Blockchain- A blockchain is a public ledger of all of the transactions of a specific cryptocurrency that have ever been executed. It grows as 'blocks' are added to it with a new set of recordings. The blocks are added to the blockchain chronologically, hence the name block-chain. Each time a block is completed, a new one is generated. What makes a blockchain special is every computer connected to the network (node) gets a copy of the blockchain. Which ultimately is a bunch of individual computers that come together to make one decentralized network.
Node- Computer connected to the specific network which allows the user to preform the task of validating and relaying transactions.
Proof-of-stake- is a type of algorithm by which a cryptocurrency blockchain network aims to achieve distributed consensus. It depends on how much you have rather than how much work you do.
Proof-of-work- the algorithm rewards participants who solve complicated cryptographical puzzles in order to validate transactions and create new blocks (i.e mining).
Mining- Mining is the process of creating Ether. The Ethereum network is maintained by interconnected computers (nodes) all around the world. This is what supports the blockchain is the ability for these nodes to stores all of the same data. For securing the network and solving new blocks or transactions by computing the algorithm, the user is rewarded ETH. 5 to be exact. This process is known as mining. Each cryptocurrency has their own guidelines for what is rewarded, however all mining is based on the same concept. Solve the algorithm, claim the reward.
Cryptocurrency- A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Since it's so secure, its nearly impossible to counterfeit. It is also decentralized, which means it's mot distributed by governments are able to manipulate currency.
Decentralized- This means it can function without an intermediary or centralized system like the government or banks. This is what makes the blockchain unique, it is peer-to-peer.
Servers- A server is a computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients".
Smart Contracts- Smart contracts are a defining piece of the Ethereum networks capability. it is a contract that is programmed to work one way, and is carried out in that fashion. These contracts are tamper-resistant and self executing. This also eliminates the need for human interference, thus avoiding human error. For example, Jack and I create a smart contract that states, each time UNC beats Duke, transfer 5 ETH from his account to mine and vise versa. Once conditions are met, the contract self executes and the deal is done.
Market Cap- is the market value at a point in time of the shares outstanding of a publicly traded company or cryptocurrency in our case, being equal to the share price at that point of time times the number of shares outstanding. As outstanding stock is bought and sold in public markets, capitalization could be used as an indicator of public opinion of a company's net worth and is a determining factor in some forms of stock valuation.
Decentralized Applications (DAPPS)- These apps are created on the Ethereum network and use the smart contracts to operate securely and efficiently.
Hash rate- The more hash rate or hardware share you have, the more frequently you will solve blocks. Essentially this is your computing power for mining blocks.
Consensus-When several nodes (usually most nodes on the network) all have the same blocks in their locally-validated best block chain.
Private key-The private portion of a keypair which can create signatures that other people can verify using the public key.
Public key-.The public portion of a keypair which can be used to verify signatures made with the private portion of the keypair.
Chain splits- When there is a genuine dispute, blockchains will split and create separate blockchains and currencies. It is people who run the network, so this happens occasionally. A prime example is the split of Ethereum and Ethereum classic. After a hack of the DAO, the largest crowd fund sale ever, a chain split was initiated, creating another currency. This new currency is the Ethereum we know now. The original blockchain became Ethereum classic, a completely separate entity.
Hard fork-As it relates to blockchain technology, a hard fork (or sometimes hardfork) is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice-versa), and as such requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software. Put differently, a hard fork is a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain, and nodes running previous versions will no longer be accepted by the newest version. This essentially creates a fork in the blockchain, one path which follows the new, upgraded blockchain, and one path which continues along the old path. Generally, after a short period of time, those on the old chain will realize that their version of the blockchain is outdated or irrelevant and quickly upgrade to the latest version.
Soft fork-A softfork is a change to the bitcoin protocol wherein only previously valid blocks/transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes will recognise the new blocks as valid, a softfork is backward-compatible.
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)-The DAO was a digital decentralized autonomous organization and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund. The DAO had an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both commercial and non-profit enterprises. It was instantiated on the Ethereum blockchain, and had no conventional management structure or board of directors. The code of the DAO is open-source.
Cryptography - is the science of providing security for information. It has been used historically as a means of providing secure communication between individuals, government agencies, and military forces. Today, cryptography is a cornerstone of the modern security technologies used to protect information and resources on both open and closed networks.