Money is pretty complicated - even more so if you’re bridging the gap between conventional and blockchain-powered currencies. That’s why we’ve put together a succinct glossary of the most common words, acronyms and phrases that you’re likely to come across whilst using Wirex. Use it to help you navigate the future of money!
2FA (two-factor authorisation)
A security feature that requires users to provide two pieces of identification in order to access their account. This can be enabled in your Wirex account and it’s something we definitely recommend doing!
All cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Ether still stands in the number one spot in terms of market cap, but there were an estimated 5,000 altcoins around at the start of this year. That’s a lot of coins.
“All-time high” - when a cryptocurrency reaches its highest ever price. Generates similar feelings to winning a pub quiz.
A buzzword even outside the crypto space these days, yet one that often leads to confusion - blockchain essentially describes “blocks" of digital information stored in a decentralised public database (the “chain”). The data isn’t controlled by any central authority and can’t be altered, either.
Used to send and receive funds on the blockchain network, these addresses represent the destination of a crypto payment - most crypto have their own unique ones, made up of a string of letters and numbers, but some require additional destination “tags” (such as XLM and XRP). It’s not as complicated as it sounds, trust us.
You should know this one. The world’s first loyalty programme to pay out in crypto - exclusive to Wirex. Our Cryptoback™ scheme gives you up to 1.5% back in BTC for all your in-store spending - take your Wirex card out to the shops now to see what we’re talking about.
Decentralised Finance - refers to an ecosystem of financial applications built on blockchains, allowing users to take total control of their own assets. Sometimes known as the Open Finance movement. It’s here to stay, if you ask us.
Digital marketplaces where you can buy and sell crypto (often at eye-watering rates, unlike the live OTC and interbank exchange rates we give you guys).
Our physical money - coins and notes, metal and paper. Fiat describes government-issued currency not backed by a physical commodity such as gold.
If you know this one you’re a true crypto enthusiast. To HODL your crypto is to hold onto it rather than sell it. While some believe it stands for “hold on for dear life”, its origins apparently date back to a 2013 bitcointalk forum message, in which someone misspelt “hold” in a whiskey-fuelled rant about how he was “HODLING” onto his Bitcoin. Good for him.
“Initial Coin Offering” - an initial offering of a cryptocurrency to the public, as a way of raising funds for a new venture. The token you buy may have a use within a product or service the company is producing (and raising funds for), or it may represent a stake in the company itself. ICOs exploded in 2017, when every man and his dog decided to get in on the action, but have since earned a pretty bad rep thanks to some unfortunate scams.
“Know you customer” - refers to the mandatory process of identifying and verifying customers of financial services, to assess risk and ensure complete compliance. Something we take very seriously at Wirex.
Short for market capitalisation, the market cap ranks the relative size of a cryptocurrency, using the formula: price x circulating supply.
“Over-the-counter rates” - refers to trading which doesn’t take place on a formal asset exchange and requires minimal intermediation. No third-parties means transactions are faster and a lot cheaper. At Wirex, we work closely with OTC trading desks to make sure you’re getting the best possible rates for your crypto exchanges.
A subunit of bitcoin. There are 100 million satoshi in one BTC. Named after the pseudonymous Bitcoin founder, Satoshi Nakamoto (has anyone found him/her/them yet?).
Digital contracts which self-execute when predetermined conditions are met. The terms of an agreement are in the lines of code stored on the blockchain. The popular Ethereum network uses these, to assist the creation of third-party apps.
A wallet that you store your crypto in. Digital, not leather…
And there you have it, a brief dictionary of words commonly used in Wirex circles. We hope this aids any frustration or confusion you may have been experiencing in your Wirex journey so far.
If you think we’ve missed off any you still want to know, or you think you can teach us a thing or two, feel free to leave a comment below.