Radical Friends: Glossar

Function Description
An asset is a resource with economic value that an entity owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.

Blocks of transactions gathered periodically and validated by a decentralised network of computers, each block pointing to the previous one in a chain.

Agreement between nodes in a decentralised network on the state of reality in a particular system.

Corporate veil
Is the idea that a company's managers or shareholders are not legally responsible for the actions of the company: Shareholders may hide behind the corporate veil, assured that their liability does not extend beyond the value of their shares.

Peer-to-peer electronic cash using cryptographic algorithms.

Cryptographic Hash Function
An algorithm that creates a hash that is almost completely impossible to guess the source of or create using any other digital data.

Decentralized networks built on top of the internet that provide a wide variety of digital services, such as data storage, computation,and interactive applications.

DAO Decentralised Autonomous Organisation
Blockchain-based code that implements the governance of an organization and that may control its funds and resources.

A "Distibuted App", an application implemented as the combination of blockchain-based code with a web-based front-end.

The process of making a system more secure by removing central points of control and failure.

Distributed Network
 A network of computers that operate in a peer-to-peer way with no central co-ordinators.

A cryptocurrency that allows more general-purpose code to be stored on its blockchain and executed by transactions in return for payment.

A split in a blockchain into two separate chains either temporarily due to error or permanently due to rival code changes.

The property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are essentially interchangeable and each of whose parts is indistinguishable from another part. For example gold, currencies and company shares are fungible.

Fungible Token

A cryptographic token without unique metadata or significance, a coin or game token for example.

An object that is unchangeable after its' creation.

Incentive System
A set of rules and rewards designed to encourage people to perform a task in the way the designers intended. Building a blockchain, for example.

A record of balances of accounts.

main net
The live network for a cryptocurrency that uses its current code version at its full difficulty and that is therefore regarded as having real value.

A system allowing the buying and selling of cryptocurrency, tokens, or digital assets.

Validating blocks of transactions and broadcasting the results for a chance to win the block reward.

A cryptocurrency transaction that requires signing by multiple parties before it can be sent.

NFT Non-Fungible Token
A cryptographic token with unique metadata and significance, as a limited edition artwork for example.

A computer connected to the Internet that is running a particular piece of blockchain software.

On-chain transactions refer to transactions that are recorded and verified on the blockchain.

Proof of Ownership
Using digital signatures to assert that the owner of a public key or address also owns a given piece of data or cryptographic asset.

Proof of Stake
Mining new blocks by staking existing cryptocurrency rather than burning electricity to prove good faith - act in bad faith and you lose your stake.

Proof of Work
Mining new blocks by competing to solve a resource-intensive puzzle to prove good faith - act in bad faith and you are wasting your electricity bill.

A set of rules for communication that are implementated and operated in software.

Quadratic Voting
Quadratic Voting is a method of collective decision-making in which a participant votes not just for or against an issue, but also expresses how strongly they feel about it.

Rochdale Principles
A set of principles and ideals that were founded in the nineteenthcentury for running cooperatives.

Smart contract
Small programs stored on a blockchain that react to transactions, their name comes from the fact that they usually model rules for controlling value or resources.

Soft Contract
An arrangement between two parties that recognizes their mutual benefit from collaborating. The contract is ‘soft’ in the sense that it does not specify exactly what is to be delivered by each party, but does clarify the relationship between the two parties and their respective roles in securing mutually beneficial deliverables.

An entry in a distributed ledger representing an asset that can be owned and transferred by a particular address.

Cryptographically signed data instructing miners to update a cryptocurrency's ledger and/or run smart contract code.

Software that manages cryptocurrency addresses with their associated private keys, and that can send transactions signed by them.

An Idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchains, which incorporates concepts including decentralization and token-based economics.


Credit: Exerpt from a Glossary of Terms by Rhea Myers, in forthcoming Radical Friends. The Chronicles of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations in the Arts (2022)

Radical Friends. DAO Summit for Decentralisation of Power and Resources in the Artworld

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