Glossary

App Review An incentive mechanism for application developers in the early stage (first four years) of the ecosystem and helps with bootstrapping the two-sided market.
App Mining ​​A system where the Blockstack community funds decentralized app teams.
Atlas A peer network provide a global index for discovery
block A discrete group of records written to a blockchain that can effectively be identified and referenced by the use of headers that contain a digital fingerprint of the records each block contains.
blockchain A database created and shared by the members of a peer-to-peer computer network which each member of that network can independently trust due to the rules governing the database’s creation. A blockchain can therefore be used to replace centralized databases.
Blockchain Name System (BNS) Replacement for DNS.
blockstack browser An application for accessing identity and storage.
Blockstack Core A complete version of our open-source software available on Github at https://github.com/blockstack/blockstack-core/ that governs the creation of the blockchain, the smart contracts that may be written to our blockchain, and other systems that make up the Blockstack network, when run on the systems and devices of our users and developers.
blockstack id See id.blockstack
Burning Burning a token means that the token is transferred to an address that is a black hole—one that is not owned by any entity and for which guessing the applicable private key is effectively impossible based on known mathematical principles. This effectively destroys the token by making it unavailable for future use and decreases the total number of tokens available from that point forward.
consensus hash A consensus hash is a cryptographic hash that each node calculates at each block. It is derived from the accepted state transitions in the last-processed block, and a geometric series of prior-calculated consensus hashes.
Consensus rules The rules governing the creation of new valid records in a blockchain database, and the mining algorithms used for this purpose.
control plane The part of a network that carries signaling traffic and is responsible for routing. Control packets originate from or are destined for a router. Functions of the control plane include system configuration and management.
core node A server that runs Blockstack Core services.
crypto-asset A digital asset which utilises cryptography, peer-to-peer networking, and a public ledger to regulate the creation of new units, verify transactions, and secure the transactions without the intervention of any middleman.
cryptography The practise and study of encryption and decryption - encoding data so that it can only be decoded by specific individuals. A system for encrypting and decrypting data is a cryptosystem.
decentralized application (DApp) A DApp is a service that enables direct interaction between end users and providers (e.g. connecting buyers and sellers in some marketplace, owners and stores in file storage). A term coined by Ethereum. See their glossary: http://ethdocs.org/en/latest/glossary.html
digital asset Also referred to as a crypto-asset. Any set of unique digital information—including, for example, programs, decentralized programs, isolated chunks of programming code, collections of data, e-mail or web addresses or cryptocurrency tokens—that is capable of being stored and uniquely tracked on a computer network such as the Blockstack network and over which a user can maintain control through that network.
digital fingerprint A digital fingerprint is a unique number of a fixed length that can be produced by running any set of digital information through something called a cryptographic hash function. Each set of digital information (including a digital asset, and the digital record of any network operation on that digital asset) should (as a practical matter) have a unique digital fingerprint, which allows that set of digital information to be identified. However, it is almost impossible to recreate a digital asset from its digital fingerprint. The Blockstack network uses industry-standard algorithms such as SHA-256 to create digital fingerprints.
digital signature A digital signature is a sequence of digital information combining a user’s private key and any digital information that the user wishes to sign. Any other party can use the user’s paired public key to verify that the digital signature is authentic, i.e. that the public key was generated from a particular piece of digital information and the user’s private key.
distributed hash tables (DHT) A form of network used to store some content in the form of key/value pairs. ... This experimental project try to avoid keeping all the blockchain, but instead prefers to store it in a DHT.
ephemeral key A cryptographic key is called ephemeral if it is generated for each execution of a key establishment process.
fork The term fork is used to refer both to any situation where there are two or more competing versions of a blockchain on a network (a situation that may arise and resolve itself in the ordinary course of network operations due to lags in communication between core nodes) and any software update that is proposed for adoption by the core nodes of a blockchain network that may result in a persistent fork on the network, with core nodes that adopt the update recognizing one version of the blockchain and those which do not recognizing another.
Gaia Decentralized storage
genesis block The genesis block is the first block of the Stacks blockchain, which will create the initial 1.32 billion Stacks Tokens.
id.blockstack An identifier in the Blockstack, for example moxiegirl.id.blockstack. This is your name & identity that is registered in the .id namespace on Blockstack. Your personal data and storage are built around this ID. Apps that want to access your data use your permission and identity to find it. An id is usually a shorthand for a longer, hash ID string, for example ID-1Fj9kkw15P51Fj9kkw15P5xJmyefWhLKrQMKNPREfaqsJ
identity management (IDM) Identity management, also known as identity and access management is, in computer security, the security and business discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times and for the right reason
know your customer (KYC) Or KYC, is a popular term used in the banking or financial field. KYC is a process where financial institutions, insurers and other companies obtain information about the identity and address of the customers as part of risk management.
KYC See know your customer
light clients Clients that can independently validate the existence of transactions by downloading only block headers and not the entire blockchain.
mesh network A local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches, and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients.
mining Mining generally refers to the process of performing certain functions for a network such as adding new records to a blockchain in exchange for mining rewards; it may also refer to other mechanisms whereby rewards (usually in the form of cryptocurrency) are provided for performing other tasks helpful to the network.
mining power A miner’s (or group of miners’) mining power is equal to the probability it will be selected to write a new block to the blockchain. Depending on the mechanism for mining, this is usually related to the overall share of computing power or cryptoassets the miner or miners possess relative to all miners for that blockchain.
mining rewards Mining rewards are newly issued tokens received by miners in exchange for adding new records to the blockchain or other activities beneficial to the network.
name An identifier or name. Names are a type of digital asset in the Blockstack network. If you have signed into the Blockstack Browser, you created a name. If an application developer registered an application within Blockstack, then they registered a name.
network operation A network operation is any change to the information about a digital asset (or smart contract) stored on a blockchain, including, for example, a change in the digital asset’s owner, or a change in the location at which it is stored on the network. How and when these network operations are performed for each digital asset is governed, on the Blockstack network, either by the Blockstack Core software or a smart contract.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) A system which returns a cryptographic public key associated with a name.
private key A private key is a very large random sequence of digital information (effectively a very long password) that should be known only by a single user of the network and cannot be plausibly guessed by a third party in a reasonable amount of time. A user generates this large random sequence locally on a computer and should never share it with anyone. Each private key has a paired sequence of digital information, called a public key, which a user can share publicly.
proof-of-burn mining The consensus algorithm used in the Stacks blockchain where miners destroy a proof-of-work-based cryptocurrency (currently Bitcoin) to get tokens; this enables the functionality where nodes can select between conflicting blockchain forks, as the blockchain fork with the most amount of cryptocurrency burned is considered to be the correct fork.
proof-of-work A proof-of-work system or proof-of-work mining is a mining mechanism where miners must expend computing power to solve complicated cryptographic puzzles, and prove that they have done so by writing the solution to the blockchain, in order to be allowed to add blocks to a blockchain. This is the mining system used, for example, by Bitcoin.
replicated state machines (RSMs) This is a model for reasoning about distributed computer programs -- any program (plus it's input) can be represented as a state machine, and when trying to get a distributed set of servers to agree on the output of an algorithm, you can model that process as N different state machines
smart contract A smart contract is a computer program written to a blockchain such as the Blockstack blockchain by developers. This computer program defines the various network operations that can be performed on the digital assets on the blockchain, the computations that can be performed using the smart contract, along with defining various important properties of the respective digital assets like ownership rights and the cost in fuel required to register the digital assets.
soft fork A soft fork is a proposed update to the software governing the network that results in a post-update network that is compatible with the network as it existed prior to the update, because it restricts the network operations that can be performed after the update.
Stacks blockchain The Stacks blockchain is the custom blockchain being developed for use by the Blockstack network that will use the Stacks token as its native currency and which will include the genesis block and subsequent blocks created by the mining activities described in The Blockstack Network—Development of the Blockstack network.
transaction A transaction is a unit of work within a block.
transaction fee Fees paid by participants in a transaction to miners.
two-sided market problem Economic platforms having two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits. The Blockstack platform is a classic two-sided market.
username A shorthand name for your your id.blockstack.
virtual blockchain A layer that sits on top of a blockchain that introduces new functionality and operations without requiring changes to the underlying blockchain
wallet address A wallet address is the form in which a public key can be presented and recorded on a blockchain. Wallet addresses are therefore used to assign the ownership of digital assets on the Blockstack network.
Web of trust mining Web-of-trust mining provides incentive mechanisms for users where an initial trusted-set of unique users is curated in the genesis block and, in the future, the initial set of users can expand the web-of-trust after the network goes live.
Zone file A Domain Name System (DNS) zone file is a text filethat describes a DNS zone. A DNS zone is a subset, often a single domain, of the hierarchical domain name structure of the DNS.