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Key cryptocurrency terms and definitions

Terms and definitions relating to cryptocurrency

Term Definition
Blockchain technology Enables secure information sharing online, which makes cryptocurrencies possible. Blockchain creates a shared database – but one that’s duplicated thousands (or even millions) of times across a network of computers.

Most blockchain transactions are publically viewable and transparent. Every time an update is made to a blockchain database, it’s visible to everyone who has access. Transactions are also secure. Since a blockchain database isn’t stored in a single, centralised location the information it holds is easy to verify and hard for a hacker to corrupt.
Cryptography The process of converting text or numbers into a code you can’t break to keep it safe.
Fiat currency Currency issued by a government (e.g. New Zealand Dollars, Australian Dollars, US Dollars, Euro)
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) An ICO is used by start-ups to raise capital. In an ICO campaign cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of a project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum.