Cryptocurrency Terms Entered into Oxford English Dictionary

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Cryptocurrency has gained massive notoriety in the past two years, mainly for its high profile scams and crazy price action it has to be said, but supporters will welcome any symbol of acceptance, or at least recognition, in the wider world. These needn’t be grand gestures like Starbucks accepting Bitcoin or XRP being used by every bank in the world – sometimes seemingly small advances can make a bigger, more meaningful impact over the longer term. And crypto might have just received such a boost after three terms, ‘Bitcoin’, ‘Satoshi’, and ‘cryptocurrency’ made it into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Bitcoin’s Oxford Education

The three terms were included in the annual shakeup the OED conducts every year, where new words that have come into common usage are added and older words no longer in use are removed. Two years after cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and Satoshi started gaining traction worldwide, the OED board has decided that they are being used enough to warrant addition, which is praise indeed. ‘Cryptocurrency’ has been given a fairly generalized meaning – “an informal, substitute currency” – with Bitcoin described as, “A type of digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems, and which operates independently of a central bank.” Satoshi meanwhile is described as, “The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.” Seeing as the dictionary does not include people, Satoshi Nakamoto himself cannot be entered, but the Bitcoin entry does credit the etymon of the word to its creator.

One Small Step for Bitcoin…

Things like addition to the OED may seem small on the outside, but they help to normalize the concept of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the minds of the general population. The same can be said for the inclusion of the Bitcoin symbol () in Apple and Microsoft operating systems – suddenly the symbol is sitting alongside long-established fiat currencies, adding an air of legitimacy that has been long fought for.