They are popular and worth billions … even if we don’t always understand all their jargon. After our little stock market glossary for beginners, we tell you about cryptocurrencies, their acronyms and their technical terms. Non-engineers are welcome.
Let’s start from the beginning: what is a cryptocurrency? To put it simply, we will say that it is … a currency. But digital. which is not printed on the tickets. Above all, it is a currency that is exchanged directly “peer to peer”, without going through an intermediary organization such as a central bank. This means that, for the authorities, it is not really about currencies: they prefer to talk about “digital assets”.
OK, for the currency part, we have the answer. But why “crypto” all of a sudden? Well, because these digital currencies rely on cryptography. Codes and numbers to hide information, in practice, and thus allow the security of transactions.
Therefore, to validate the transactions and keep them in an electronic register (the famous blockchains) – but above all to generate these cryptocurrencies – “just” most of the time solving these equations *. Those who have done literature are reassured: the computer does everything.
P2P (peer to peer or peer to peer)
If you’ve already tried downloading the full Celine Dion via BitTorrentyou already see more or less what P2P is: the fact of passing data, information between two people / entities / devices without going through an intermediary in the middle.
For cryptocurrencies it is the same principle: everything is based on a computer network – yours, ours, that of the neighbor in front … all you have to do is install the appropriate software to enter the room – where the information will be they circulate directly between stations without going through a central server. It’s simpler, freer, faster, and less vulnerable to hacking. Better, what.
Blockchain is a technology for storing and transmitting data that could be compared to a ledger. But beware: not just any book. THE definitive book of accounts: anonymous, tamper-proof, transparent, safe, economical, free from any centralized control and visible to all.
In the case of cryptocurrencies that use this technology – such as bitcoin – the blockchain is fundamental: it will list all the transactions carried out since the creation of the cryptocurrency in question and thus demonstrate its authenticity. Its existence, one could also say: a cryptocurrency is “real” and recognized as such only if its transactions since its creation are recorded, stored and validated in a blockchain.
For “token” in French. But everyone says “token”. Or, more generally, “cryptocurrency” given that the latter are the basis above all of tokens.
To illustrate this, let’s say that the token is the coin (in the monetary sense), the exchange currency of a cryptocurrency, the vector that allows the monetary value of a cryptocurrency to be digitally transferred via the blockchain. For example, bitcoin is the token of the bitcoin blockchain. But don’t imagine being able to hold one in your hand and bite into it like a golden louis to check its contents. We are digital here.
Let’s broaden the discussion a little.
The best known, the most important, the most popular cryptocurrency. Conceived in 2009, bitcoin is a decentralized electronic currency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto. Who is he ? We do not know. Is he a person or a group of developer activists? We don’t know either. Is his name really Satoshi (or Michel)? Specialists are still studying the matter.
On the other hand, what we do know is that it is the first cryptocurrency (which has not failed, like the Digicashthe B-money where is the A little gold which were the forerunners of bitcoin) to rely on blockchain technology, which its current price (at the time of writing) is around € 39,000 per unit and which of course we offer on our trading service.
Because it’s not just bitcoin in life. An altcoin, a contraction of “alternative” and “coin”, simply designates cryptocurrencies that are not bitcoin. Avalanche, Solana, Ethereum and others are therefore altcoins. ON our trading servicewe offer more than a hundred.
Private key / public key
Two keys, two sequences of numbers and letters, two distinct functions. On the one hand, the private key will be used to “sign” the transactions carried out with its cryptocurrencies in order to prove that it actually holds them. On the other hand, the public key is the one that is transmitted to receive and send cryptocurrencies to this person. Kind of like a RIB.
The stock market has its stock exchanges, “stock exchanges” as we would say here. For cryptocurrencies, it is “exchange” for short and this is where we invest in these electronic currencies. No Wall Street either
Paris Stock Exchange Euronext: happens directly on your computer or smartphone, as with Lydia’s trading service which, since then the latest big app updatehas the right to his own card.
To shine at dinners
Directly inspired by the name of the “creator” of bitcoin (the one we know almost nothing about), the satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin, or 0.00000001 BTC. Yes, that’s not much. Still, it is very practical and increasingly used, since few of us can afford a whole bitcoin at once. Instead of saying ” Honey, I bought 0.001 bitcoins today! “, to say ” I bought 100,000 satoshis! “. You will look like an investment tycoon. Even if you actually invested only € 37.39 (at the current rate). Guaranteed effect.
As on the stock exchange, the ticker is the abbreviation in a few letters that will allow you to identify the different cryptocurrencies in the lists of digital assets offered by the exchanges (we talked about it above). Bitcoin = BTC, Ethereum = ETH, Solana = SOL … Attention, the same: not everything is so “obvious” and some cryptocurrencies do not have the ticker we would have imagined. Like Cardano and its ADA or Tezos and its XTZ ticker. Avoid making mistakes when investing, you would not be MDR.