Welcome to another edition of my short series “Crypto Jargon”. In these series, I break down the complex terminology we use in reference to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

In today’s article: What is a

  • DAPP
  • DAO
  • DAC
  • DLT
  • DIF

It seems we are stuck with the letter “D” today, so let’s get started.

First let’s look at the definition of DAPP, which stands for Decentralized Application – an application that is run by many users on a decentralized network on many computers instead of one, single unit and therefore is outside the purview and control of a single authority.

A standard web app, like Amazon or Twitter, runs on a computer system that is owned and operated by an organisation giving it full authority over the app and its workings. There may be multiple users on one side, but the back-end is controlled by one single organisation. In the context of cryptocurrencies, a dApp exists and runs on the blockchain network in a public, open-source, decentralised environment and is free from control and interference from any single authority. With trust-less protocols.

For example, a developer can create a Twitter-like dApp and run it on a blockchain where any user can tweet messages. Once posted, no one – including the app creators – can delete the tweets. Editing may be possible by the sender, but the original tweet would be retained forever. Many such applications use Ethereum smart contracts as their back-end code since Ethereum was built with the purpose of being a platform that specifically caters to the creation of dApps.

DApps can also serve as an acronym for Distributed Applications, which are software applications that are stored mostly on cloud computing platforms and that run on multiple systems simultaneously. The systems run on the same network and communicate with each other in an effort to complete a specific task or command.

The next acronym in this episode is DAO which in cryptocurrency terms stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Also known as a DAC (the C stands for cooperative), so the DAO is a company or organization, that could carry out business according to rules that are encoded as smart contracts, needing no human management.

These rules are not susceptible to one person’s permission or control and cannot be changed by anyone person’s decision.

The best-known attempt at creating such an organisation was called “The DAO” and was hacked soon after it launched in June 2016 resulting in a loss of a third of its funds. The Ethereum developers just wanted to reverse the huge hack, it was accepted by consensus, but a small group wanted to retain it as it was before the hack, as they “believe it goes against their core values”. This led to Ethereum being hard-forked the following month and splitting to ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum Classic). The DAO is often cited as one of Ethereum’s biggest stumbles to date.

Moving onto DAICO – an acronym for Decentralised Autonomous Initial Coin Offering.  A type of capital raising, originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum). DAICOs have many features different from regular Initial Coin Offerings, but the most prominent feature is that the investors in a DAICO can take back their funds if the relevant project team does not fulfil certain conditions. In this respect, it acts similar to a STO which I explained on the previous episode of Crypto Jargon, you will find it popping up here right now or also in the description box of this video, so check it out.

Next is DLT – Distributed Ledger Technology. What is a Distributed Ledger then? In most simple terms this is publicly shared, replicable and synchronised data, spread across multiple networks, across many computers. It is a dynamic, independently maintained database, unlike a central ledger that is kept by a central agency, such as a bank and usually is not publicly accessible. So, DLT is the technology behind a Distributed Ledger.

And the last one for this article is DIF, an acronym for Decentralised Identity Foundation. This is a group of businesses and organisations working together to build a globally accepted identity verification system. The DIF uses blockchain technology to create a system that doesn’t require a centralised authority for purposes of identification.

These and many more terms are explained in my eBook “Crypto Jargon A-Z: definitions of crypto terminology” which is the most up-to-date publication of its kind. With over 700 terms, acronyms and trading slang, it contains everything related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech: a must-have guide for every crypto investor. It’s an Amazon bestseller and it’s available for Kindle here.


Go to http://www.ojjordan.com/cryptocorner and grab your digital copy today.

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🏆Exchanges I use for trading crypto:


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Where I buy crypto:

BitPanda (Europe)
Changelly (good for instant coins swaps)(Global)
Payeer (Europe, Asia, alternative to paypal)
Coinbase (USA, EU, Africa) Get $10 worth of Bitcoin on your first $100 crypto purchase with this link: https://bit.ly/enter-coinbase

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Where I store my crypto:

  • Ledger Nano – the best hardware wallet (offline storage)
  • Trezor – also one of the best wallets out there.
  • Exodus – desktop wallet
  • Coinomi – mobile phone wallet with instant coin swap feature
  • Crypto.com – mobile wallet and exchange

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet

16 thoughts on “DAPP, DAO, DAC, DAICO, DLT & DIF – what do they mean?

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