Cryptocurrency Now Officially in the Dictionary

Submitted by editor on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 22:46

Merriam-Webster the popular American Dictionary now features 'cryptocurrency, blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings' in their latest edition.

Besides helping language learners, students and everyone else find the exact definitions of words, dictionaries also sometimes serve as time capsules that reveal what new ideas become important part of human society at what times. With roots in the anarchist and cyberpunk sub-cultures, many bitcoin advocates may feel the scene doesn’t need anyone’s seal of approval but it’s still nice to get such recognition and validation.

The Merriam-Webster announcement explained that, "the sometimes perplexing domain of digital financial exchanges opens a window into a subject that requires explanation for many of us, hence the detailed definition of cryptocurrency as well as an entry for initial coin offering, which refers to the first sale of Bitcoin-like digital currency. Keeping records of financial transactions in a digital database as part of a publicly accessible network uses blockchain technology."

The dictionary defines cryptocurrency as "any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority but instead uses a decentralized system to record transactions and manage the issuance of new units, and that relies on cryptography to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent transactions." And Blockchain is defined as a "digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network; also : the technology used to create such a database."

Little is said about ICOs. Just that it is "an initial offering of a cryptocurrency to the public."

Since Merriam Webster has now listed cryptocurrency it is highly likely others will follow suit. Especially the Encyclopædia Britannica, the current owners of Merriam Webster.