Bitcoin Dictionary


Anti-Money Laundering techniques are used to stop people converting illegally obtained funds, to appear as though they have been earned legally. AML mechanisms can be legal or technical in nature. Regulators frequently apply AML techniques to bitcoin exchanges.


Stands for ‘Application Specific iIntegrated Circuit’.

This is a chip designed to perform a narrow set of tasks (compared to CPU or GPU that perform a wide range of functions).

ASIC typically refers to specialised mining chips or the whole machines built on these chips. Some ASIC manufacturers are: – Avalon – ASICMiner – Butterfly Labs (BFL) – Cointerra.

ASIC Miner

A Chinese manufacturer that makes custom mining hardware, sells shares for bitcoins, pays dividends from on-site mining and also ships actual hardware to customers.

ASICMiner is a virtual identity totally held by investors of the Bitfountain company. The Bitfountain company’s business includes mining with self-built ASIC devices, as well as the sales of them.


A Bitcoin address is a Base58Check representation of a Hash160 of a public key with a version byte 0x00 which maps to a prefix “1”. Typically represented as text (e.g. 1CBtcGivXmHQ8ZqdPgeMfcpQNJrqTrSAcG) or as a QR code.

A more recent variant of an address is a P2SH address: a hash of a spending script with a version byte 0x05 which maps to a prefix “3” (e.g. 3NukJ6fYZJ5Kk8bPjycAnruZkE5Q7UW7i8).

Another variant of an address is not a hash, but a raw link../p/Private_Key.asciidoc[private key] representation (e.g. 5KQntKuhYWSRXNqp2yhdXzjekYAR7US3MT1715Mbv5CyUKV6hVe). It is rarely used, only for importing/exporting private keys or printing them on paper wallets.


A clone of the Bitcoin Protocol with some modifications. Usually all altcoins have rules incompatible with the Bitcoin Protocol and have their own genesis blocks.

The most notable altcoins are litecoin (uses faster block confirmation time and scrypt as a proof-of-work) and namecoin (has a special key-value storage).

In theory, an altcoin can be started from an existing Bitcoin Blockchain if someone wants to support a different set of rules (although, there is no such example to date).


A digital token built to be the exclusive or preferred means of accessing a specific applications features.

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