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BEAR MARKET: where market confidence is low and selling pressure outweighs buying demand. Bear markets will often trade in sideways bands as bears tend to lay sleeping, waiting for "Bulls" to charge and push the price higher. 20% is generally considered as the drop required to signal a that a market is Bear-ish.
BULL MARKET: where market confidence is high and prices are increasing. 20% is generally considered as the increase required to signal that a market is Bull-ish. Other indicators include new entrants to the market and increased trading volume.
ERC: (abbreviation) "Ethereum Request for Comment" is a set of standards and conventions for using Ethereum smart contracts.Commonly referred to standards include ERC-20 used for identical tokens and ERC-721 used for unique tokens (e.g. collectible hats on CryptoKitties)
ALTCOIN: (abbreviation) "alternative coin", as in any coin that is alternative to Bitcoin.
API: (abbreviation) "Application Protocol Interface".
APIs allow different software and websites to communicate using specific communication rules. APIs can be used to access data such as trading prices from an exchange, latest mining rates, or account balance from a blockchain explorer.
ATH: (abbreviation) "All Time High". This is the highest actively traded price that a cryptocurrency has ever reached.
BAGHOLDER: (slang) Someone who buys cryptocurrency at high prices and doesn't sell as prices fall, leaving them with a virtual bag of virtually worthless coins. Bagholders will generally HODL in the hope that the price improves at a later date.
DAY TRADER: someone who buys and sells within small time frames (typically within the day) to capitalise on fluctuations in price and often arbitrage between different exchanges and trading pairs.
BITCOIN: is the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin whitepaper first appeared in 2008. Published by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, it proposed a new electronic, peer-to-peer currency based on cryptographic proofs and mathematical trust. The genesis block was mined on the 3rd January 2009 and Bitcoin was born.
BUY THE DIP: (slang) the act of buying cryptocurrency after the price has fallen, in the belief that the fundamental economics of the project are sound and the price will bounce back again. Many dip buys are followed by a further fall in price - allowing for an even dippier dip buy!
DLT: (abbreviation) "Distributed Ledger Technology". An agreed dataset shared across multiple participants and storage points (as opposed to a centrally controlled/stored reference). DLT has sometimes been used to create a distance from the word "blockchain", although many DLTs are based on blockchain technology.
EXCHANGE: a platform (usually online) where you can exchange one currency for another. Exchanges can be centralised (e.g. managed by a 3rd party) or decentralised (e.g. transactions are peer-to-peer), or peer-to-mix-to-peer. Some exchanges offer a fiat entry point (e.g. buy Bitcoin for GBP) and others are cypto only with trading pairs usually offered in Bitcoin and Ethereum.