: The more depth an order book
for an asset has, the more liquidity the order book provides to that asset.
Derivative Financial instrument derived from a
cash market commodity, futures contract, or other financial instrument.
Differentials The premiums paid for the grades
better than the basis grade and the discounts allowed for grades lower than
the basis grades. These differentials are fixed by the contract terms on most
Digital asset  digital asset is digitally
stored content or an online account owned by an individual.
Digital commodity is a scarce, electronically
transferrable, intangible, with a market value.
Digital identity A digital identity is an online or
networked identity adopted or claimed in cyberspace by an individual,
organization, or electronic device.
Digital Signature A digital code generated by public
key encryption that is attached to an electronically transmitted document to
verify its contents and the sender’s identity.
Distributed Ledger Distributed ledgers are ledgers in
which data is stored across a network of decentralized nodes. A distributed
ledger does not have to have its own currency and may be permissioned and
Distributed Network A type of network where processing
power and data are spread over the nodes rather than having a centralised
data centre.
Diversification Generally speaking, diversification
is a method of managing the overall level of risk in your portfolio by
investing in a range of assets that aren’t perfectly correlated with each
other, securing better profits (on average), and minimizing the risk of
losses. It can be hard to diversify within the crypto sector at this early
stage of its existence, but there are a few rules of thumb that are good to
Dollar-Cost Averaging Dollar-cost averaging is the strategy
of buying a particular dollar amount of an asset on a regular schedule, e.g.,
X amount every hour or X amount every day. The idea behind this strategy,
which plays well with HODLing, is to gradually take on a position in an asset
like Bitcoin in a way that resists the short-term swings of the market.
Encryption Encryption is the process of turning
a clear-text message (plaintext) into a data stream (cipher-text), which
looks like a meaningless and random sequence of bits.
Energy Commodities Energy-generating products. Those
include electricity, crude oil, ethanol, natural gas, crude oil distillates (
gasoline, gasoil, kerosene, diesel, heating oil) and coal.
ERC-20 This means that almost all of the
wallets which support the ether currency also support ERC-20 compliant
tokens. ERC-20 is technically still in draft form, meaning that it has gone
unenforced by the broader Ethereum community.
Ether Ethereum is a blockchain-based
decentralised platform for apps that run smart contracts, and is aimed at
solving issues associated with censorship, fraud and third party
Ethereum Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest
cryptocurrency by market cap, was proposed by Vitalik Buterin in a 2013 white
paper. This blockchain is intended to function as a kind of global,
decentralized computer, with a Turing-complete programming language and a
layer of smart contracts that allow developers to create everything from
decentralized applications to tokens powering ICOs.
Ethereum Classic Ethereum Classic was created in the
wake of the DAO hack, which resulted in the theft of 3.6 million ETH. While
the majority of Ethereum stakeholders voted to rewrite the blockchain to
erase the results of the hack, a vocal minority argued that doing so would
undermine the entire concept of blockchain by violating its immutability.
This minority refused to accept the revised code and became the Ethereum
Classic currency. From these beginnings, Ethereum Classic has developed into
something like a more conservative version of Ethereum, focused on
immutability above all else.
Exchanges An exchange is a marketplace where
people are able to buy and sell assets. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE),
for example, is a place where people are able to buy and sell stocks. There
are a number of cryptocurrency exchanges set up today and that number is
increasing all the time. All cryptocurrency exchanges are not created equal.
Different exchanges let you buy and sell different cryptocurrencies;
different exchanges set different prices for their listed cryptocurrencies;
and different exchanges have different volumes of trades happening on them,
which changes how easy it is to buy or sell cryptocurrency efficiently.
Ferrous Metals metals that contain iron. Ferrous
metals include steel, stainless steel, pig iron, iron ore and iron oxide.
Fiat currency Any money declared by a government to
be to be valid for meeting a financial obligation, like USD or EUR
Fill-or-Kill (FOK) Order A fill-or-kill (FOK) order is similar
to an IOC order, except it cannot be partially filled: It must be filled in
its entirety immediately; otherwise, it is cancelled. If you’re trying to
execute a large order on multiple exchanges, this is a good way to test the
order on all of those exchanges to see if it goes through, without needing to
manually cancel the orders that aren’t immediately filled.
Flipping A type of investment strategy
(popular in real estate investing) where you buy something with the goal of
reselling for a profit later, usually in a short period of time. In the
context of ICOs, flipping refers to the strategy of investing in tokens
before they are listed on the exchanges and reselling them for a profit when
they are trading in the secondary market.
FOMO Fear of missing out (“FOMO”) is
modern slang for a timeless, irrational behaviour: worrying that you’re
missing out on a great opportunity and therefore jumping into an investment.
In the cryptocurrency space, otherwise inexplicable influxes of buyers have
been attributed to FOMO.
fork Forks create an alternate version of
the blockchain, leaving two blockchains to run simultaneously on different
parts of the network.
Forward Contract non-standardized contract between two
parties that establishes the price of a commodity to be delivered at a
specific date in the future.
FUD Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (“FUD”)
is modern slang for the “opposite” of FOMO: irrationally worrying that a
particular investment or sector might collapse. In the cryptocurrency space,
otherwise inexplicable sell-offs have been attributed to FUD.
Full node A full node is a node that fully
enforces all of the rules of the blockchain
Fundamental Analysis (FA) Fundamental analysis (FA) is a
trading strategy that emphasizes trading based on the intrinsic value of the
asset. Traders consider a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data in
an attempt to determine this intrinsic value. Especially in these early days
of crypto, a lot of fundamental analysis amounts to trying to determine which
cryptocurrencies have compelling long-term value propositions rather than
being mere get-rich-quick schemes.
Future funds Usually limited partnerships for
investors who prefer to participate in the futures market by buying shares in
a fund managed by professional traders or commodity trading advisors.
Futures Contract A legally binding agreement, made on
the trading floor of a futures exchange, to buy or sell a commodity or
financial instrument sometime in the future. Futures contracts are
standardized according to the quality, quantity, and delivery time and
Futures Exchange A central marketplace with
established rules and regulations where buyers and sellers meet to trade
futures and options on futures contracts.
Gap significant difference between the
two consecutive quotes; may be shown on charts as a blank field between bars
or candles when the time period between the two quotes covers the bars or
candlestick’s close time.
Gas Gas is a unit of measuring the
computational work of running transactions or smart contracts in the Ethereum
network. This system is similar to the use of kilowatts (kW) for measuring
electricity in your house; the electricity you use isn’t measured in dollars
and cents but instead through kWH or Kilowatts per hour.
Gas limit Gas limit refers to the maximum
amount of gas you’re willing to spend on a particular transaction. A higher
gas limits mean that more computational work must be done to execute the
smart contract. A standard ETH transfer requires a gas limit of 21,000 units
of gas.
Gas price Gas price refers to an internal price
that is paid for running a transaction or a contract on the Ethereum network.
Gasoline also known as petrol, is a liquid
mixture obtained by the process of fractional distillation directly from
crude oil.
Github GitHub is a web-based version-control
and collaboration platform for software developers.
Going Long Going long on a cryptocurrency means
that you’re buying it with the expectation of selling it at a higher price
(without hedging). It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be holding your
position for a long time, though: Day traders “go long” when they buy a stock
and sell it for a higher price an hour later.
Going short To go short on a currency means that
you sell it, hoping for a decline in the market price. A short position is
usually expressed in terms of the base currency.
Good till Canceled (GTC) An order worked by a broker until it
can be filled or until canceled. (see Open Order)
Gorilla Trades Gorilla trade are designed for
executing large trades without inadvertently moving the market. This method
of trade finds the best way to execute a large order by only showing smaller
pieces of it on the order book, preventing it from getting buried deep in the
order book. It’s best used when there are medium levels of activity in the
Gwei Gwei is a denomination of ether
(ETH), the cryptocoin used on the the Ethereum network.1 Ether = 1,000,000,000 Gwei (109)
Haircutting When securities such as stocks and
bonds are used as the investment margin, they are discounted at a percentage
to determine their collateral value. Discounting these securities by a
certain percentage to determine their margin value is referred to as
hard cap A hard cap is the absolute upper
limit a team will take in a fundrasing goal
Hard Commodities the ones extracted through mining.
Those include precious metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum),
non-ferrous or base metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, zinc), ferrous
metals (iron ore, steel), minor metals (cobalt, molybdenum, magnesium,
sylicon, titanium, etc.), rare earth metals (cerium, praseodymium, neodymium,
promethium, terbium, dysprosium, etc.) and uranium.
hard fork A type of fork that renders
previously invalid transactions valid, and vice versa. This type of fork
requires all nodes and users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol
Hardware Wallet A hardware wallet is a unit of
security-audited hardware that stores your private keys and allows you to
send, receive, and store cryptocurrency. They’re thought to be some of the
most reliable, safest storage solutions available. At the moment, Trezor and
Ledger are the leading hardware wallets out there.
Hashcash 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).
Hedge The purchase or sale of a futures
contract as a temporary substitute for a cash market transaction to be made
at a later date. Usually it involves opposite positions in the cash market
and futures market at the same time.
Hedging The practice of offsetting the price
risk inherent in any cash market position by taking an equal but opposite
position in the futures market. Hedgers use the futures markets to protect their
businesses from adverse price changes. See Selling (Short) Hedge and
Purchasing (Long) Hedge.
Hedging Hedging is an action you take to
mitigate the risk of a trade. For example, if Bitcoin’s candlestick chart is
suggesting that the market is very indecisive, and you think the price is
about to go up, you might buy some more BTC while simultaneously shorting a
correlated asset (e.g., ETH). Neglecting to hedge is one of the easiest ways
to overexpose yourself to risk — especially if you’re day trading.
Henry Hub Natural Gas the pricing point for natural gas
futures contracts traded on the NYMEX
High-Net-Worth Individual (HNWI) A high-net-worth individual (HNWI),
broadly speaking, is a person who trades large enough amounts of an asset
that the trades can move the market for that asset. HNWIs can be formally
defined in a number of ways, but a common method of identifying them is
seeing whether they qualify as an accredited investor: a person or entity
who, according to the SEC under Regulation D, has a reduced need for the
protection of regulatory disclosure filings due to this person or entity’s
financial sophistication.
HODL The term “HODL” comes from when
Bitcoin forum user GameKyuubi drunkenly misspelled that he was holding
Bitcoin in December of 2013, despite its price crashing. HODL has become
synonymous with the “trading” philosophy of buying Bitcoin (or other
cryptocurrencies) and holding it indefinitely. The rationale behind this
philosophy varies. Many who are entering the space with little trading
experience believe that they will make more money in the long run by holding
than they would by trying to catch the highs and lows of the market. Others —
true Bitcoin maximalists, for example — believe that cryptocurrencies will
ultimately replace fiat currencies, in which case it would be irrational to
sell any cryptocurrency for fiat.
Hot Storage Hot storage is any kind of
cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet — for example, a web
wallet or mobile wallet. They are typically thought to be the least safe
wallets because they are susceptible to hacks, though they’re also usually
easier to recover than cold-storage wallets if you forget your password —
provided that the company providing the wallet also provides a password reset
Chaincode Chaincode is a program, written in
Go, node.js, and eventually in other programming languages such as Java, that
implements a prescribed interface.
Iceberg Order An iceberg order is a very large
order that’s been divided into a large number of smaller limit orders in
order to hide the overall quantity being bought or sold, with the hope of
avoiding moving the market with your trade. It’s called an iceberg because
the amount of crypto you see in the order is just the tip of the iceberg.
Immediate-or-Cancel (IOC) Order An immediate-or-cancel (IOC) order
must be filled immediately, and any portion of it that cannot be filled
immediately is cancelled. If you think the crypto market is just about to
dip, and you want to get as much of your BTC stack as possible out right now,
before the dip, this order type is a natural choice.
In the money In call options, when the strike
price is below the price of the underlying futures. In put options, when the
strike price is above the price of the underlying futures. In-the-money
options are the most expensive options because the premium includes intrinsic
Index futures Futures contracts based on indexes
such as the S&P 500 or Value Line Index. These are cash settlement
Initial coin offering (ICO) ICOs are types of crowdfunding
mechanisms conducted on the blockchain. Originally, the main idea of an ICO
was to fund new projects by pre-selling coins/tokens to investors interested
in the project. Entrepreneurs present a whitepaper describing the business
model and the technical specifications of a project before the ICO. They lay
out a timeline for the project and set a target budget where they describe
the future funds spending (marketing, R&D, etc.) as well as coin
distribution (how many coins are they going to keep for themselves, token
supply, etc.). During the crowdfunding campaign, investors purchase tokens with
already established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Initial Margin The minimum value on deposit in your
account to establish a new futures or options position, or to add to an
existing position. Initial margin amount levels differ by contract.
Lind-Waldock sets the level of Initial Margin required, and it may change at
any time at Lind-Waldock’s discretion. Increases or decreases in Initial Margin
levels reflect anticipated or actual changes in market volatility. Also
called “Initial Performance Bond.”
Intrinsic value For in-the-money call and put
options, the difference between the strike price and the underlying futures
Ledger is an append-only record store, where
records are immutable and may hold more general information than financial
Leverage Leverage is the additional buying
power created by margin trading, allowing you to effectively pay less than
full price for an asset using borrowed funds. Leverage is typically
represented as a ratio: for example, if you have $10,000 in a trading account
and borrow another $10,000, then you have 2:1 leverage.
Lightning Network A low latency, off chain P2P system
for making micropayments of cryptocurrencies. It offers features such as
instant payments, scalability, low cost and cross-chain functionality.
Participants do not have to make individual transactions public on the
blockchain and security is enforced by smart contracts.
Limit Order A limit order is an agreement that
you make with an exchange to execute a trade only at a certain price point or
better. If that price point ends up never being reached, your order may never
be executed. Limit orders also allow you to set a time limit on the order,
after which the trade won’t be executed at all.
Liquid A characteristic of a security or
commodity market with enough units outstanding to allow large transactions
without a substantial change in price. Institutional investors are inclined
to seek out liquid investments so that their trading activity will not
influence the market price.
Liquidity Liquidity, roughly speaking, is a
measure of how easy it is to convert an asset into cash quickly and without
loss. The easier this is, the more liquid an asset is. One facilitator of
liquidity in the cryptocurrency trading world is the presence of many
different limit orders creating depth in an exchange’s order book.
Litecoin Litecoin (LTC) is a “clone” of
Bitcoin released in 2011 by Charles Lee, but with a larger pool of total
coins, shorter block processing times, and a different hashing algorithm. Lee
believed that BTC was better suited to be a store of value, like gold, rather
than a true currency. He created LTC to be the digital equivalent of silver:
it’s in the same asset class as Bitcoin’s digital gold, but LTC is designed
to be less valuable and easier to transact with.
MACD Moving average convergence divergence
(MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship
between two moving averages of prices. The MACD is calculated by subtracting
the 26-day exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-day EMA. A nine-day
EMA of the MACD, called the “signal line”, is then plotted on top
of the MACD, functioning as a trigger for buy and sell signals.
Margin Trading Margin trading is the practice of
buying an asset using funds borrowed from a broker. This is a risky method of
trading because, if the assets end up decreasing in value, the trader can be
left in significant debt — it’s possible to lose more money than one initially
Mark to Market The practice of crediting or debiting
a trader’s account based on the daily closing prices of the futures contracts
he is long or short.
Market cap Market Cap is the amount of Fiat
money (USD, GBP etc) currently invested into a Cryptocurrency.
Market Makers Contrary to some increasingly common
colloquial uses of the term, a “market maker” is not someone who is rich
enough to move the entire market with their trades. Rather, a market maker is
an entity who provides liquidity to an exchange by placing limit orders on
its order book so that trades can be made at a range of prices. Many
exchanges provide rebates to makers for this added liquidity.
Market Order A market order is what happens when
you make an agreement with an exchange to buy or sell a certain amount of an
asset immediately at the best available price. Depending on the size of your
order and the trading volume on the exchange, this can end up giving you an
extremely suboptimal price, though it allows you to execute your trade
Mining Mining is the act of validating
blockchain transactions. The necessity of validation warrants an incentive
for the miners, usually in the form of coins. In this cryptocurrency boom,
mining can be a lucrative business when done properly. By choosing the most
efficient and suitable hardware and mining target, mining can produce a
stable form of passive income.
Moon In crypto slang, “moon” has multiple
connotations. Most simply, a cryptocurrency going “to the moon” refers to its
price skyrocketing, either in the short-term because of some kind of
announcement/market sentiment, or in the long-term because of the
cryptocurrency’s real value. “Moon lambos” are the lavish cars that some
intend to buy once their crypto holdings go to the moon. They are not
Lamborghinis that one drives on the moon. Sometimes, though, there’s also a
bit of derisiveness behind the use of the term “moon”: It can be used to
refer to people who are undereducated about the crypto space and are merely
buying up coins with the expectation of making a quick, huge profit. This
kind of subtle mockery is typically what’s happening when people post “when
moon?” on crypto traders’ discussion forums.
Moving Average (MA) A moving average is a method used in
technical analysis to smooth out smaller fluctuations in an asset’s price:
It’s the average price of an asset over a number of periods of a given
length. Moving averages come in different varieties, but the most common
types are the exponential moving average, which determines the average price
of an asset while giving more weight to more recent prices, and the simple
moving average, which determines the average price of an asset without any
time bias.
Multi Signature Multi-signature addresses provide an
added layer of security by requiring more than one key to authorize a
Multi-signature (multisig) 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.
Multisignature (Multisig) Multisignature (multisig) refers to
cryptocurrency transactions that require more than one signature to be
approved. This has lots of applications, but its primary utility when it
comes to trading is 2-factor authentication: If you have 2FA enabled, then
each “factor” — e.g., your password and U2F — is a signature that’s required
before your trade can be executed.
Natural Gas gas composed mainly by methane.
Node A node is any computer that connects
to the blockchain network.
OTC Trades Over-the-counter (‘OTC’) trades are
how many high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors make their especially
large trades: they use a broker who directly connects them with an entity
willing to buy or sell the asset in question at a particular price. This is
intended to avoid losing money by executing a trade so large that it moves
the market.
Out-of-the-money Option calls with strike prices above
the price of the underlying futures, and puts with strike prices below the
price of the underlying futures.
Over The Counter (OTC) describes any transaction that is not
conducted via an exchange.
Paper Wallet A paper wallet — named such because
it is often literally printed on a piece of paper — is a cryptocurrency
wallet generated by a site like bitcoinpaperwallet.com. It’s a combination of
a private key and public key that’s totally offline, making it secure against
theft but also virtually impossible to recover if lost.
Peer to Peer Peer to Peer (P2P) refers to the
decentralized interactions between two parties or more in a
highly-interconnected network. Participants of a P2P network deal directly
with each other through a single mediation point.
Penny-jumping Penny-jumping is a strategy used to
front-run large orders, typically executed by trading bots. For example, if a
trader issues a large BTC buy limit order at $5,000 per coin, then the bot
may place an order at $5,000.01. If the price of BTC goes down, it sells back
to the big buy order. But if the price of BTC rises, the bot’s order fills
above the big order on the order book and can sell at a profit if the big
order is re-entered at a higher price.
Pit An octagonal platform on the trading
floor of an exchange, consisting of steps upon which traders and brokers
stand while trading (If circular. called a “ring”).
Polar Bear Trades Polar bear trades are designed to
optimize the price on large orders. It is a hidden order that automatically
trades on the top of an order book once a set limit price is reached. It’s
best used with thin spreads and small quantities on the top of the order
Pool As part of bitcoin mining, mining
“pools” are a network of miners that work together to mine a block, then
split the block reward among the pool miners. Mining pools are a good way for
miners to combine their resources to increase the probability of mining a
block, and also contribute to the overall health and decentralization of the
bitcoin network.
Position A market commitment. A buyer of an
initial futures contract is said to have a long position and, conversely, a
seller of an initial futures contract is said to have a short position.
Post-Only Order Post-only orders are something like
the opposite of an FOK order: They are accepted only if they do not
immediately execute. This prevents the order from taking liquidity out of the
market, and it typically allows traders to earn some kind of rebate or fee
associated with acting as a market maker.
Pre-sale A sale that takes place before an ICO
is made available to the general public to participate.
Precious Metals rare naturally-occurring elements of
high economic value. This category includes gold, silver, platinum and
Premium The market value of a coin less the
intrinsic value of its metal content.
Private Key A private key is a string of data
that allows you to access the tokens in a specific wallet. They act as
passwords that are kept hidden from anyone but the owner of the address.
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 (PoS) A consensus distribution algorithm
that rewards earnings based on the number of coins you own or hold. The more
you invest in the coin, the more you gain by mining with this protocol.
proof of Work (PoW) A consensus distribution algorithm
that requires an active role in mining data blocks, often consuming
resources, such as electricity. The more ‘work’ you do or the more
computational power you provide, the more coins you are rewarded with.
Protocols sets of formal rules describing how
to transmit or exchange data, especially across a network
Public Address A public address is the cryptographic
hash of a public key. They act as email addresses that can be published
anywhere, unlike private keys.
Pump and Dump Pump and dump is a scheme that
attempts to boost the price of a stock through recommendations based on
false, misleading or greatly exaggerated statements. The perpetrators of this
scheme, who already have an established position in the company’s stock, sell
their positions after the hype has led to a higher share price. This practice
is illegal based on securities law and can lead to heavy fines.
put In options. the buyer of a put has
the right to acquire a short position in the underlying futures contract at
the strike price until the option expires; the seller (writer) of the put
obligates himself to take a long position in the futures at the strike price
if the buyer exercises his put.
Put Options A put option is a contract that gives
its holder the right (not the obligation) to sell a specific amount of a
given asset within a certain time frame. As the underlying asset depreciates
in value, the put option itself appreciates; therefore, buying put options on
an asset like BTC is a method of shorting it.
Rally fast buying of securities (stock,
bonds) or derivatives (commodities) when the value of the asset is expected
to increase
Ratio hedging Hedging a cash position with futures
on a less or more than one-for-one basis.
Resistance Resistance, typically mentioned in
reference to technical analysis, is a price level at which the selling
pressure on an asset is historically greater than the buying pressure,
meaning that the asset encounters “resistance” from the market when it
attempts to break through that price level. One basic tactic of day trading
is shorting an asset when the asset is nearing a resistance level and the
trader expects it won’t break through the resistance level. Once an asset
does break through a resistance level, that level often turns into a support
Return on Investment (ROI) The ROI, typically expressed as a
percent, is a measure of the efficiency of an investment.
Risk On, Risk Off (RoRo) Risk on, risk off (RoRo) trading is a
style of trading according to which you modulate your risk appetite in
response to the perceived level of risk in the overall market or economy:
When the general cryptocurrency market seems especially risky, you make
(relatively) less risky investments (e.g., holding Bitcoin); when the general
cryptocurrency market seems less risky, you make (relatively) riskier
investments (e.g., trading other tokens).
ROI Return on investment (ROI) measures
the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money
invested. ROI is usually expressed as a percentage and is typically used for
personal financial decisions, to compare a company’s profitability or to
compare the efficiency of different investments.
Round turn The execution for the same customer
of a purchase transaction and a sales transaction which offset each other.
Round-turn Commission The cost to the customer for
executing a futures contract which is charged only when the position is
Scalping For floor traders, the practice of
trading in and out of contracts throughout the trading day in hopes of making
a series of small profits.
Segregated Witness (SegWit) The process where the block size
limit on a blockchain is increased by removing digital signature data and
moving it to the end of a transaction to free up capacity. Transactions are
essentially split (or ‘segregated’), into two segments: the original data
segment and the signature (or ‘witness’) segment.
Sell Wall A group of high-net-worth individuals
(HNWIs) all want to buy a particular cryptocurrency, but they don’t want to
move the market with a large order because that will end up making them pay a
premium for their trade. Therefore, each member of the group buys only a
small fraction of the position they ultimately want to take (e.g., 100,000 of
the cryptocurrency rather than 500,000), and then they all simultaneously
flood the market with under-priced sell orders. A group of high-net-worth
individuals (HNWIs) all want to buy a particular cryptocurrency, but they
don’t want to move the market with a large order because that will end up
making them pay a premium for their trade. Therefore, each member of the
group buys only a small fraction of the position they ultimately want to take
(e.g., 100,000 of the cryptocurrency rather than 500,000), and then they all
simultaneously flood the market with under-priced sell orders.
Settlement Price The last price paid for a commodity
on any trading day. The exchange clearinghouse determines a firm’s net gains
or losses, margin requirements, and the next day’s price limits, based on
each futures and options contract settlement price. If there is a closing
range of prices, the settlement price is determined by averaging those
prices. Also referred to as Settle or Closing Price. Thinly traded options
may be traded at a theoretical value.
Shilling Similar to the pump-and-dump
strategy, shilling refers to the act of disingenuously spreading potentially
false news about an asset in which one has a vested interest.
Slippage Slippage refers to the difference
between the price at which a trader expects a trade to execute and the price
at which it actually executes. There are a number of reasons why slippage
would occur — for instance, if a trader places a market order when the market
is especially volatile, or when a trader places a trade large enough to move
the market. Imagine a situation in which the top-of-the-order-book price of
Bitcoin is $8100 USD and you’re hoping to buy 100 BTC. Chances are good that
there won’t be enough volume near the top of the order book to actually let
you buy that much BTC at $8100 USD per coin: instead: you’ll end up needing
to go deep into the order book to fill your order, meaning you’ll end up
paying more than you expected — maybe up as high as $8200 or $8300. Worse, if
you telegraph your large order to other traders and bots on the exchange,
they might recognize the buying pressure and drive up the price of BTC even
more as you’re trying to buy it. These are two classic examples of slippage
in action.
Smart contract Smart contracts encode business rules
in a programmable language onto the blockchain and are enforced by the
participants of the network.
Smart Routing A smart order router is a software
program that uses algorithms to maximize trading profits by picking the best
opportunities on different exchanges.
Sniper Trades Sniper trades are a hidden order
optimized for speed. This algorithm is ideal for getting the best possible
price on a large order quickly, as you would want to do when the markets are
especially volatile and you’re worried about prices dropping drastically.
Soft cap A soft cap is typically a lower
limit, more like how much a team is aiming to raise
Soft Commodities goods that are grown. Exchange-traded
soft commodities include sugar, coffee, cotton, cocoa, and orange juice.
Speculator One who attempts to anticipate price
changes and, through buying and selling futures contracts, aims to make profits.
A speculator does not use the futures market in connection with the
production, processing, marketing or handling of a product.
Spot Market of immediate delivery of and
payment for the product.
Spread The price difference between two
related markets or commodities.
stable coin “Stable coin” is a term used in
cryptocurrency to describe cryptocurrencies meant to hold stable values.
Stable Coin Stable coins are cryptocurrencies
intended to maintain a stable price and value, in contrast to the other
extremely volatile cryptocurrencies. Tether, for instance, is a project that
issues tokens with value pegged to particular fiat currencies — for example,
the USDT, a token designed to always be worth $1 USD.
Stop Limit A variation of a stop order. A stop
with limit order to buy becomes a limit order at the stop price when the
futures contract trades (or is bid) at or above the stop price. A stop order
to sell becomes a limit order at the stop price when the futures contract
trades (or is offered) at or below the stop price. This is an Order Type in
LindConnect for some contracts.
Stop-Loss order A stop-loss order is a trade that you
put in place for an exchange to immediately execute if an asset reaches a
particular price point. As the name suggests, this kind of order is designed
to limit your losses: if you’re invested in Bitcoin and want to make sure you
don’t lose too much money in the event of it tanking, you can make a
stop-loss order to ensure that your Bitcoin will be sold immediately if the
price dips below a certain point.
Support A support is typically discussed in
terms of technical analysis: It’s a price level at which the buying pressure
on an asset is historically greater than the selling pressure, meaning the
asset encounters “support” when its price attempts to dip lower than that
level. A basic method when attempting to secure profit, especially in a
volatile market like crypto, is to buy into a cryptoasset when it’s around a
level of support and the trader expects that the support will hold. Once an
asset does break through a support level, that level often turns into a
resistance level.
Swing Trading Swing trading is the strategy of
buying an asset at a low price and selling it at a high price at a relatively
high frequency — typically once a day or once every few days. The high
volatility of many cryptocurrencies has led many traders to focus on this
kind of strategy, though that high volatility can also make the strategy
costly if you time your trades poorly.
Take-Profit Order A take-profit order is the “other
half” of a stop-loss order: whereas a stop-loss order is put in place to
limit one’s losses, a take-profit order is put in place to secure one’s
profits. When this kind of limit order is put in place with an exchange, you
will automatically sell the asset in question, immediately, if its value
reaches a certain price.
Technical Analysis (TA) Technical analysis (TA) is a trading
strategy that emphasizes using mathematical patterns and indicators to predict
where an asset’s price will go in the future. Some focus on TA to the
exclusion of all else, reading charts without reading any actual market news,
though this isn’t recommended.
Tick Smallest increment of price movement
possible in trading a given contract.
Token A token, similar to a token in a kid’s arcade, is a digital unit designed to provide access to a system. Tokens, unlike coins and currency, are not designed as a store of value instead they have programmable potential built in. A to
ken is also known as a “crypto asset”.Tokens are often confused with coins and cryptocurrency, and while people may trade them with others hoping their value will increase, tokens were not designed as a store of value. Instead, tokens are designed so programmers can build software around or in them and users can interact with the software using the tokens.Some tokens like Ethereum were built so that other cryptocurrencies and tokens could be built on top of them. OMG is a cryptocurrency built on the token, Ethereum. There are games and productivity apps also built using Ethereum’s token.
Troy Ounce the traditional unit weight for
precious metals, believed to be named after a weight used at the annual fair
at Troyes in France in the Middle Ages. 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams
TWAP Trades Time-weighted average price (‘TWAP’)
trades are like a more sophisticated method of dollar-cost averaging. These
trades allow you to specify n, t, and p such that you buy or sell n of a
cryptocurrency over t hours for an average price of p.
Universal 2-Factor (U2F) A universal 2-factor (U2F) is a sort
of specialized, encrypted USB drive that you insert into your computer as a
method of 2-factor authentication. At the moment, YubiKey is one of the
leading U2Fs available.
Value at Risk (VaR) Value at risk (VaR) is a statistical
method of measuring a portfolio’s risk: It’s the maximum amount of value that
one could expect to lose over a given time horizon. For example, if your
crypto portfolio has a “95% 2-week VaR of $100,000 USD,” that means that
there is 95% confidence, statistically speaking, that your portfolio will not
lose more than $100,000 USD of value over the next two weeks.
Volatility Volatility is the size of changes in
an asset’s value over time. If an asset’s value frequently fluctuates to a
great degree — that is, if it’s highly volatile — then it’s typically thought
to be a proportionately high-risk investment. The historically high
volatility of Bitcoin is one of the reasons why some have been sceptical of
Bitcoin’s capacity to act as a store of value. Volatility is also what gives
traders the opportunity to profit through day trading and swing trading (see
Wallets When it comes to managing your
cryptocurrency holdings, it’s important to understand who actually has your
holdings. If you have your holdings in a wallet — whether that’s a hardware
wallet, a software wallet, or a paper wallet — you control your private key and
actually have custody over those holdings. On the other hand, when you buy
and hold cryptocurrencies on most exchanges, they store those holdings in
wallets of their own. That’s why some people worry about centralized
cryptocurrency exchanges: if they’re hacked, their investors’ money could
vanish overnight.
Western Texas Intermediate known as Texas light sweet, is a
light crude oil low in wax and sulphur content which makes it light and
Whale “Whale” is a colloquial term for the
biggest players in the cryptocurrency trading game — these include not only
HNWIs but also large institutional investors, such as hedge funds. It’s
thought that whales are often responsible for atypical market phenomena, such
as buy walls and sell walls.
Whitelist A list of registered and approved
participants that are given exclusive access to contribute to an ICO or a
Whitepaper a Whitepaper in cryptos is prepared
by a party prior to launching a new currency. It details everything you need
to know about the currency before making up your mind if you want to invest,
purchase or use it. This includes commercial, technological and financial
details of a new coin in language that can be understood by someone who is
not an expert in the space.
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