Crypto glossary

A collection of terms you’re likely to encounter as you explore the blockchain industry and the ICON ecosystem.



A string of alphanumeric characters, also known as the public key, which is used to interact with a wallet or smart contract. See also: wallet address, contract address.


A marketing intitiative where projects or blockchains give away their token to hundreds of wallets as a way to attract and convert users. Most airdrops have specific requirements, like “hold this cryptoasset in your wallet on that date”, or “use this app while it’s in beta”.


Any cryptocurrency that is not bitcoin.


See anti-money laundering (AML).


See automated market maker (AMM).

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The yearly interest rate charged to borrowers or paid to investors, expressed as a percentage. For example, if you borrow $100 with an APR of 5%, after one year your debt would have increased by $5. See also interest, annual percentage yield (APY).

Annual percentage yield (APY)

The yearly compounded interest rate, expressed as a percentage. Because it’s compounded, the APY is higher than the annual percentage rate (APR). For example, if you lend $100 with an APY of 7%, over one year you would earn the equivalent of $7. See also interest.

Anti-money laundering (AML)

Laws, policies, and protocols designed to prevent criminals from laundering money. See also Know Your Customer (KYC), Know Your Business (KYB).


An acronym for “application programming interface”. A set of functions defined in code that allow websites and applications to request specific information or perform certain actions. For example, the ICX section on uses APIs to retrieve data about ICX.


See annual percentage rate (APR).


See annual percentage yield (APY).


See cryptoasset.

Automated market maker (AMM)

A cryptocurency exchange that uses smart contracts and liquidity pools to allow traders to swap assets instantly, often with some slippage. In contrast, an order book exchange requires traders to place buy and sell orders at specific prices.


Bad debt

Debt, such as a loan, which a borrower is unable to repay.


A finance hub for the ICON blockchain. Balanced offers a decentralised, liquidity pool-style exchange for trading cryptoassets, and is home to ICON’s stablecoin, the Balanced Dollar (bnUSD). See See also: automated market maker (AMM).

Balanced Dollar (bnUSD)

A crypto-backed stablecoin hosted on the ICON blockchain, which is pegged to the US Dollar. Learn more about Balanced Dollars:

Balance Tokens (BALN)

A cryptoasset that functions as the governance token for Balanced. When you stake BALN, you’ll receive a share of the fees collected when people borrow and trade.


See Balance Tokens (BALN).

Base currency

The first currency listed in a trading pair. For example, BALN is the base currency for the BALN/bnUSD liquidity pool. See also: quote currency.


A trader who expects the market (and therefore the value of assets in that market) will fall. The opposite of a bull.

Bear market

A market that appears to be falling continuously, with the assets in that market continuing to lose value. The opposite of a bull market.

Bear position

See short position.

Beta software

A pre-release version of an app or service, which can be tested by a large number of users to make sure it’s stable, and to identify bugs and usability issues that should be fixed before the official release.


One of the most-used cryptocurrency exchanges. See

Bitcoin (BTC)

The first cryptocurrency, described in a white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, and released in 2009. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency, which means payments can be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. More bitcoin is created every 10 minutes through mining, but only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist.

All other cryptocurrencies, such as ICON (ICX) and Ether (ETH), are alternatives to bitcoin, known as altcoins. See also: Bitcoin blockchain, blockchain.

Bitcoin blockchain

The first blockchain, introduced to the world by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Bitcoin is a Layer 1, first-generation blockchain that hosts the bitcoin cryptocurrency. See also: blockchain, mining, Proof of Work (PoW).

Black swan / black swan event

An extremely rare and unpredictable event which can cause catastrophic damage to an economy. For example, the dotcom crash of 2001, and the 2008 financial crisis.


Part of a blockchain that holds batches of transaction records. Each block includes a reference to the prior block of the blockchain. Through these references, blocks form a chain that goes all the way back to the first block, hence the term blockchain. See also: distributed ledger.


A technology that synchronises information across a vast network of computers, spread across the Internet. This decentralisation protects data from tampering, because if any computers are compromised, others in the network can still verify transactions. See 51% attack.

Blockchains are commonly used to host the distributed ledgers of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. They’re known as Layer 1 (L1) solutions, and can be categorised as a first-generation, second-generation, or third-generation blockchain.

Blockchain bridge

A connection set up between two blockchains to enable data, usually tokens, to move between them. Blockchain bridges are the industry’s biggest vulnerability, with exploits reaching over 1 billion USD in 2022. Bridges can be centralised, like ICON Bridge and Orbit Bridge, or decentralised, like ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP). See also: interoperability.

Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP)

A decentralised, trustless blockchain interoperability standard developed by PARAMETA and the ICON Foundation to connect all blockchains. BTP uses a set of four smart contracts to connect to each blockchain, which allow value and information (i.e. tokens, NFTs, and messages) to be transferred between them.

BTP only relies on the security of participating blockchains, so it’s considered to be one of the world’s most secure interoperability standards. It uses on-chain light clients (mini blockchains contained in a smart contract) to verify that each request is legitimate before it completes a transaction. There are no third-parties to trust, and the entire process is secured by cryptography.

To learn how it works, read the BTP lite paper (PDF). See also: xCall.


See Balanced Dollar (bnUSD).


See Boosted OMM (bOMM).

Boosted OMM (bOMM)

A non-transferrable token received by people who use Omm to lock up Omm Tokens (OMM) for at least 1 week. bOMM entitles the holder to vote on governance issues, receive OMM rewards, and earn more OMM for using their assets to participate in markets and liquidity pools.


To take on debt, with the condition that it’s paid back later — usually with interest. Most services require you to deposit some collateral before you can take out a loan, and make sure the amount you’ve borrowed doesn’t exceed a specified loan-to-value threshold. This ensures there’s enough collateral to repay the loan, even if the value of your collateral changes.


A person who borrows assets to trade or earn some form of yield. Borrower fees are the main income-earner for lending platforms like Omm. See also: supplier.

Borrow rate

The annualised interest rate that borrowers pay to suppliers as compensation for borrowing their cryptoassets.


A reward offered to people or teams who complete a specific activity, like reporting serious software bugs, or creating community content. See also: bug bounty.


A privacy-focused web browser based on Chrome. Most cryptocurrency wallets only support Chrome-based browsers, so Brave is a popular choice for traders. You can download Brave from


A software wallet designed for people who are new to blockchain, Bridge allows you to sign in to ICON apps with just an email address, and purchase your first cryptocurrency. See See also: blockchain bridge, ICON Bridge.


See bitcoin (BTC).


See Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP).

Bug bounty

A financial reward for people who discover and report security vulnerabilities (bugs). Bug bounties help to keep users safe, because it incentivises experts to test the security of different products. The Balanced bug bounty, for example, offers up to 200,000 USD for the discovery of critical-level vulnerabilities.


A trader who expects the market (and therefore the value of assets in that market) will rise. The opposite of a bear.

Bull market

A market that appears to be rising continuously, with the assets in that market continuing to gain value. The opposite of a bear market.

Bull position

See long position.


Permanently remove tokens or coins from circulation. This is typically done to reduce the supply in the market, which causes remaining tokens or coins to increase in value.



The vertical bars on a price chart that show the buy and sell activity for a stock or cryptocurrency over a given time frame. Depending on the settings, each candle represents one hour, day, week, etc., and includes 4 data points: the opening and closing price (which form the body of the candle), and the highest and lowest price (which create wicks).

A green candle means the price increased: it closed at a higher price than it opened with. A red candle means the price decreased: it closed at a lower price than it opened with. See also: chart patterns, technical analysis, TradingView.


When products or processes can be controlled by a central authority. For example, a financial institution that can seize funds or freeze a bank account. The opposite of decentralised.


See blockchain.


A simple cryptocurrency exchange. See


A graphical representation of data. Charts are commonly used to record how markets (i.e. currencies, stocks, and cryptoassets) change in value over time. Many traders use chart patterns to predict future price movement, a practice known as technical analysis. See also: candles, TradingView.

Chart patterns

Given enough time, markets will often repeat simliar patterns that can be seen on a price chart. Traders use these patterns to predict future price movement, a practice known as technical analysis. See also: candles, TradingView.

Chrome / Chrome-based browser

Chrome is a web browser available for desktop and mobile devices, made by Google. It can be downloaded from Chrome-based browsers use the same underlying code as Chrome, but offer different feature sets, like Brave, a privacy-focused browser. Most wallet extensions, like Hana, only support Chrome and Chrome-based browsers.

Circulating supply

The total amount of a currency, cryptocurrency, or token that’s publicly available and can be traded on the open market.


Can refer to a cryptocurrency (such as ICX), or a single unit of a cryptocurrency (for example, 1 ICX).


A cryptocurrency information service that provides details on coin valuations, market trends, community initiatives, and so on. See


A cryptocurrency information service that provides details on coin valuations, trade volumes, and so on. Available at


The security offered by a borrower when taking out a loan. For example, when people use Balanced to borrow Balanced Dollars (bnUSD), they must first deposit cryptocurrency as collateral.

Collateral ratio

The ratio between the value of a borrower’s collateral relative to the value of their loan. For example, if a borrower contributes $300 of collateral and borrows $150, their collateral ratio would be 2:1, or 200%. See also: loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.


A group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts who use and discuss cryptoassets, and contribute to the governance, development, and promotion of decentralised applications, NFTs, and other initiatives. They typically gather on Discord and Twitter.

Consensus mechanism

How a blockchain verifies transactions to maintain a true record in its distributed ledger. Proof of Work and Proof of Stake are the most common consensus mechanisms. ICON uses Delegated Proof of Stake.

Contract address

The unique identifier (public key) for a specific smart contract. Many actions within a decentralised application interact directly with a smart contract, so the contract address is included in the transaction details.

Contribution Proposal System (CPS)

A decentralised grant program on the ICON Network that incentivises people to contribute work to the blockchain. Contributions include decentralised apps, tools to help other developers or community members, and initiatives to increase awareness and engagement. See


See Contribution Proposal System (CPS).


A community-owned marketplace for NFTs on the ICON blockchain, with a governance token known as CFT. Available at


The exchange of information or value between two or more blockchains. Most blockchains are incapable of cross-chain communication, so this exchange requires a blockchain bridge. ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) was designed to transfer information and data across all blockchains.


See cryptocurrency.


A digital asset (such as a cryptocurrency, token, or NFT), which has its ownership details recorded on a blockchain.


A digital currency that uses strong cryptographic security to verify transactions. Instead of being centrally controlled, most cryptocurrencies are decentralised, so all transaction records are stored in a distributed ledger which is hosted on a blockchain. Decentralisation protects the data from being tampered with, because if any computers are compromised, others in the network can still verify transactions. ICX is an example of a cryptocurrency hosted on the ICON blockchain.

Cryptocurrency exchange

A service to trade cryptocurrencies with other investors, and buy crypto with fiat currency (and vice versa). An exchange can be an order book or an automated market maker (AMM), and is either centralised (they hold your assets) or decentralised (you retain control over your assets). Binance is a centralised order book, while Balanced is a decentralised AMM.

Cryptocurrency wallet

See wallet.


A method to protect secrets so they can be sent and stored securely, and can’t be read or edited by anyone except the intended audience. Information is encrypted, so it looks like gibberish to all but the people who hold the keys to decrypt it.



See decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO).

DAO Fund

Money set aside by a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) to fund initiatives that benefit the DAO or its products.


See decentralised application (dapp).


Blockchains, products, organisations, or activities that are controlled by multiple people, communities, or groups instead of a single authority. The opposite of centralised.

Decentralised application (dapp)

An application that operates on a blockchain or computer network, instead of a single server or computer. Dapps are built with smart contracts, which means they self-execute when certain conditions are met, and you can interact with them even if there’s no user interface.

Dapps are open-source, so anyone can inspect and build upon the underlying code. Examples include Balanced, Craft, Omm, and Optimus. See also: decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), decentralised finance (DeFi).

Decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO)

An organisation that is not centrally controlled by an individual or parent organisation, but is instead collectively governed by its community members, typically through the use of smart contracts and governance tokens. Balanced and Omm are examples of decentralised applications that were created by DAOs.

Decentralised exchange (DEX)

A type of cryptocurrency exchange which uses smart contracts to enable direct trading between different users, without the need for an intermediary or oversight from a third party.

Decentralised finance (DeFi)

A blockchain-based form of finance that doesn’t rely on centralised individuals or organisations to offer financial products, such as trades or loans. DeFi platforms are typically managed by decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). Balanced, Omm, and Optimus are all DeFi projects on the ICON Network.


See decentralised finance (DeFi).

Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS)

A more decentralised version of the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. DPoS incentivises people to stake the native cryptocurrency and elect node operators to verify transactions and make decisions for the blockchain.

Node operators are required to stake a significant amount of the cryptocurrency to keep them accountable, and can face penalties if they don’t fulfil their obligations. On the ICON Network, these node operators are known as validators or public representatives (P-Reps).


Someone who writes code for computer programs and websites. Most decentralised applications require a front-end developer, back-end developer, and smart contract developer.


See decentralised exchange (DEX).

Digital wallet

See software wallet.


A free communication app for people to make voice and video calls, share files, and send instant messages. Discord is used by many blockchain communities to share resources, discuss issues, and answer questions about specific projects. See

Distributed ledger

A decentralised record of cryptocurrency transactions. Copies of the information are stored in blocks on a blockchain, across a vast network of computers or nodes on the internet. Decentralising the data protects it from tampering, because if a computer is compromised, all the others in the network still hold the correct data. It’s important that the network is decentralised to prevent a 51% attack.


When new or additional cryptoassets, such as cryptocurrency or tokens, are distributed amongst users. See also: initial distribution, airdrop.


See Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).


Early contributor

An individual or team that made founding contributions to a blockchain or decentralised application. The early contributors are often rewarded with tokens to incentivise ongoing contributions to the project.

Easy Crypto

A simple cryptocurrency exchange. See


See Ether (ETH).

Ether (ETH)

The official cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Required to pay for transaction fees (known as gas) when sending assets and interacting with decentralised applications on Ethereum.

Ethereum blockchain

A Layer 1, second-generation blockchain that hosts cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. The official cryptocurrency of Ethereum is Ether (ETH), which is required to send assets and interact with decentralised applications. In September 2022, Ethereum transitioned from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake to make the blockchain more efficient and easier to scale.

Ethereum virtual machine (EVM)

A generalised sandbox environment for blockchain developers to run and test Ethereum-based smart contracts.

Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM)

A component library for developers to build on Ethereum. eWASM is an updated version of the Ethereum virtual machine, and both are supported on ICON’s experimental SNOW Network.


See Ethereum virtual machine (EVM).


See Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM).


See cryptocurrency exchange.


The amount an investor could lose if an investment fails.


Fiat currency / fiat money

Traditional money such as the US Dollar or British Pound Sterling, which is issued and managed by a government’s central bank.

Financial technology (fintech)

A new industry that uses technology to improve activities in finance. Blockchains and decentralised finance are examples of fintech.


See financial technology (fintech).

First-generation blockchain

A blockchain that only hosts cryptocurrencies. In comparison, second-generation blockchains also host smart contracts. However, as first- and second-generation blockchains have grown, they’ve developed issues like delayed transactions and extremely high transaction fees. Third-generation blockchains like ICON are designed to address these issues.

Fiscal quarter

A consecutive, 3-month period used by businesses for financial reporting, and, in the blockchain industry, to set targets for project updates and new features. Q1 is the period from January to March, Q2 from April to June, and so on.


An online space for community members to discuss governance proposals. Examples include and

Fundamental analysis

A method used to determine whether to buy or sell a stock or cryptocurrency. Fundamental analysis looks at the performance of a business, including its financial health, upcoming announcements or product releases, and how it compares with its competitors and the overall markets. One of the most-used strategies is “buy the rumour, sell the news”. See also: technical analysis.



A software wallet for cryptoassets that use the ICON blockchain or a blockchain connected to ICON through BTP. The Hana app is available for iOS and Android devices, and the Hana extension can be used in Google Chrome or a Chrome-based browser. See

Hard fork

When a blockchain splits into two, with the new version using a modified set of rules. This may happen when the community decides to change or improve some technical aspect, like increasing the number of transactions per second (which led to Bitcoin Cash).

A hard fork may also occur in response to an immediate problem, such as the Ethereum Classic fork in 2016. A large amount of cryptocurrency was stolen from the DAO that developed Ethereum, so they decided to fork, splitting it into Ethereum (ETH), which restored the stolen cryptocurrency to its original owners, and Ethereum Classic (ETC), which did not.

See also: soft fork.

Hardware wallet

A physical device, usually a USB, which is used to store private keys for cryptocurrency wallets. Also known as a “cold wallet”. Hardware wallets, like the Ledger, allow you to approve transactions without exposing your private key to the internet, so they’re considered to be the most secure way to store cryptocurrency. However, hardware wallets aren’t perfect: multiple hacks have been reported over the past few years.


Originally a misspelling of hold in a 2013 online Bitcoin discussion, over time hodl came to be used as an abbreviation for Hold On for Dear Life – informally encouraging cryptocurrency owners to hold their assets during a time of extreme market fluctuations.


The cryptoassets you hold are those in your wallet. For example, if you hold ICX, it means you have ICX in your wallet. See also: hodl.


A term used by the ICON Network in the slogan, “Hyperconnect the world”. ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) facilitates seamless interactions between private blockchains, public blockchains, and their communities.


ICE Network

A blockchain project designed to complement the ICON Network, which was discontinued in early 2023. The ICE Network is an application layer that’s compatible with the Solidity code environment for smart contracts, so developers can launch existing decentralised applications on it to utilise ICON’s interoperability solution. See also: SNOW Network.


See initial coin offering (ICO).


The default cryptocurrency for the ICON Network. Required to cover transaction fees and interact with products on ICON. People can stake ICX and vote for node operators on ICON, and receive additional ICX as a reward. See also: Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).


An online casino owned by its users. Includes a variety of games, like Roulette, Dice, Baccarat, and Blackjack. Players who hold TAP tokens will earn a share in the profits. See

ICON blockchain

See ICON Network.

ICON Bridge

A light-weight, centralised version of ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), which is maintained by the ICON Foundation. You can interact with ICON Bridge through Nexus.


A software wallet for ICON and Ethereum that’s no longer being actively developed. Alternatives include MyIconWallet for mobile devices, and the Hana browser extension for desktop users.

ICON Foundation

The team that founded the ICON public blockchain and its cryptocurrency, ICX. The Foundation now operates as a public representative and provides technology services to ICON.


A developer group that acts as the main technology provider for the ICON Network, which has since rebranded to PARAMETA.

ICON Network

ICON is a Layer 1, third-generation blockchain that hosts cryptoassets and smart contracts. It’s also the main hub for the Blockchain Transmission Protocol, an interoperability solution that allows value and data to be transferred between connected blockchains.

ICON uses a Delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, which enables near-instant transactions and an average transaction fee of less than $0.01. Decentralised finance products like Balanced and Omm utilise these features to provide efficient and user-friendly financial services. See also: ICON (ICX).

ICON request for comment (IRC-2)

A standard token specification for the ICON Network, used for cryptoassets like the Balanced Dollar and Balance Token.


A stablecoin hosted on the ICON blockchain, available through Orbit Bridge. 1 IUSDC is always valued at 1 US Dollar. IUSDC is a wrapped version of USDC, which is native to the Ethereum blockchain.

ICON 2.0

A major software upgrade to the ICON blockchain, which began in November 2021. Amongst other features, this upgrade was designed to better accommodate ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), and changed the smart contract coding language from Python to Java.


The ICON cryptocurrency. See ICON (ICX).

Impermanent loss

A temporary (unrealised) loss of funds caused by a change in price for an asset held in a liquidity pool. This price fluctuation changes the ratio of assets held in the pool, such that the total value is less than if they were held in a wallet. Up until the assets are withdrawn, the loss is unrealised, so is considered impermanent. It only becomes a permanent loss if the assets are withdrawn while valued at that lower price. An impermanent loss calculator is available at See also: supply ratio.


A general increase in the price of goods and services in an economy, which causes a decrease in purchasing power (so each unit of money buys fewer goods and services over time). A common cause of inflation is an increase in the supply of money in an economy, without a corresponding increase in the growth of that same economy.

Initial coin offering (ICO)

An initial public ofering (IPO), but for blockchain-based projects. Popular in 2017 as a way for a group or company to raise funds to create a new blockchain, cryptocurrency, or decentralised application, ICOs have become heavily regulated by most governments.

ICOs are a speculative investment that usually require investors to contribute funds based on the promise of future utility, as documented in a white paper. In return, they receive a token that’s usually paid out sometime in the future. The ICON public blockchain held an ICO in 2017 that raised over US$42M.

Initial distribution

When a new cryptocurrency or token is distributed for the first time, making it widely available for use. The method of distribution varies. For example, Balanced distributed 100,000 BALN per day for 60 days, before decreasing this amount by 0.5% a day.

Institutional investor

A professional investor — typically a company or organisation — that makes investments on their clients’ behalf. They usually receive preferential treatment and lower trading fees. The opposite of a retail investor.


For borrowers, interest is the money paid to compensate a supplier (either a person or financial institution) for making money available to borrow. Conversely, for suppliers, interest is the payment received for supplying money. See also: interest rate.

Interest rate

The percentage of interest that can be earned by supplying money, or owed for borrowing money. For example, if a $400 loan has a 5% interest rate, it would increase to $420 after one year. If it remains unpaid, it would increase to $441 in the second year. Of note, Balanced offers a 0% interest loan for Balanced Dollars. See also: supply rate, borrow rate.


The ability for two or more blockchains to transfer value and information between each other. See also: cross-chain, Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP).

Interoperability Incentive Fund

The first blockchain fund dedicated to interoperability. Over a 5-year period, 200 million ICX will fund projects that use BTP to build cross-chain utilities. See


Someone who purchases assets, like stocks or cryptocurrencies, in the hope that they increase in value over a short- or long-term period. They may also use these assets to participate in various yield-earning opportunities, like providing liquidity. See also: retail investor, institutional investor.


See ICON request for comment (IRC-2).


A type of reward for investors who stake ICX (the ICON cryptocurrency), and vote for ICON public representatives. 1,000 I-Score can be converted to 1 ICX.





A general-purpose coding language that’s popular with enterprises, and used by Android devices. Since the ICON 2.0 upgrade, all smart contracts on the ICON blockchain are written in Java.

Jeju Island

South Korea’s largest island, popular as a vacation island for tourists. Jeju Island requires visitors to use Zzeung (an application based on MyID’s identity authentication technology) to check in to each place they visit.


Karma Bond

A service on the ICON Network that allows decentralised finance protocols like Omm to own more of the liquidity for their governance token. High liquidity is essential to facilitate trades at a fair price, so many DeFi protocols incentivise liquidity providers to offer this service (often considered "renting" liquidity). Instead, Karma offers discounted tokens to liquidity providers who sell their liquidity pool tokens, so each protocol can own more of its liquidity. See

Keystore file

An encrypted file that contains a copy of the private key for a cryptocurrency wallet.

Know Your Business (KYB)

Guidelines to verify a business, in order to comply with anti-money laundering requirements. To complete KYB, a business needs to provide a government-issued ID (i.e. a driver’s licence or passport) for every key stakeholder, as well as various business documents.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

Guidelines to verify an individual’s identity, in order to comply with anti-money laundering requirements. To complete KYC, an individual needs to provide proof of identity with a government-issued ID (i.e. a driver’s licence or passport), and proof of address (i.e. a recent utility bill).


See Know Your Business (KYB).


See Know Your Customer (KYC).


Layer 0 (L0)

The framework that a blockchain (Layer 1 solution) is built upon, which allows it to transfer data and operate as a network. Different blockchains built with the same L0 technology can communicate with each other, and their decentralised applications are able to work cross-chain. Examples include Polkadot, Cosmos, and Avalanche. See also: Layer 2, Layer 3.

Layer 1 (L1)

A blockchain and the set of rules or underlying architecture that defines it, including the coding language and consensus mechanism. Examples include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ICON. See also: Layer 0, Layer 2, Layer 3.

Layer 2 (L2)

Technology added on top of a Layer 1 solution, in order to address limitations of the blockchain that affect its ability to increase adoption. For example, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network was designed to improve the slow transaction speeds and high transaction fees that plague first-generation blockchains. See also: Layer 0, Layer 3.

Layer 3 (L3)

Decentralised applications that use a blockchain’s technology to create products and services that can be adopted by the public. Examples include Balanced, Craft, and Omm. See also: Layer 0, Layer 1, Layer 2.


  1. A record of transactions. See distributed ledger.
  2. One of the most popular hardware wallets. See


Make funds available for others to borrow.


A person or institution who makes funds available for others to borrow. See also: supplier.

Light client

A mini-blockchain contained inside a smart contract, hosted on another blockchain. Light clients keep a record of a blockchain’s distributed ledger, which is crucial for a secure, decentralised, and trustless interoperability solution, like ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol.

Liquidate / liquidation

The process of converting cryptoassets to fiat currency, or of a borrower’s collateral being seized and sold off to settle debt they’re unable or unwilling to repay. In the case of Balanced Dollars (bnUSD) borrowed via Balanced, collateral will be liquidated if a borrower no longer satisfies the loan-to-value ratio requirements.

Liquidation bot

A computer programme that checks loan contracts and cryptocurrency values to determine if any borrowers can no longer satisfy their loan-to-value ratio requirements. If it finds any positions that exceed the loan-to-value threshold, it triggers liquidation in exchange for a profit.


The availability of a cryptoasset. A liquid asset is one that can be traded by the public in large quantities with low slippage. Conversely, an illiquid asset isn’t readily available for the public to trade, and often comes with high slippage. Many cryptocurrency products incentivise users to provide liquidity as a way to ensure a fast, efficient trading experience. This also helps to avoid rapid price swings that can occur if supply and demand are significantly mismatched.

Liquidity pool

A collection (pool) of cryptoassets that allow for instant trades. For example, to trade bnUSD for ICX, you can use a liquidity pool to complete the transaction immediately, instead of waiting for someone to purchase your bnUSD. See also: automated market maker (AMM).

Liquidity pool token (LP token)

A token given to a liquidity provider, that acts as a receipt for their liquidity. Many platforms allow you to stake LP tokens to earn interest or rewards.

Liquidity provider (LP)

A person who contributes cryptoassets to a liquidity pool, which makes those cryptoassets available for others to trade.

Lite paper

A short, concise version of a white paper, usually only a few pages long. A lite paper is a high-level document that describes the problem a project intends to solve, highlights key technical details, and provides guidance for developers and non-technical team members to ensure everyone is on the same page.


Money borrowed from a lender, usually on the condition that it’s repaid with interest. Most loans require some form of collateral, which can be liquidated to cover the debt if it falls below a certain loan-to-value ratio.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio

The ratio between the value of a borrower’s loan, and the value of the collateral they provided to be eligible for it. For example, if you provide $300 of collateral and borrow $150, your LTV ratio is 50%.

Loan-to-value (LTV) threshold

The upper limit of a borrower’s loan-to-value ratio. If a borrower exceeds this limit, some or all of their collateral will be liquidated to cover their loan.

Long position

A trader’s expectation that the price of a cryptoasset will rise, which motivates them to buy and hold that cryptoasset to gain from the increase in value. The opposite of a short position.



The network that hosts live or production-ready smart contracts, apps, and cryptocurrencies. This contrasts with the testnet, which allows developers to test smart contracts and apps in a test environment with test currencies.


The demand or public sentiment for a stock, commodity, cryptoasset, or currency, the trends of which can be observed on a price chart.

Market / marketplace

A place to exchange tokens and cryptoassets. For example, Omm is a money market where people can supply cryptoassets to earn interest, and borrow assets for short-term loans. Craft, Gangstabet, and Project Nebula are marketplaces for NFT-related projects.

Market cap

Short for market capitalisation. The total value of a stock or cryptoasset, calculated by multiplying the total numer of shares or coins by the current price.


A software wallet for the Ethereum blockchain, which is available as a mobile app and browser extension. MetaMask can be used to manage cryptoassets and interact with decentralised applications. See

Mine / mining

A computerised process to unlock new units of a cryptocurrency (coins) and record transactions on the network’s distributed ledger. On Proof of Work blockchains like Bitcoin, mining is controversial due to the excessive amount of energy required to power the mining computers.

Mint / minting

The process of creating new tokens or cryptoassets, such as Balanced Dollars (bnUSD).

Money market

A place where people can lend money to earn interest, and borrow money for short-term loans. See also market / marketplace, where traders can exchange cryptoassets.

Multisig / multisignature

The digital equivalent of paper-based transactions that require more than one signature, multisig wallets require more than one person to authorise each transaction.


A mobile wallet designed to manage ICX and other cryptoassets hosted on the ICON Network. MyIconWallet can be used to interact with decentralised applications like Balanced, Craft, Omm, and Optimus.

Replaced by the Hana mobile app.


A decentralised identity authentication platform that allows people to prove their identity while retaining control over their information. See



A cryptoasset that’s designed to run on a particular blockchain. For example, ICX is the native cryptocurrency of the ICON Network. The opposite of non-native.


A group of nodes or computers that interact and exchange information with each other using specific services, software, or blockchain technology.

Network fee

See transaction fee.


The interface for ICON Bridge. See


See non-fungible token (NFT).


A computer or server that’s responsible for producing blocks and verifying transactions on a blockchain, which are added to the blockchain’s distributed ledger.

Node operator

A person or team who operates a node that produces and verifies blocks on a Proof of Stake or Delegated Proof of Stake blockchain. See also: public representative (P-Rep), validator.

Non-fungible token (NFT)

A digital asset (i.e. a photo) that has its ownership verified on a blockchain. Even if the asset is copied, the blockchain record can still identify the true owner. NFTs can give the original artist a commission from any future sale, and they can be used to provide access to exclusive content or online communities.


A cryptoasset used on a blockchain it wasn’t originally designed for. For example, USD Coin (USDC) was designed for the Ethereum blockchain, but it can be wrapped for use on the ICON Network in a form known as IUSDC. See also: native.



A service or method to convert cryptocurrency (such as BTC, ETH, or ICX) into fiat currency (such as US Dollars). The opposite of an on-ramp.


An online money market for cryptoassets on the ICON Network. Omm is a place to lend assets to earn interest, and borrow assets for short-term loans. See See also: Omm Tokens (OMM).


See Omm Tokens (OMM). See also: Omm.

Omm Tokens (OMM)

A governance token for Omm. Part of the OMM inflation is distributed to Omm users as a reward. These rewards can be locked up to hold voting power and earn even more OMM. See Boosted OMM (bOMM).


A service or method to convert fiat currency (such as US Dollars) into cryptocurrency (such as bnUSD or ICX). The opposite of an off-ramp.

Open-source software

Code for a blockchain, product, tool, or service that’s available to the public. Anyone can view, copy, or contribute to an open-source codebase, which makes it decentralised, and not under the control of a single authority.


A yield optimiser that maximises your return on investment for the least risk possible. Optimus makes it easy to take advantage of earning opportunities available through decentralised applications like Balanced and Omm. See


A third-party information service that provides price data for cryptoassets. Band Protocol ( is the most-used oracle provider for decentralised applications on ICON.

Orbit Bridge

Also known as Orbit Chain. The main bridge used by the ICON blockchain, with wrapped assets like ICON USD Coin. See

Order book exchange

A cryptocurrency exchange that requires traders to place buy and sell orders at specific prices, filling an “order book”. See also: automated market maker (AMM).



A developer group that acts as the main technology provider for the ICON Network, previously known as ICONLOOP. They also work with institutions to set up private blockchain solutions, and apply the technology to real-world applications, like Zzeung.

Passive income

Income generated without needing to dedicate ongoing time or effort to earn it. For example, an investor can deposit assets into Balanced or Omm to receive ongoing interest and/or rewards.

Password manager

An application secured by cryptography that’s used to manage usernames and passwords for apps and websites. Many password managers can also store credit card details, documents, software licences, and cryptocurrency wallets. A password manager is essential for crypto investors to stay secure online and keep track of multiple wallets and accounts. 1Password is one of the most well-known password managers.


The ability to send money or information directly from one person to another, without needing an intermediary like a financial institution.

Peg / pegged

To match (or closely match) the price of one currency to another. For example, the Balanced Dollar (bnUSD) is pegged to the US Dollar. Pegged cryptocurrencies are often called stablecoins, because their value is stable relative to a particular fiat currency.

Permanent loss

When cryptoassets in a liquidity pool fluctuate in value, the ratio of assets changes so the value is less than if the assets were simply held in a wallet. This impermanent loss is temporary if the value increases again, but if the liquidity is removed at this time, the loss then becomes permanent.


A fake message or website designed to trick people into revealing private information or taking a particular action. For example, extracting someone’s password, private key, or answers to security questions, or manipulating them to transfer funds to a criminal’s account.

To protect yourself from phishing attempts, always check that you’re using legitimate websites (phishing sites often look identical, but have slightly different URLs), and be extremely careful when sharing or confirming personal details.


See liquidity pool.


The complete set of cryptoassets you hold. The value of a portfolio is commonly tracked in a fiat currency, such as the US Dollar. A portfolio often includes a breakdown of your holdings, so you can see how much each asset contributes to the total value.


A trader’s expectation about how the price of a cryptoasset will change. If the trader expects the price to rise, they may take a long position (hold the asset until they can sell at a profit). Conversely, if the trader expects the price to fall, they may take a short position (sell the asset and buy in at a lower price).

A position can also refer to an investor’s participation in a specific activity. For example, to hold a position on Balanced means that you’ve deposited collateral and borrowed Balanced Dollars.


See public representative (P-Rep).


The value of a cryptoasset, often expressed in US Dollars. Prices are typically determined by market supply and demand (more demand = buyers pay a higher price so they don’t miss out; more supply = sellers drop their price to clear excess cryptoassets). See also stablecoins, which have a stable price.

Private blockchain

A blockchain built and maintained for a single company or institution, as a way to improve internal processes or address specific business problems. Private blockchains have restricted access, and are less decentralised than public blockchains.

Private key

A series of letters or numbers used to provide access to your cryptocurrency wallet. Anyone with your private key can access everything in your wallet, so your private key must be kept secure. Consider storing your wallet address, password, and private key in a password manager like 1Password, or print these details and keep them somewhere safe. If you lose your private key, your cryptocurrency will be permanently lost. See also: public key.

Project Nebula

An online science-fiction strategy game that incorporates non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the ICON Network. See

Proof of Stake (PoS)

A consensus mechanism that underpins many blockchains, including Ethereum. Proof of Stake requires investors to stake a specific cryptoasset, and those with the largest holdings get to verify transactions and mint new coins. PoS uses 99% less energy than the Proof of Work mechanism used by the Bitcoin blockchain. See also: Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).

Proof of Work (PoW)

The original consensus mechanism that underpins blockchains such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and (until September 2022) Ethereum. Proof of Work requires computers to compete to solve algorithms in order to verify transactions and mine new coins. PoW is extremely energy-intensive, using up to 10,000x more energy per transaction than the Proof of Stake method.

Provide liquidity

To make cryptocurrency or tokens available for others to borrow or trade. High liquidity is essential to for a token to be widely distributed, and to enable trades at a fair price with low slippage.

Public blockchain

A blockchain that’s accessible to the public, decentralised, and open-source. Anyone in the world can read, write, participate in, or build upon a public blockchain. See also: private blockchain.

Public key

A string of alphanumeric characters that functions as an address, which anyone can send money or information to. See also: private key, contract address, wallet address.

Public Representative (P-Rep)

A person or team who operates a node that produces and verifies blocks on the ICON blockchain. They also contribute to ICON’s governance and manage ICON’s grant program, the Contribution Proposal System.

Only 25 P-Reps can produce and verify blocks; these main P-Reps are elected by community members who stake their ICX behind them. Both stakers and P-Reps are rewarded with a portion of the daily ICX inflation. See also: node operator, validator, Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS).


Quarter 1 (Q1)

The 3 months from January to March. See also: fiscal quarter.

Quarter 2 (Q2)

The 3 months from April to June. See also: fiscal quarter.

Quarter 3 (Q3)

The 3 months from July to September. See also: fiscal quarter.

Quarter 4 (Q4)

The 3 months from October to December. See also: fiscal quarter.


The minimum participation required for a governance vote to be valid. Balanced and Omm require a participation rate of at least 20%.

Quote currency

The second currency listed in a trading pair. For example, bnUSD is the quote currency for the BALN/bnUSD liquidity pool. See also: base currency.



See annual percentage rate (APR), annual percentage yield (APY), and interest rate.


A last-resort mechanism to keep a stablecoin’s value pegged to a fiat currency. For example, to keep the Balanced Dollar (bnUSD) close to 1 USD, rebalancing can be triggered whenever there’s a significant price difference between bnUSD and the US Dollar.

  • When bnUSD falls below the rebalancing threshold, Balanced can sell borrowers’ collateral at a high price, then use the proceeds to repay some of their debt.
  • When bnUSD rises above the rebalancing threshold, Balanced can increase borrowers’ debt (free of charge), then use that borrowed bnUSD to buy collateral a cheap rate.

Rebalancing ensures that the price of bnUSD is always stable, regardless of market demand. Rebalancing doesn’t occur automatically: people can trigger it manually via a smart contract when the price falls above or below the threshold. See also: Stability Fund.

Retail investor

An individual, non-professional investor. The opposite of an institutional investor.


The income earned by an investment. For example, if you invest $200 and one year later it’s worth $250, you would have earned a return of $50, or 25%. See also: annual percentage yield (APY), annual percentage rate (APR).


The uncertainty associated with investing in a cryptoasset that could quickly change in value, or the possibility that unknown bugs could be exploited in a smart contract you’ve deposited funds into.

Risk ratio

A borrower’s ratio of loan to collateral. For example, if someone deposited $1,000 of collateral on Balanced and borrowed 100 bnUSD (equivalent to $100), their risk ratio would be 1:10.


An overview of activities and outcomes expected in the short- or long-term for a blockchain, product, or service. ICON and many others publish regular roadmap updates on their blogs to keep people up to date.

Rug pull

An exit scam. Occurs when a team pumps the price of their project’s token so they can withdraw as much value as possible and abandon the project. Users (their investors) are left holding an asset that has no value to back it.


Satoshi Nakamoto

A pseudonym for the person (or group of people) who invented Bitcoin, as originally described in a 2008 white paper.


Smart Contract on Reliable Environment. An acroynm for smart contracts that use the ICON blockchain.

Second-generation blockchain

A blockchain that hosts cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, but is plagued by slow transaction times and high transaction fees. Ethereum is an example of a second-generation blockchain.


Assets (usually stocks, bonds, or derivatives) that can be traded to raise funds for a business, institution, or government.

Security token

Tokens that represent ownership (or part-ownership) of another asset, such as a property or business.

Seed phrase

A 12-word phrase used to access a wallet that supports cryptoassets on multiple blockchains, like the Hana wallet.


To transfer a cryptoasset (such as a cryptocurrency or token) from your wallet to another wallet or service.

Short position

A trader’s expectation that the price of a cryptoasset will fall, which motivates them to sell that asset and buy it back later at a cheaper price. The opposite of a long position.


The difference between the expected price of a trade, versus the price when the trade is completed. This can happen when the price of a crypoasset changes rapidly, there’s a low amount of liquidity in the liquidity pool for the asset, or there’s a delay between placing and executing the trade.

Slippage tolerance

The maximum price variation (slippage) a trader will accept before their trade is cancelled. For example, if a trader sets a slippage tolerance of 0.5% and the price changes by more than that amount before their trade is executed, the trade will fail.

Smart contract

A set of rules written in code and published on a blockchain, which self-execute or allow for specific actions when their terms are met. For example, smart contracts can be used to record the outcome of votes, or liquidate under-collateralised loans. You can interact with smart contracts via their contract address. Compared to traditional contractual agreements, smart contracts remove the need for trusted intermediaries, and help to reduce fraud because the contract’s conditions are executed automatically.

SNOW Network

A testnet for the ICE Network, which was discontinued in early 2023. SNOW is backed by the ICZ token, which has real-world value (unlike most testnet tokens, which have no value), so developers can experiment and innovate in an economically-realistic environment.

Soft fork

When a blockchain’s software is updated, and node operators are required to adopt it. This often requires extensive coordination to ensure a smooth transition. For example, the ICON 2.0 upgrade introduced changes to accommodate for ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), and changed the smart contract coding language from Python to Java.

See also: hard fork.

Software wallet

A wallet used to store and manage cryptocurrencies, tokens, and NFTs, and interact with decentralised applications. Also known as a “hot wallet”. Software wallets include mobile applications, like MyIconWallet, and browser extensions, like Hana or MetaMask. See also: hardware wallet.


A coding language used to write smart contracts for the Ethereum blockchain.

Stability Fund

A fund used to keep the price of Balanced Dollars (bnUSD) close to 1 USD. The Stability Fund is a smart contract that allows traders to mint or burn bnUSD by exchanging it at a one-to-one rate for other stablecoins, like IUSDC and USDS, minus a 0.5% fee. The Stability Fund includes a maximum limit for each stablecoin (which can be adjusted through governance), to minimise Balanced’s risk exposure.


A cryptocurrency or token that’s pegged to a fiat currency, such as the US Dollar. Because they’re pegged, stablecoins have a stable, consistent value. Examples include the Balanced Dollar (bnUSD) and Stably USD (USDS), which are both pegged to the US Dollar.


The fintech company that developed the stablecoin known as Stably USD (USDS). See See also Stably Prime.

Stably Prime

An account for stablecoins, which integrates with services like Bridge to provide an on-ramp for cryptocurrency. Stably Prime also functions as an off-ramp for investors to convert cryptocurrency to US Dollars and send it to their bank account. Available at

Stably USD (USDS)

A stablecoin on the ICON Network, developed by Stably. 1 USDS is always valued at 1 USD.

Stake / staking

To stake cryptocurrency is to deposit it into a smart contract within a wallet, or with a decentralised finance service. Staked cryptocurrency generates interest, usually as an incentive for participating in governance for a specific project or blockchain. Staked cryptocurrency can’t be used for other purposes until it’s been unstaked. Unstaking isn’t instant: it takes about 7 days to unstake ICX, and 3 days to unstake BALN.

Staked ICX (sICX)

ICX which has been staked through a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform like Balanced or Omm. sICX is a token that represents a share of the ICX staking pool, and grows in value over time as it accrues staking rewards. As a token, it can be sent, traded, or invested. (ICX can also be staked within a wallet, but can’t be used until it’s unstaked.)

Staking pool

A smart contract that people can deposit their ICX into, in order to earn staking rewards while using their ICX for another activity. An investor’s share of the pool is represented by sICX, a token that increases in ICX value over time to reflect the staking rewards.


The unit of transaction fees on the ICON Network, typically expressed as a step price in ICX.

Step limit

The maximum amount of step (transaction fees) you’re prepared to pay for a particular transaction on the ICON Network.

Step price

The price to make a transaction on the ICON Network, expressed in ICX.


A person who makes cryptoassets available for others to borrow or trade. Suppliers are incentivised by the opportunity to earn interest and/or rewards for supplying cryptoassets. See also: borrower.

Supply liquidity

See provide liquidity.

Supply rate

The annualised interest rates paid to suppliers, to incentivise them to supply cryptocurrency or tokens for others to borrow.

Supply ratio

The ratio of two cryptoassets supplied to a liquidity pool on Balanced. Where one of the cryptoassets is a stablecoin, the supply ratio will fluctuate over time as the price of the other (non-stable) cryptoasset fluctuates. This fluctuation can cause an impermanent loss.


To exchange one asset for another. See trade.


Technical analysis

The use of chart patterns to predict future price movements for a market. The core principle is “buy low, sell high”. See also: TradingView, fundamental analysis.


A test environment for a blockchain network, which is used to test smart contracts and decentralised apps with test currencies before they’re pushed to mainnet (the live environment).

Third-generation blockchain

A blockchain that hosts cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, and is highly scalable, with extremely fast transactions and low transaction fees. The ICON Network is an example of a third-generation blockchain. See also: first-generation blockchain, second-generation blockchain.

Ticker code

See ticker symbol.

Ticker symbol

An abbreviation used to identify assets like stocks, currencies, and cryptoassets. Examples include AAPL, USD, and ICX.


A unit of value hosted on a blockchain. Tokens may function as cryptocurrencies which are used for payments, or they may have another purpose, like a security token, utility token, worker token, and non-fungible token (NFT).

Token economics

The token distribution model and economic incentives for a blockchain or decentralised application. A project’s token economics should incentivise use of and demand for its services. For example, Balanced uses BALN to incentivise people to borrow bnUSD and provide liquidity, and offers low fees to incentivise people to trade.


Short for token economics.


An exchange of cryptoassets between two parties. For example, a trader might use Balanced to trade ICX for bnUSD.


Someone who regularly buys and sells assets, like stocks or cryptocurrencies, in order to make a profit.


A platform “where the world charts, chats, and trades markets”. Used by traders to spot chart patterns and perform technical analysis. See

Transaction fee

The cost of taking an action that’s recorded on a blockchain, like sending or trading cryptoassets, claiming rewards, voting on governance issues, and interacting with smart contracts.


The ability to perform an action without needing to rely on a centralised authority, like a financial institution. Most blockchains are considered trustless because they allow people to interact directly with another person or smart contract, and can guarantee authenticity without the need for a third-party or intermediary.



See user interface (UI).


To remove your cryptoassets from a staked state, in order to use them for other purposes. Unstaking is not instantaneous. For example, it takes 3 days to unstake Balance Tokens (BALN), and approximately 7 days to unstake ICX.


See US Dollar (USD).


See USD Coin (USDC).


A centralised, fully-backed stablecoin provided by Circle, which is native to the Ethereum blockchain. See See also: ICON USD Coin (IUSDC).

US Dollar (USD)

The official fiat currency of the United States of America. The value of cryptoassets is usually expressed in US Dollars, because the USD is a globally-understood unit of value. Stablecoins (such as bnUSD and USDC) are typically pegged to the US Dollar for the same reason.


See Stably USD (USDS).


A term for people who use (or are expected to use) a product or service. See also: user experience (UX), user interface (UI).

User experience (UX)

UX defines every user interaction with a product or service, including the sales funnel, onboarding flow, and customer support channels. A good user experience focuses on utility, and helps people complete their tasks as fast and effortlessly as possible.

User interface (UI)

The appearance of a product or website that users interact with, including colours, page layout, typography, and styles for various elements, like buttons. The UI can impact the overall user experience, and is often designed in tandem.

Utility token

A cryptoasset that functions like a voucher, used to access specific products or services. Utility tokens are common for ICOs.


See user experience (UX).



A person or team who operates a node that produces blocks and verifies transactions for a blockchain. Validators on ICON are commonly referred to as public representatives (P-Reps) or node operators.

Value / valuation

The price of a stock, currency, or cryptoasset, usually expressed in US Dollars.


Decentralised communities allow members to vote on proposals to modify how they operate. Proposals might include things like changes to incentives or token economics, which are discussed in online forums before a vote occurs. ICX holders can also vote for ICON public representatives, who receive ICX in return for operating a node that verifies transactions for the ICON blockchain.



A place to store and manage cryptocurrencies, tokens, and NFTs, and interact with smart contracts and decentralised apps. A wallets is either a software wallet (“hot wallet”), like a mobile application or browser extension, or a hardware wallet (“cold wallet”), like a Ledger device. Every wallet includes a public key (the wallet address), and a private key. Anyone with the private key can access the wallet and manage the assets it holds.

Wallet address

Every wallet can be identified by a string of alphanumeric characters, also known as the public key. Similar to a bank account number, you need a wallet address to send cryptoassets to your wallet. Blockchains keep a public record of all transactions, so people will be able to see the transactions made with your wallet, but no one will know who owns it unless you choose to identify yourself. See also: private key.

Web 1.0

The earliest version of the internet, when a small number of people created content for a large audience to read. Web 1.0 revolved around email and static webpages. It’s often called the "read-only web" because of its lack of interactivity compared to Web 2.0.

Web 2.0

Also known as the "read-write web", Web 2.0 is about participation. It allows people to create their own content and interact with others. Most digital products and services today use Web 2.0 technology. For example, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok, in addition to other forms of content creation, like blogs and podcasts.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0 is still being realised, but its core tenet focuses on decentralisation. While Web 1.0 is "read-only", and Web 2.0 is "read-write", Web 3.0 is "read-write-execute". Instead of centralised platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Web 3.0 allows people to own their own data, and interact in public or private without intermediaries or the risk that their access to a platform is removed. Web 3.0 includes blockchain-based products, decentralised finance (DeFi), and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).

White paper

A document that describes how a blockchain, decentralised application, or other new project will work. White papers typically outline the product’s technical details, governance structure, and token economics model (if applicable). See also: lite paper.


See work in progress (WIP).


Decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) are owned and operated by their communities. However, it’s important to incentivise a group of people (usually the founders) to support and develop the organisation’s product(s). In the ICON ecosystem, workers are often compensated with worker tokens.

Worker token

A token that distributes regular income to its holders, as a way to incentivise ongoing support and development for a decentralised project. Both Balanced and Omm support worker tokens, and distribute a share of the daily BALN and OMM inflation to the workers who hold them.

Work in progress (WIP)

Work that is currently underway, but not yet complete. WIP is often referenced in roadmap updates, improvement proposals, and forum discussions.

Wrap / wrapped

A wrapped cryptocurrency can be used on a non-native blockchain. For example, USDC is native to the Ethereum blockchain, but it can be wrapped for use on other blockchains, like the ICON Network, where it’s known as ICON USD Coin (IUSDC).



The ICON Network’s standard for generic cross-chain messaging, which was built for BTP and can be adopted by other interoperability protocols. xCall allows developers to interact with smart contracts on other blockchains, so they can create a wide array of new multi-chain use cases.

Transaction fees generated through xCall are converted to ICX and then burned, so ICON benefits even when cross-chain transactions aren’t routed through BTP.



An authentication service that uses MyID to verify user information while preserving their privacy. Zzeung can be used to open bank accounts, manage certficates, and check in to locations on Jeju Island, a popular tourist destination in South Korea. See



A popular password manager. See

51% attack

Records of cryptocurrency balances and transactions for a blockchain are stored on a distributed ledger across a network of computers. If there’s a discrepancy between the information stored on any two computers in the network, the version held by the majority of the network is considered correct.

A malicious user that controls more than 50% of the network could falsify records and have their version considered correct, because it would be the version held by the majority of computers. It’s critical that the blockchain is decentralised to make it infeasible for any one person or group to control more than half of the computers in the network.