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The Ropes

The Colourful Language of Cryptocurrency 

By Barbara McClintock, Certified Translator

Cryptocurrency, bitcoins and related terms are often in the news these days. Are you lost in the world of bitcoins? The term was first used in a 2008 paper by Satoshi Nakamoto entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Bitcoin, which was the first cryptocurrency, allows two individuals to make a transaction without an intermediary and in complete anonymity. Such systems may potentially be used as a worldwide currency because there is no central government issuing paper money. In the virtual world of bitcoins, there are digital tokens on a computer screen or in a cloud.

As is typical in the computer world, the language used is full of imagery. Bitcoin ownership is tracked on a ledger. Individuals or companies with the capacity to approve transactions are called miners. Bitcoin mining is a computational process that confirms transactions and creates new bitcoins. Cloud mining or cloud hashing means sharing processing power from remote data centres (clouds). Users only need a home computer to purchase mining capacity for virtual bitcoin wallets, etc. One unit is a bitcoin or BTC and a bit is a subunit of a bitcoin. “Bitcoin” with capitalization is used to describe the concept or the entire network, whereas the unit is lowercased.

As a result of the potential expansion of the uses of cryptocurrency to various fields, the expression blockchain was coined (pardon the pun) to refer to a technology for managing non-currency transactions. A block is a record in the blockchain and another good image. Blockchain technology, based on cryptography (the science of secure communication), is used to manage the computer system that records bitcoin transactions. These days, blockchain systems are considered extremely secure and thus applicable in many areas, even banking.


Bitcoin vocabulary

Ledger, a journal published by the University of Pittsburgh at:

Sharon S. Blake in PittChronical, University of Pittsburgh, dated May 4, 2017, at:

*The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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