Unit 21: Vocabulary

To pass this unit, please study the 14 vocabulary words below.
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altcoin
any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin
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The majority of early altcoins were just forks of Bitcoin with minor changes to the proof-of-work algorithm.
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blockchain
a decentralised digital ledger of transactions maintained by consensus
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The Bitcoin blockchain is maintained by a network of specialized computers designed for mining.
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cipher
a coded message or secret way of writing
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The boy had a difficult time time decoding the cipher in which his father's diary was written.
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consensus process
a group of peers responsible for maintaining a distributed ledger
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A blockchain's consensus process is a vital part of its success because it must be fast, reliable, and verifiable by everyone using it.
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cryptocurrency
a digital asset using secure computer algorithms to secure its transactions, create additional units, and verify transfer
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Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to reach public attention.
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double spend problem
a single financial transaction potentially happening in two places at once
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The double spend problem is difficult to solve without a blockchain or trusted third party like a bank.
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fintech
innovation that aims to compete with traditional delivery of financial services
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This rise of fintech has had a positive impact for society, including increased competition, a reduction in prices, and wider access to financial services.
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fungible
interchangeable and replaceable
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Monero is a fungible cryptocurrency, meaning that every unit can be substituted by another unit without fear of a possibly tainted past.
immutable
unable to be changed
51 percent attacks can challenge the immutable properties of blockchains by rewriting their history
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mining
being rewarded with cryptocurrency for providing routine bookkeeping and verification services
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Cryptocoin mining is not really a reliable way to make substantial money for most people.
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paper wallet
a printed version of a cryptocoin's private key
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The woman did not trust technology so she printed out her paper wallet with 25 Bitcoin on it and put it in her safe.
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privacy coin
a coin that focuses on anonymous transactions over other features
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Privacy coins like Zcash or Monero use techniques such as "ring signatures" or "zero knowledge proofs" to shield to buyer, the seller, and the amount of a transaction.
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shitcoin
a slang term for a pointless or worthless cryptocurrency with no future
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I laughed so hard when my friend traded $100 worth of Ether for a shitcoin that crashed literally 10 minutes later.
stable coin
a cryptocurrency whose sole purpose is to be pegged to a fiat pair like the USD, thus providing a safe place in times of volatility.
There is some debate over whether stablecoins are really backed by fiat and aren't just used to artificall pump other crypto prices.
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