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Web 3 and NFT Lingo and What they mean. A list of common web 3 acronyms and their meaning

The world of cryptocurrency is a confusing one, with new terminology constantly popping up. In this article, we share simple definitions of some of the common acronyms used in the space and we also define some of the lingo used by creators in the space. You too can enrich your web 3 lingo and sound like an expert!

Web 3 and NFT Lingo and What they mean. A list of common web 3 acronyms and their meaning

  • WHAT IS WEB 3?

Web 3 is the next generation of the internet, built on a decentralized system that allows users to store data without central servers. It’s designed for users to have control over their own data and share it with other users directly.


A blockchain is an online ledger that records transactions in an open, distributed network. No one controls or owns a blockchain; instead, it’s maintained by a community of people who agree on its accuracy and integrity.

  • What are DAO’s?

DAO stands for Decentralize Autonomous Organization. It is a setup that allows a group of people to run an organization on the Ethereum blockchain and make decisions by voting. Similar to the board of directors in a company.

  • They’re open source – meaning anyone can review their code if desired.
  • They don’t require third party servers/intermediaries to function properly.


  • What is ERC20?

 Ethereum Request for Comments 20, or ERC20 Token Standard Interface, is a standardized interface for tokens issued on the Ethereum network. Allowing for other smart contracts to interact with them like, for example, sending tokens to others when some condition has been met.

ERC20 is a standard that defines a common list of rules that an Ethereum token has to implement. It allows for the easy creation of new tokens, which can then be traded on the Etheruem blockchain using smart contracts. ERC20 tokens can be stored in any Ethereum wallet that supports this standard, such as MyEtherWallet or Metamask.

ERC-721 – This is the standard for NFTs, which defines how they work, how they are encoded on Ethereum, and how they can be transferred.

  • What is IPFS?

IPFS means Interplanetary File System, a peer-to-peer protocol that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. This means all machines on this p2p network automatically store each other’s files and can access them at any time, effectively decentralizing file storage and “computer” access as we know it.

This stands in contrast to traditional cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, where users are forced into an ecosystem controlled by big tech companies who may or may not be benevolent actors. The benefit of IPFS is that it’s decentralized—no one can interfere with how you use it!

  • What is KYC?

KYC means Know Your Customer is a process used by companies or financial institutions where they verify their client’s identity to be able to create trust with their customers.

This includes verifying their name and address, as well as information about the source of funds and income. KYC is one of the most important aspects of anti-money laundering for banks and other financial institutions, which are required by law to do this before conducting any business with customers. This is a common feature for signing up on any cryptocurrency exchanges because they deal in financial products and are required by regulatory authorities to request KYC data to identify customers. 

Now that we have covered some important definitions, here some are more common terms used in the crypto, NFT and  web 3 space;

  • ICO:  Initial Coin Offering. The selling of tokens to the public in order to raise capital for a crypto-based project. ICOs are a crowdfunding approach, similar to a traditional company’s IPO
  • Bridge: a protocol allowing separate blockchains to interact with one another, enabling the transfer of data, tokens, and other information between systems.
  • Burn: the process of removing tokens from a cryptocurrency’s circulating supply, usually done by sending them to an inaccessible wallet address. Other digital assets, such as NFTs, can also be burned via the same process. 
  • Dapp: Decentralized Application. an application built on open-source code that lives on the blockchain. Dapps exist independent of centralized groups or figures and often incentivize users to maintain them through rewarded tokens.
  • DD: Due Diligence. the process of conducting your own research on a cryptocurrency, stock, or other assets before investing. Doing your own DD is essential, as opposed to making an investment based on what someone else says or does. 
  • DEX: Decentralized Exchange: a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange built on the blockchain. A DEX is run by its users and smart contracts instead of an intermediary figure or centralized institution. 
  • Fork: a change to a blockchain’s protocol. When these changes are minor, this results in a soft fork. When the changes are more fundamental, this may result in a hard fork, leading to the formation of a separate chain with different rules.
  • L1- Layer 1: this is the blockchain platform itself, also referred to as the base layer, mainchain, or mainnet.
  • L2- Layer 2: protocols, also referred to as solutions, built on top of a layer 1 blockchain and commonly used to improve scalability, privacy, and add cross-chain communication. Unlike sidechains, which use their own consensus mechanisms, layer 2 solutions are secured by their underlying mainchain.
  • Light Node: a blockchain node that downloads just enough data from the blockchain in order to process and verify transactions. Unlike full or master nodes, light nodes do not store a blockchain’s complete history. 
  • Mainnet: short for the main network, this is a main layer 1 blockchain, as opposed to a testnet or layer 2 solutions.
  • Mining: in a Proof of Work system, this is the process of verifying transactions, organizing them into blocks, and then adding blocks to the blockchain. Participants who perform this process are called miners. 
  • Stablecoin: a token with its value pegged to another asset. Stable coins are usually backed by a fiat currency, like the US dollar, but can also be pegged to physical assets like precious metals, or even other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Examples include USDT, USDC.

Now explore the more informal lingo used in the Web 3 and NFT space:

  • AMA: Acronym for “Ask me anything”. Many NFT projects hold live AMA sections regularly to keep up the engagement with their community.
  • AFAIK: Acronym for “As far as I know”.
  • Airdrop: a marketing technique in which crypto projects send their native tokens directly to the wallets of their users in an effort to increase awareness and adoption.
  • ATH: All-Time High. The highest price an asset has ever had. 
  • ATL: All-Time Low. The lowest price an asset has ever had.
  • BTD / BTFD: BTD refers to “Buy the dips” while BTFD refers to “Buy the f****** dips”. 
  • Degen: initially short for “degenerate gambler.” While this still refers to individuals involved with risky bets, degen may also refer more broadly to anyone involved in crypto and financial spaces.
  • Doxxed / Doxed: When the identity of an NFT team member, dev, or creator is public, known or verifiable.
  • DYOR: Do Your Own Research. similar to DD, this phrase is used to remind people to conduct their own investigation into an asset before investing in it. 
  • Farm: A commonly used term in gaming where players earn in-game assets in exchange for their time and effort.
  • FUD: stands for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt”
  • Floor: The ‘floor’ or ‘floor price’ of a project is the lowest price you can buy an NFT from the collection on the secondary market.
  • FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.  news around an asset that seems negative but turns out to be false or blown out of proportion. 
  • Gas: a fee paid by a user to conduct a transaction or execute a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Genesis Block: the very first block of a blockchain network.
  • GM/GN: simply meaning “good morning” and “good night” gm is a common greeting used in crypto cycles. 
  • GMI/NMGI: short for “gonna make it.” and “not gonna make it” This term is frequently thrown around on Twitter to voice support for a project or person.
  • GTD: stands for “Going to dust”. When a token or NFT project turns out to be a bad investment and its value is quickly diminishing.
  • HFSP: Have Fun Staying Poor. a phrase commonly aimed at individuals who do not own any cryptocurrencies, or don’t believe in the value of a certain asset. 
  • HODL:  is an acronym for Hold On for Dear Life.
  • ICYMI: Acronym for “In case you missed it”.
  • LFG: Means ‘Let’s f***king go!’.
  • IYKYK: Short for “If you know, you know”.
  • IRL: Short for “In real life”
  • Moonboy: a term for social media “financial experts” and YouTubers who are overly optimistic and constantly explaining how a given asset is “about to go to the moon!
  • Nocoiner: a term used to describe someone who does not hold any cryptocurrencies, or who is generally unfamiliar with crypto. 
  • Paper Hands: a term used to describe someone who sold a cryptocurrency or stock as its price was falling, usually for a loss. 
  • PFP: profile picture, usually referring to one of an NFT. 
  • Rekt: means “wrecked,” used to express that one has suffered a huge loss.
  • Rug pull: a scam maneuver where a crypto project takes the funds that have been invested into its protocol and runs.
  • Seed Phrase: a string of words used as a master password to access a crypto wallet. Because a single wallet can contain multiple accounts, all with their own private keys, a seed phrase makes it easy to access them all with the same password.
  • Ser: meaning “sir,” a common intentional misspelling used in crypto circles “GM ser”.
  • Shill: the act of heavily promoting a cryptocurrency, stock, or other assets in an effort to increase adoption and, in turn, raise its price.
  • Shitcoin: a cryptocurrency with weak fundamentals and little to no use case.
  • Szn: Stands for season referring to crypto or NFT market cycles.
  • Vaporware: a product or project that is announced and marketed but never actually materializes.
  • WAGMI: “We’re All Gonna Make It,”
  • Wei: the smallest denomination of ether, named after cypherpunk and cryptocurrency pioneer, Wei Dai. 10^18 gwei = 1 ether.

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