Web 3 Lexicon for Newbies

October 3, 2022

Thanks to the internet, the web3 online community grows with each passing day with creators, collectors and enthusiasts. The problem, however, is that many come into the space out of fear of missing out and end up overwhelmed with the exclusive lingo and constantly evolving information. Language is a key tool for networking. It is what separates an active participant from a birdwatcher and what eventually fuels your growth in the community.

Welcome to Web3! But first, here are 27 new words you should add to your dictionary if you intend to grow in the space.

  • Airdrop: Similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature, an airdrop in web3 is the process of distributing cryptocurrency, tokens, or NFTs to wallet addresses for free. It is a popular marketing strategy employed by new projects in the web3 space to raise public awareness and ownership. However, some airdrops are fraudulent, fishing for personal information and even hacking wallets. Always be careful.

  • Ape: This is someone who invests heavily in a cryptocurrency or crypto project. By doing so, they are ‘apeing’; buying without conducting enough research because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

  • Bear/Bull: Bear and Bull are opposite ends of economic markets, crypto included. During a bear market, the economy is receding; stocks are declining in value. Investors are more likely to sell off their holdings at this time to mitigate losses. However, during a bull market, the economy is sound; prices are going up. 

  • CEX/DEX: Abbreviation of Centralized Exchanges, CEX refers to crypto trading platforms where only one company oversees all transactions and has sovereign power over transaction rules, hence centralized. Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken are all examples of centralized exchanges. DEX - on the other hand - is short for Decentralized Exchanges and is the opposite of CEX. These are peer-to-peer marketplaces in which transactions occur directly between crypto traders without the need for a central authority. Uniswap is a great example of a decentralized exchange.

  • Degen: Although it stems from the word “degenerate”, degen is used affectionately between members of the NFT and crypto community. See this insightful Twitter thread on how to be a more efficient degen.

  • Floor Price: Floor price refers to the lowest amount of money you can spend to own an NFT or a project. It is essentially the lowest value for an NFT on the market.

  • Floor Sweep: A floor sweep occurs when a specific project buys all its minted NFTs at the floor price.

  • Fren: Colloquial term used in place of ‘friend.'

  • GM: Commonly used in place of Good Morning.

  • GMI: Abbreviation for Gonna Make It. Popularly used on Twitter to show support or motivation in the community.

  • ICO: Abbreviation for Initial Coin Offering. This is a form of crowdfunding in which a company sells a new cryptocurrency to raise money for a venture.

  • HODL: The term HODL initially started with a misspelling of “hold” from a Bitcoin forum post from 2013 where it referred to a buy-and-hold investment strategy. However, it has also come to stand for “hold on for dear life” among crypto investors. When you ‘hodl’, you are holding on to your digital assets even in the face of a bearish market.

  • Metaverse: Broadly speaking, the metaverse refers to virtual reality on the internet. It is a simulated digital environment in which humans, in the form of avatars, can interact in day-to-day mundanities.

  • Mining: Mining is done to ensure the legitimacy of cryptocurrency transactions and create new coins. It is the process of adding transactions to a large distributed public ledger of existing transactions known as a blockchain. 

  • Moon/To-the-Moon: An expression that implies an asset will go so high it could reach the moon (literally). Sometimes depicted with the rocket emoji.

  • NGMI: Abbreviation for Not Gonna Make It. It implies that a particular project or asset has a low chance of becoming valuable. It can also be directed at a person who had made a poor trade or investment.

  • PFP: Abbreviation for Profile Picture. Many social media platforms have recently begun integrating the usage of NFTs as display pictures or avatars.

  • Play-to-Earn: This is a popular business model in the web3 and gaming space where players can earn rewards with real-world value; most times in the form of cryptocurrency and NFTs.

  • POAP: Abbreviation for Proof Of Attendance Protocol. POPs are unique digital mementos minted to commemorate key events and issued to attendees of such events to prove their participation.

  • Pump-and-Dump: A pump-and-dump scheme is one in which a group of traders, such as the coin's founders or collaborators, spreads false or misleading information to artificially increase the price of an asset before selling off their shares at the artificially inflated price.

  • Rug Pull: ​A rug pull is also another type of scam in the web3 space. The name comes from the expression “pulling the rug out”, wherein a developer attracts investors to a new cryptocurrency project and then pulls out before the project is built. Thus leaving investors with a worthless currency.

  • Shill: Shilling is when someone actively promotes a specific NFT and encourages others to invest in it in the hopes of inflating its value. Sometimes this is done maliciously, but not always. Hence, most people view it as a form of spam.

  • Slippage: Slippage is the difference between a trade's expected price and its actual price. Due to the constantly changing nature of the crypto market, the price of a cryptocurrency may change between the time an order is placed and the time that order is eventually filled. 

  • Token: Tokens are digital assets created on an existing blockchain that can be used for investment purposes or to make purchases on the metaverse. NFTs are non-fungible tokens meaning they are unique and irreplaceable.  

  • Tokenomics: Tokenomics examines how cryptocurrencies function within a larger ecosystem. It discusses the elements—such as the creation and distribution of the token, supply and demand, incentive systems, and token burn schedules—that affect its use and value.

  • WAGMI: Abbreviation for We All Gonna Make It. It is used to show support and motivation in the community.

  • Whitelist: This is a list of interested participants in an initial coin offering who registered their intent to take part or purchase in a sale.



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