Gridcoin Short Glossary

Are you new to the world of cryptocurrencies? Due to the massive use of abbreviations and technical terms it is hard to keep track of cryptocurrencies as a non-professional.  This still growing glossary is meant to be a summary of all the terms within the Gridcoin world. A list of all crucial terms, which are displayed in the Gridcoin wallet, you can find here.

ANN

An announcement. E.g. used in forums to announce a new crypto-currency with topic “[ANN] This is our new crypto-currency X”.

Blocks

A block is a list of all transactions made within the Gridcoin network since the last block was created. All blocks together form the blockchain, which contains every transaction ever made. The number of blocks is an indicator for the total timeframe the network is running. The network participant that creates a block gets a compensation in form of Gridcoins. With Gridcoin, there are two different types of blocks – Interest and PoR (see Proof-of-Research) blocks.

Blockchain

The blockchain is the chain of all valid blocks that were created since the start of the cryptocurrency. All transactions that were ever made can be read out of the blockchain. So the blockchain contains all the information needed to know exactly, which Gridcoin address owns how many Gridcoins. You can read more here.

BOINC

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or BOINC, is a platform for distributed computing (see Distributed Computing, DC). Among others, scientists can upload small, unsolved units of their research. The user can download those units, solve them and upload the solution. You can read more here.

Client

In general, a client is a program that grants access to a network. The Gridcoin client, also known as the wallet (see Wallet), connects the user to the Gridcoin network. Due to this connection, the user’s computer becomes a node (see Node).

Dev

A developer. The main developer of Gridcoin is Rob Halförd.

Distributed Computig, DC

A distributed computing network is a decentralized supercomputer. It uses all calculation power which is connected to this network. It is the opposite to centralized computing (e.g. big server farms).

Fork

A fork is a branch of the blockchain seperate from the main branch. This can occasionally happen, especially during update times, if a block is created by 2 nodes simultaneously but can also be caused by other reasons. Then there are 2 branches of the Blockchain. Once one branch becomes longer than the other (meaning the next block is created earlier in one of the branches), the network automatically interprets the longer one as “right” one. The shorter one is called fork which will be erased automatically as the network readjusts itself. All transactions and created blocks on a fork are not valid.

GRC

Gridcoin Research, the actual full name of Gridcoin, which uses the Proof-of-Stake algorithm for interest (see PoS) and the Proof-of-Research algorithm for mining payments (see PoR).

GRCX

Gridcoin Classic, the old Gridcoin. The algorithm was greatly developed and morphed into Gridcoin Research to end the use of the wasteful Proof-of-Work algorithm (see PoW).

Hash

In general, a hash is a code created by a cryptographical hash-function. Usually it is used to create a unique figure out of a dataset. By using a hash code of a dataset, it is easily possible to check the equality of this dataset with a reputed copy of this dataset. In cryptocurrencies a random hash is often used for Proof-of-Work (see PoW), where the participating nodes try to guess the right hash.

Magnitude

The magnitude is a number representing the scientific work a Gridcoin user has contributed. To put it simply, the magnitude is the contributed work of a user divided by the average work of all Gridcoin users. You can read more here.

Node

A node is one part of a network. A Gridcoin client which is connected to the internet is a node. The Gridcoin network consists of all the participating user clients.

Orphan

An orphan is an invalid block. This can happen due to a block creation on a fork (see Fork) for example.

PoR or POR

Proof-of-Research is the cryptographical algorithm developed exclusively and only used by Gridcoin to securely provide users with Gridcoins proportional to their research activity. The more a user researches, the more Gridcoins the user will get. You can read more here.

PoS or POS

Proof-of-Stake is the cryptographical algorithm used by cryptocoins to provide a secure distribution of interest payments. The more Gridcoins are in the wallet of a user, the more interest the user will get. Proof-of-Stake is not CPU-intensive. You can read more here.

PoW or POW

Proof-of-Work is the cryptographical algorithm used by Bitcoin and similar coins. The algorithm is based on the massive use of resources to guess the right hash for creating a block. In the case of Bitcoin, the Proof-of-Work algorithm tries to find a random hash and the first node to guess the right hash will create the next block and get a reward. After that a new hash has to be guessed by the network. This is a meaningless numerical procedure which is very wasteful compared to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. Proof-of-Research also uses all available resources but calculates real scientific problems, not only hashes. You can read more about Proof-of-Work here.

RSA

The Research Savings Account checks within a 14 days timeframe into the past, how many Gridcoins the user recieved and how many Gridcoins the user is owed. If the number of Gridcoins owed is higher than the Gridcoins paid the user will be paid more.

Wallet

A (electronic) wallet is a client (see Client) granting access to an cryptocurrency network. Coins are stored in the wallet and transactions can be made to and from it. At the same time, a wallet is also a node (see Node).

Workunit, WU

A workunit is usually a small part of a bigger numerical problem. BOINC users download those small parts and solve the problems with a computing device. The solved parts are then uploaded. With the help of all solved workunits, a much bigger problem can be solved (e.g. a climate model can be evaluated).

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