As a relatively new technology, cryptocurrency is an unfamiliar subject to many people. At First Service, we strive to educate our members and offer helpful financial life guidance. That's why we've created this glossary to explain crypto market terms that may be unfamiliar to you.

Cryptocurrency / Digital Currency: Any non-physical currency that is only available through a digital format, such as the internet. You might track a physical currency in a digital manner, such as through First Service Digital Banking, and those assets can be converted into a physical currency – namely, cash. With a digital currency, you can only track, trade, and spend your money through digital ports, like crypto market exchanges or direct digital transfers.

Altcoin: This term refers to all cryptocurrency developed after Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency. All Altcoins began being developed several years later.

Blockchain: A digital ledger that publicly tracks cryptocurrency exchanges using complex cryptography and verification techniques to ensure security, privacy, and accountability.

Brokered / Unbrokered: A broker oversees financial transactions between two parties, usually for a nominal fee. Brokered transactions ensure that both parties comply with the agreed-upon terms. This includes credit card carriers and banks. Unbrokered or non-brokered transactions are conducted directly between the two interested parties, with no 3rd party involvement.

Crypto Exchange Platform: Third-party platforms that allow easy access to purchase cryptocurrency for a nominal fee. Some are more trusted and capable than others.

Crypto Market: All of the available crypto assets and their current value in other denominations, such as U.S. dollars.

Crypto Transaction: The exchange of cryptocurrency for goods and services, or the purchasing of a cryptocurrency.

Cryptography: Coded or ciphered communication. In the digital world, the practice of cryptography prevents access to sensitive material that requires a “key” to access. The most familiar form of a digital key is a username and password combination.

Fiat Currency: Government-backed currency such as dollars, euros, and yen. This type of currency is backed by the promise of the government that prints it, but holds no intrinsic value of its own.

Initial Coin Offering: This is a method used to build funding for new cryptocurrencies that wish to enter the market. Due to the lack of regulation, there have been multiple ICOs that misled potential investors – sometimes intentionally.

Miners: Digital accountants who record every transaction within a blockchain.

Mining: Sometimes called "crypto mining," this is the act of providing the most up-to-date ledger within a blockchain. Mining requires multiple forms of confirmation and verification to ensure that the public ledger is accurate. Each update is passed as a single, unique block of data within the greater blockchain.


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