Blockchain terminology

This living document is a non-exhaustive list of key blockchain terms. Click through on each term for a longer explanation.


Block height

Block height is the current block number in the blockchain. By measuring the current 'height' of a blockchain, one can see the progress that the network is making.


Block

A block is the primary element of a blockchain; it is where transaction data is permanently recorded and stored.


Blockchain infrastructure

What it means to power blockchain infrastructure on proof of stake networks, and how a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a service-provider does it.


Blockchain

A blockchain is a form of peer-to-peer network which uses cryptographic hash functions to build an unchangeable, distributed ledger.


Client types

Blockchain client types have different uses within the context of a network. Examining the differences between the four basic client types can help you choose the right type for your needs.


Cluster

A cluster is a network-specific node(s) and its supporting infrastructure, such as load balancing tools and monitoring and alerting services.


Cryptographic primitives

Cryptographic primitives, or crypto primitives, are low-level cryptographic algorithms that form the basic building blocks of a protocol.


DeFi

DeFi stands for decentralized finance and represents a category of financial products and services built on blockchain technology. DeFi does not use intermediaries like traditional financial products and services and therefore has the potential to make financial systems more accessible to the people of the world.


Digital signatures

Digital signatures are requirements for any working blockchain; their attributes are of paramount importance and can profoundly impact the characteristics of a blockchain.


Epoch

An epoch is an era of time within a blockchain network.


eth2 terminology

A non-exhaustive list of key terms to understand the eth2 protocol, as defined by the Bison Trails Protocol Ops Team.


Proof of stake

Some blockchain protocols use proof of stake (PoS) validation to secure the network and validate the transactions included in each block. Proof of stake participants operate a node on the network to validate transactions and create blocks, and, in return for executing this work, earn block rewards.


Proof of work

The earliest blockchain protocols used proof of work (PoW) mining to secure the network and validate the transactions included in each block.


Slashing

Slashing is a mechanism built into proof of stake blockchain protocols to discourage validator misbehavior. Slashing is designed to incentivize node security, availability, and network participation.


Substrate

Substrate is the modular blockchain framework on which Edgeware and Kusama are built, and the foundation for the whole Polkadot ecosystem.


Sybil Attack

A Sybil Attack is a common form of attack on a blockchain network. Sybil Attacks, a familiar threat for peer-to-peer networks, are attacks in which a malicious entity takes over control of a network by creating a large number of mirroring pseudonymous entities, thus enabling the attacker to seize control of voting or consensus mechanisms.


Tendermint

Tendermint is software for securely and consistently replicating an application on many machines.



→ View more terminology.


About Bison Trails


Enterprise infrastructure to power the crypto ecosystem.

Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure®

Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 20 new chains effortlessly.

We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 30 protocols with QT. Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.

In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails will be joining Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line as part of Coinbase. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data. Read more.

Blockchain Terminology

View all


bison cool

THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT CONSTRUE ANY SUCH INFORMATION OR OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS LEGAL, TAX, INVESTMENT, FINANCIAL, OR OTHER ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION OR ENDORSEMENT OF ANY DIGITAL ASSET, PROTOCOL, NETWORK OR PROJECT. HOWEVER, BISON TRAILS (INCLUDING ITS AFFILIATES AND/OR EMPLOYEES) MAY HAVE, OR MAY IN THE FUTURE HAVE, A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN, AND MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RELATED TO, ONE OR MORE OF THE DIGITAL ASSETS, PROTOCOLS, NETWORKS, ENTITIES, PROJECTS AND/OR VENTURES DISCUSSED HEREIN.

THE RISK OF LOSS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY, INCLUDING STAKING, CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL AND NOTHING HEREIN IS INTENDED TO BE A GUARANTEE AGAINST THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSS. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE CONTENT CONTAINED HEREIN ARE BASED ON INFORMATION WHICH IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE AND HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE BUT BISON TRAILS MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE FAIRNESS, ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, REASONABLENESS OR COMPLETENESS OF SUCH INFORMATION.

ANY USE OF BISON TRAILS’ SERVICES MAY BE CONTINGENT ON COMPLETION OF BISON TRAILS’ ONBOARDING PROCESS, INCLUDING ENTRANCE INTO APPLICABLE LEGAL DOCUMENTATION AND WILL BE, AT ALL TIMES, SUBJECT TO AND GOVERNED BY BISON TRAILS’ POLICIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ITS TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY, AS MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME.

help

Contact us

Get in touch

General
Sales
Media
Legal