Need to brush up on your blockchain terms before the Memorial Day weekend arrives? Read on for Part 1 of our epic Blockchain 101 terminology primer.

Did your whiz-bang little cousin catch you by surprise with his deep knowledge of all things blockchain and crypto during your Memorial Day barbeque? If you’ve not had time to study up in the sprint toward summer, we’ve assembled a quick primer for you to get in on the conversation—and actually understand a term or two!

This week, we will share eight blockchain terms, in no particular order, that can help you conversate as the burgers, brats and beers are passed.

Here are the first four:

Blockchain

Blockchain terms don’t get much more blockchain than this. This is the platform. The big one. Powerful with the potential to transform the way we transact, blockchain is a ledger (more on that later) that includes blocks of data that are digitally recorded and unchangeable. Each block is time-stamped, verified and attached to the next block in the chain with a signature that is encrypted. Because the blocks cannot be edited, the ledger can be shared without risk of it being changed.

Distributed Ledger

The key to the distributed ledger is that no one “owns” it and it doesn’t “live” in a centralized database on a server in some warehouse. Distributed ledgers are shared across vast networks. They assemble records sequentially. These records can be viewed by those with controlled access in the case of a “permissioned” ledger, or by those from different geographic regions, organizations or sites in an “unpermissioned” ledger. Blockchain is a distributed ledger.

Cryptocurrency

Don’t like math? Sorry. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency based entirely on the principles of math. The first major cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was developed by the mythical Satoshi Nakamoto, using a type of encryption that regulates how much of a “coin” is generated while verifying the transfer of funds from one peer to another. This peer-to-peer method does not require a central bank to facilitate the transaction. (Side note: That’s a BIG deal)

Address

As we embark on summer 2018, it’s about time you turned your attention to Addresses. After all, passwords are oh, so, 2017. Address are complicated, difficult to replicate, alpha-numeric codes used in the transfer of cryptocurrencies. Peers can share their Addresses to complete a transfer that is recorded in the … wait for it … waaaaaait … distributed ledger, or… YES! The blockchain! If remembering a string of numbers and letters more than a few digits long causes worry, take it easy. QR codes can also be used to represent Addresses.

These are just a few blockchain terms to get you started. Finish your thirst-quenching cider and get back to us in a bit when we explore four more. Taken in total, you will have enough ammo to have you looking every bit the Early Adopter as the pontoon leaves the dock!