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IOST Glossary

IOST Glossary

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51% Attack
A malicious attack which can take place if one person or group of people control 51% or more of the hashing power on a network

Cryptocurrency addresses are used to send and receive transactions on a blockchain network. They are created using a hash of the private key.

Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is essentially a computer chip optimized to perform a set of tasks, like mining Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was designed by the anonymous programmer Satoshi Nakamoto. It is the first decentralized, trustless, secure blockchain-based money.

Blocks contain the permanent data that is recorded onto the blockchain.

A blockchain is a distributed ledger where transactions and states are recorded permanently in blocks. It is a historical record of all transactions on the blockchain since it began with the genesis block.

Block Explorer
Block explorer is an online tool which allows you to explore any blockchain’s transactions and accounts.

Block Height
The number of blocks in a blockchain.

Block Reward
The incentive for miners to use their hashing power to verify transactions on a network. The reward varies across different blockchains.

Central Ledger
A centralized ledger is held by a central organization. Ex: a bank

Confirmation occurs when a transaction is successfully hashed and added to the blockchain.

Consensus occurs when all participants on a network agree on the validity of a transactions on the blockchain.

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and IOST, are currencies which use a blockchain to maintain a decentralized and immutable copy of all transactions.

A decentralized application is an application which runs on top of a blockchain. A good example is the game Crypto Heroes.

Decentralised Autonomous Organizations are organizations whose rules are hardcoded into the blockchain.

Distributed Ledger
Distributed ledgers are distributed across all nodes on the blockchain network.

Distributed Network
A distributed network is when the processing power on a network is distributed across the nodes on a network and is not centralized in one data center.

The difficulty of a proof of work network is adjusted to compensate for an increase or decrease in the amount of computational power on a network.

Double Spending
A problem that early digital currency faced, which is the ability to copy and use funds more than once.

Forks create an alternative version of the blockchain. It commonly occurs when consensus cannot be met on a proposed update. In this case, one group updates to the new protocol and one group does not, therefore creating two blockchains.

Genesis Block
The first block in a blockchain.

Hard Fork
A hard fork, as it relates to blockchain technology, is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice-versa). This requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.

Hardware Wallet
A hardware wallet is a specifically designed piece of hardware that stores a users private keys.

Hash Rate
Hash rate is the measurement of the total computational power a miner contributes to a blockchain network.

Mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the blockchain, and also the means through which new Bitcoin are released. Anyone with access to the internet and suitable hardware can participate in mining.

Multi-Signature Addresses
Two keys are required to open a multi-signature account, this is used to enhance security or to create an escrow account.

Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node.

Paper Wallet
A paper wallet is a print out of a users private keys, which can then be stored offline and safe from malicious actors.

Public Address
A public address is safe to share with the public. It is used to send and receive cryptocurrency.

Private Key
A private key is not safe to share with the public and should never be shared with anyone. It is the address that controls access to your cryptocurrency.

Proof of Believability
Designed by IOST, it is a Byzantine consensus protocol with a Believable-First approach that guarantees the safety and liveness of the system while largely maximizing the transaction throughput by size-one-shard. It is an improvement on the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism that fixes known PoS vulnerabilities. Visit the IOST whitepaper for a more detailed description.

Proof of Stake
Proof of Stake concept states that a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. This means that the more cryptocurrency owned by a miner, the more mining power they have.

Proof of Work
A proof-of-work (PoW) system is an economic measure to deter denial of service attacks and other service abuses such as spam on a network by requiring some work from the service requester, usually meaning processing time by a computer.

Scrypt is type of Proof of Work protocol which is much easier to run on an already-existing CPU, and tends to use up less energy than using SHA-256; as a result, it’s favored by most individual miners. It is ASIC resistant.

The name of the cryptographic hash function used by bitcoin. It’s been subsequently used by a number of altcoins too.

Smart Contracts
A smart contract is a computer protocol used to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract which is hardcoded into a file that is run on a blockchain, making the contract immutable. Advanced forms of smart contracts are often called decentralized applications (dapps).

Soft Fork
A soft fork is implemented when a seemingly minor change is made to the blockchain network, where the miners agree and update to the new protocols.

Software Wallet
A piece of software that stores a users private keys.

A testnet is a safe environment for cryptocurrency developers to test out their network before the mainnet launch. It is also used by developers to test dapps and smart contracts prior to launching them on the mainnet.

Transaction Fee
The fee incurred when processing a transaction on the blockchain.

Turing Complete
If a machine is capable of performing all possible calculations, then it is Turing complete.

A wallet is a means to store private keys of cryptocurrency accounts.