Lesson 1: A glossary to understanding the blockchain universe

Following a boom 2021 for the crypto universe, 2022 posed a big challenge. Secure blockchain decentralization, its scalability and new applications apart from those of cryptocurrencies are currently dominating debates among the experts. Let’s have a look at some of the most important buzz words for 2023.


This is the name generally given to all those currencies that are not bitcoin (BTC). They were created to diversify and enhance the cryptographic ecosystem. A host of cryptocurrencies fall into the altcoin category, including the Ethereum network's ether (ETH). Many of these are not greatly different from Bitcoin. Nonetheless, they offer different, unique characteristics, such as distribution methods or mining algorithms.

Cold, warm or hot wallets

Virtual wallets are used to manage cryptographic assets. Cold wallets use keys generated from a source that is not connected to blockchain or to the network. They are hardware or hard copy (QR code) tools that are much more secure than what are called hot wallets, software connected to the network subject to attacks or key theft. However, they are less convenient for daily transactions. Warm wallets combine the security of the former and the speed of the latter: they are connected online but have additional security layers and require human intervention to authorize transactions.  


Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are digital currencies issued by a country’s central bank. In other words, these are digital versions of fiat currencies like the digital yuan (also known as e-CNY), the pilot program for which has been extended to several provinces, or Britcoin, a digital sterling announced by the Bank of England and focused on payments. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is still studying the viability of a European digital currency. Over 100 countries are already seriously considering the idea of issuing digital currencies.  


These are decentralized applications, they work independently and are based on a network of interacting nodes according to a set of pre-established rules set out in smart contracts. They enable blockchain users to interact directly without any central authority.


DeFi is the ecosystem of smart contracts and applications that aim to build a set of decentralized financial services backed by blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Halving

This happens when the bitcoin reward for miners for having created a block is reduced by half to reduce the issue level. In fact, every time miners validate a block they receive a BTC reward. This halving mechanism occurs approximately every four years and serves to reduce the currency in circulation and thereby maintain its scarcity. 

Crypto winter

It indicates bearish phases of the markets, when the prices of digital assets fall and remain well below their last peak or the ATH (All-Time High).


A token digitally represents the value of an asset. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unlike fungible ones (such as cryptocurrencies), are unique and cannot be interchanged or replicated.

The best of both worlds

All your operational needs in one place. Invest in both traditional and digital assets with the backing and experience of the most secure Swiss banking.

Security token

These are cryptographic tokens resembling any other, the difference being they are linked to traditional financial assets. Their advantage lies in that they cost less than stock shares and avail of the security and benefits offered by blockchain technology.

Shanghai Upgrade

After ‘The Merge’, this is the latest Ethereum platform upgrade, planned for Spring 2023. It will allow users to withdraw ETH they had locked in staking (storing cryptocurrencies in exchange for rewards) starting in 2020.

Smart contracts

These are pieces of software that contain a digital agreement between two or more parties relating to goods or services. Once the terms of the agreement are met, these IT protocols are automatically executed and the parties receive what has previously been agreed.


Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a stable reference asset such as the US dollar (USDT and USDC) or gold (PAXG). They are designed to decrease volatility in comparison to non-referenced cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, they still maintain some of the most interesting properties owing to their digital character.

been using

This refers to the big revolution in 2022: indicates the merge of the two Ethereum blockchains in their conversion to the Proof-of-Stake, a system of transaction validation and new block generation that is much more energy and transaction cost-efficient than the Proof-of-Work (PoW) model, where verifiers use much more powerful and energy-intensive computers.

Utility token

Utility tokens represent the right to use a product or service provided on a blockchain network. This type of asset is not intended to be an investment, but to offer access to a function within a blockchain ecosystem linked to a project or company.


It is the decentralized web model based on blockchain technology, the third Internet era after web1, the first stage in which browsers and online commerce were created albeit with poor interactive potential, and web2, the era in which blogs and social networks fostered the emergence of a new participatory culture, but one dominated by the tech giants.