Upstream explain some common crypto acronyms


Upstream Nov 13, 2021 How to's

Common crypto acronyms

The world of crypto is packed full of jargon and acronyms that can be pretty overwhelming, especially when you’re new to the space. We’ve written this handy crypto glossary to help you make sense of it all! We’ll update it regularly so contact us on twitter to tell us the terminology you’re struggling with.

General terminology


Fear of Missing Out. This usually relates to buying crypto after hearing a rumour, without doing any research because of the fear of missing out on massive gains. It usually doesn’t end well!  Another example is when you see a crypto taking off.


Someone misspelled HOLD (genuinely!) and it just stuck. It has now been re-appropriated to Hold On for Dear Life.  This is a popular long term strategy for people that are really into a particular crypto. They usually store it in a secure wallet and don’t plan on selling any time soon.


Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. FUD is negativity toward a particular crypto or the market as a whole that is designed to negatively impact prices. FUD is usually spread to discredit a project or to drop prices enough to provide powerful organisation with a lower by in price. Not that we’re suggesting market manipulation or anything…


Do Your Own Research. This one’s pretty self explanatory really! Always look into a project before deciding whether to invest or not. Research can include, checking if a project has hit it’s recent milestones, researching the project leads previous histories, and reading the project white paper to learn their future plans.  DO your due diligence and make informed decisions rather than operating based on hunches, FUD or FOMO!


Not Financial Advice. You’ll see this on any crypto Twitter account, YouTube channel or website. Nobody claims to be giving financial advice because the truth is, nobody knows what the markets are going to do. By stating NFA the content creator is absolved of any responsibility. NFA is usually followed by DYOR.


All-Time High. We love these. This is the new highest ever price of a cryptocurrency. It is also an general investment term.


All-Time Low. We don’t like these so much. Basically 0.


Decentralised Finance. This is a form of finance that does not rely on governments or central financial institutions such as banks to function. DeFi uses smart contracts built on blockchain technology to automate a digital finance system.


Non fungible token. An NFT is a totally unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger that usually takes the form of an image. NFTs are commonly used to represent  things like images, videos, audio, and other digital files, that are easy to reproduce, as unique items and use blockchain technology to verify proof of ownership.


Decentralised Exchange. This is a cryptocurrency exchange that operates without a central authority.


Dollar Cost Averaging. A popular strategy for accumulating crypto currency for those that do not wish to trade or pay too much attention to the short term price volatility that is typical of cryptocurrencies.  The basic idea is you buy into a currency at set intervals at a set price e.g. £200 of ADA on the 1st of every month.


Initial Coin Offering. If you catch a good one of these at the right time they can be very profitable. When a project first launches their coin they sometimes issue some of their coins in an ICO where people hope to get in before the initial price increase.  This is similar to an IPO on the stock market.


Initial Token Offering. Similar to ICOs but the focus normally centers on offering tokens that have utility within a specific ecosystem. For example ITO token holder might get cheaper trading rates on a new exchange or unique items in a game.


Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. This is an organisation that is represented by encoded rules within a computer program that is totally transparent. A DAO is controlled by the organisation members and not influenced by a central government.


Securities and Exchange Commission. The US SEC is an “independent” agency of the United States federal government. It was created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 with the primary purpose to protect investors from market manipulation.


Bitcoin Improvement Proposal. A BIP is a design document submitted to propose a change or addition to the Bitcoin protocol. The BIP process was designed to bring more structure and accountability to the Bitcoin development process. Bitcoin magazine explains everything in more detail here.


Ethereum Improvement Proposal. Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards. You can read more here.


Bitcoin Teller Machine. An ATM (cash machine) concept where users can easily buy or sell crypto coins with cash from miners or exchange markets.


Two Factor Authentication. This is an electronic authentication method that requires the user successfully present two or more pieces of evidence in order to gain access to a website, application or service. 

Blockchain algorithms


Delegated Proof of Stake. A DPoS based blockchain uses a voting system where stakeholders are able to vote for a group of delegates that will secure the network for them. 


Proof of Authority uses a consensus mechanism to deliver fast transaction speeds with identity as a stake. Come blockchain tech uses PoA because it allows them to know the identities of their block producers.


Proof of Burn is essentially PoW but with much lower energy demand. Unlike PoW, block validation does not need a huge amount of computer power or high spec hardware so miners instead invest in virtual mining space.


Proof of Developer is designed to connect the original developer to the project. This is a security measure that aims to prevent fraud.


Proof of Stake references the amount of coins owned to determine the nodes that validate transactions and produce blocks on the blockchain.


Proof of Work . A Proof of Work system is maintained by a network of miner nodes that try to solve complex cryptographic problems. If a miner solves the problem it gets to add a new block to the blockchain and unlock the reward of the newly created coins and transaction fees associated with that block.


Smart Contract. A smart contract is a self-executing contract where the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller are stored on the blockchain.



Fundamental Analysis. Fundamental analysis aims to determine the real value of an asset based on any available information. 


Technical Analysis. Technical analysis is the study of price movements through the use of charts. Traders use TA to make money from price changes, even when a cryptocurrency goes down. 


Moving Average Convergence Divergence is a trading indicator used to analyse price trends by revealing changes in the strength, direction, momentum, and duration of a trend in price action.


Exponential Moving Average is a moving average that favours the most recent data.


Moving Average indicators average out historical prices and tell you the average of those prices over a given period of time.


Bollinger Bands add a channel either side of the moving average to help determine whether a price is high or low, relative to the MA.


Trading Volume is the total number of coins traded in a given amount of time. Bollinger bands are often used to help confirm the existence, continuation or reversal of a trend.


The Stochastic Oscillator is a trading indicator that can be useful when trying to predict trend reversals.


Relative Strength Index. A measurement used by traders to help assess the price momentum of a coin or stock.

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