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Glossary#

Account
In blockchain, an account is a place to store tokens and smart contracts. Accounts are generated from private keys, and you typically need to know an account's private key to be able to transfer any token out of it. The crypto saying "Not your keys, not your coins" refers to this fact. An account is a synonym for wallet and address.
Address
In blockchain, an address is a synonym for wallet and account.
Attestation
A data proof provided to the State Connector by a decentralized set of Attestation Providers that confirms the validity or otherwise of any request. Read more...
Autoclaiming
Automatic claiming enables users to appoint an executor to claim rewards on their behalf. Read more...
Avalanche
An open-source blockchain using the Snow family of consensus protocols and Proof of Stake for Sybil resistance. It is advertised as the fastest smart contract platform. Read more...
Block
For performance reasons, blockchains do not process transactions one by one. Instead, transactions are grouped together in blocks which are then validated by the consensus algorithm.
Block Explorer
A tool that enables its users to analyze transactions and interact with addresses on blockchains. Read more...
Blockchain
Digital ledger storing data and transactions on a distributed network of computers to make it more robust. Cryptography protects against information tampering, and a consensus algorithm ensures that the majority of the network agrees on the stored data even if some of its nodes act maliciously.
Bootstrapping Node
An observation node associated with a validator node and acting as its bastion: the bootstrapping node exposes a minimum RPC interface, so the validator does not have to. The nodeID and nodeIP returned by the bootstrapping node's RPC allow an external node to connect and peer with the core network of validators. The bootstrapping node also gossips the core network's validators nodeIDs and nodeIPs to the external node to peer to. The main purpose of a bootstrapping node is to allow new nodes to connect to the network (hence the name "bootstrapping") while reducing its associated validator node attack surface. Flare offers some public bootstrapping nodes.
Bridge
A protocol that connects otherwise independent blockchains, enabling interoperability between them. Read more about Flare's bridging: LayerCake.
Byzantine Fault Tolerance
Property of a distributed system that is capable of continuous operation even when some of its participants are unreliable. Participants acting against the interest of the whole system, by accident or on purpose, are said to have “gone Byzantine”.
Burn
Remove tokens from circulation by sending them to an address that can only receive coins and can perform no other transactions. Burning tokens reduces the number of circulating coins and counteracts inflation. See Inflation.
Canary Network
A network used for testing features under “real fire” conditions, before deploying them on the main network. All users of the canary network are real users, but they are aware of the experimental nature of the platform. The name comes from the time when actual miners used actual canaries to detect the presence of poisonous gas in the mines. Flare's canary network is called Songbird.
Cold Wallet
A wallet whose private key is only reachable from the internet when needed, spending the rest of the time in isolation. This makes it less vulnerable to theft than a key stored on a server permanently online (see hot wallet), as the window of opportunity for attackers is much smaller.
Consensus
Algorithm that makes nodes on a blockchain’s network agree on the validity of a given transaction, even if some of the nodes provide invalid transactions or try to disrupt the network (Byzantine Fault Tolerance).
Coston
The name given to both of Flare's public test networks (Coston and Coston2), in remembrance and celebration of a great inventor, Martha J. Coston (1826-1904).
Cross-chain (or inter-ecosystem) interoperability
Communication between two or more disparate blockchain ecosystems that are technologically incompatible due to the lack of shared systems, protocols or code (e.g., Ethereum and Solana).
DAO
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization is an entity with no central authority. Its governance is mandated by rules encoded on a blockchain so it is tamper-proof.
Dapp
A Decentralized Application is a computer program that makes use of blockchain technology and therefore the information it uses or stores has the same benefits (trustlessness, censorship resistance, geographical redundancy, etc). The dapp itself may or may not be hosted on a blockchain.
Data feed
A specified type of data that Flare can retrieve, such as cryptocurrency price pairs, stock prices, and weather data.
Data proof
A way of achieving distributed consensus as to the validity of data. Flare uses Proof of Stake.
Data Provider
Each of the multiple programs supplying external information to an FTSO running on the Flare network, and getting rewarded for it. Token holders can delegate their stake to a data provider and receive a share of the rewards.
Decentralized
No central party is in charge, removing exposure to bad actors or a single point of failure. See trustless.
DeFi
Decentralized Finance is a form of finance that does not rely on a central financial institution. DeFi is commonly based on blockchain technology.
Delegate
To assign a duty to someone else, so they do it for you. On the Flare network, an address can delegate any fraction of the votes associated with the tokens it holds to another address, for the purpose of FTSO weighting or governance participation. Note that no tokens are transferred.
ERC-20
The Ethereum Request for Comments 20, proposed in November 2015, is an Ethereum token standard that implements an API for tokens within smart contracts. It is a standard for fungible (exchangeable) tokens, which have a property that makes each token exactly the same (in type and value) as another token. For example, an ERC-20 token acts just like Ethereum's ETH token, meaning that 1 token is and will always be equal to all the other tokens. Read more...
EVM
The Ethereum Virtual Machine allows executing smart contracts on the Ethereum network, regardless of the kind of computer that executes it. Multiple blockchain networks, including Flare, support EVM contracts. Read more...
Executor
Users who do not want to claim rewards themselves can set an executor to claim rewards for them and send them directly to their users' accounts. Read more...
FAssets
Allows tokens on blockchains that do not support smart contracts to be used trustlessly with smart contracts on the Flare blockchain. Read more...
Faucet
A dapp that distributes test tokens to anyone that requests them. Used only on test networks, obviously. See the Network Configuration page to learn about Flare's faucets.
FBA
Federated Byzantine Agreement is a form of Byzantine fault tolerance where each node keeps its own list of trusted nodes. It does not require nodes to invest stake or computing power as Proof of Stake or Proof of Work protocols do.
FCP
The Flare Consensus Protocol is an asynchronous, ordered and leaderless version of Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) consensus. The whitepaper is already available and it is currently in the process of being implemented. Read more...
Flare Token (FLR)
The native currency of the Flare main network.
Flash loan
A loan that is requested and then repaid in a very short time, sometimes within the same block when combined with sandwiching.
Front-running
When a network validator reorders transactions before adding them to a block so that his own transactions appear before the rest, extracting value in the process. Compare with sandwiching.
FTSO
The Flare Time Series Oracles provide external information to the Flare network in a decentralized manner, by using multiple independent data providers that are rewarded for providing accurate information. Read more...
Governance
Mechanism to propose, vote, and implement changes on a blockchain protocol. On Flare, anybody can propose updates and token holders vote to accept them. Read more...
Hash
A hash is an unidirectional mathematical function that converts an input of arbitrary length into an output of a fixed length. Thus, regardless of the original amount of data involved, the hash will always be the same size.
Hot Wallet
A wallet whose private key is stored on a server connected permanently to the internet. This makes the key convenient to use by automated programs, but makes it more vulnerable to theft than an offline key (see cold wallet), as unauthorized access to the server could steal the key.
Inflation
The process by which currency is added to the existing circulating supply. At Flare, it drives participation and supports decentralized third parties running core Flare infrastructure. $FLR is designed to experience predictable inflation. See Burn.
Know Your Customer (KYC)
The process an entity completes to verify the identities of its users to comply with global requirements.
LayerCake
Being developed by Flare Labs to provide a decentralized, trustless bridging system between smart contract networks. For an overview of trustless bridges, see LayerCake.
Layer 1
An L1 is a blockchain in the classical sense, in that it comprises a network of nodes that exchange information to guarantee the integrity of a shared ledger and offer functionality like token exchange and programmability. Compare it to an L2, which is built on top of an existing L1.
Layer 2
An L2 is a blockchain built on top of an existing L1 making use of its programmability. L2 chains add extra functionality to the L1, like scalability.
Ledger
Historically, a book where financial transactions are recorded. In blockchain technology, a ledger can contain any kind of information, which has multiple copies distributed among several computers, kept in sync by a consensus algorithm.
Light Client Relay
A simplified communication mechanism built for speed that only queries the header data of any transaction and therefore lacks the security that comes from querying a full node with full history (e.g., SPV).
Liquidity Pool
A collection of funds locked in a smart contract for the purpose of facilitating trading, lending and other functionality in a decentralized manner.
Main Network (MAINNET)
The computer network that supports a blockchain in its production stage, i.e., the real thing (instead of a Canary or Test network).
Merkle Root
The single hash that encapsulates the entirety of the data represented in a Merkle tree. For instance, it is used by the State Connector to store only the Merkle root and avoid having to store the whole tree.
Merkle Tree
A cryptographic data structure that aggregates large sets of data into a single hash, enabling fast verification of data integrity and membership. For example, in the State Connector, Merkle trees play a crucial role in organizing and verifying attestations, which are hashed representations of data records like address validity proofs. For more information, check the State Connector protocol. Read more...
Metaverse
An old concept, at times called Virtual Reality or Cyberspace, that translates human interaction to virtual (i.e., non-physical) worlds. Currently in vogue again because blockchain technology promises to link the physical and the virtual worlds and thus bring a degree of reality to the latter.
Multi-chain (or intra-ecosystem) interoperability
Communication between two or more technologically compatible blockchains that exist within the same ecosystem and share systems, protocols and code (e.g. Polkadot Parachains, Cosmos Tendermint chains or Ethereum layer 2 protocols).
Multisignature (or multisig)
An account linked to multiple private keys so that some operations require a configured number of keys to sign off. When N out of the total M possible key signatures are required, the account is called an N-of-M multisig. This provides additional security over common single-key accounts, because a few keys being compromised still cannot gain access to the account.
Native
An integral part of a system's processing at the foundation level, so that it applies to all of its subsystems. For Flare, important elements include the ability to access data in a decentralized, efficient, secure, and cost-efficient manner, furthering interoperability and supporting a wide range of applications to be built on it.
NFT
Non-Fungible Tokens are digital representations of assets which are unique and therefore non-mergeable (non-fungible), made impossible to copy by blockchain technology. Common use cases are certificates of authenticity or ownership, or limited edition collectibles. Most NFT tokens are built on the Ethereum network using standards ERC-721 and ERC-1155.
Oracle
A mechanism to provide external information to a blockchain, so that it can be used by smart contracts, for example. Flare oracles include the FTSO and the State Connector.
Price pair
A token and its monetary unit, such as BTC USD. Price pairs are one of the types of data that Flare's FTSO can provide. Price pairs are one of the types of data that the FTSO can provide.
Proof of Stake
A kind of Sybil resistance based on staking assets to participate in consensus. The rationale is that a participant investing enough assets will not be interested in attacking the network that supports such assets. Moreover, if malicious behavior is detected part of the assets can be taken as punishment.
Proof of Work
A kind of Sybil resistance based on spending computer power to participate in consensus. The rationale is that attacking the network becomes prohibitively expensive in terms of computer power.
Pruning
A blockchain database reduction technique, which keeps the state of all addresses (like their balance) and the transactions that led to that state, but removes any old transaction that does not impact the current state anymore.
Quantum Resistance
The ability of a cryptographic algorithm (and therefore of a blockchain) to resist an attack from a theoretical quantum computer.
Quorum
Set of participants on a consensus algorithm that must agree on a result for the whole network to accept that result. On a blockchain, once consensus is reached about a block, it is added to the ledger and the next block is processed.
Quorum Slice
In FBA consensus each node has multiple lists of other nodes which it voluntarily decides to trust, forming its quorum slices. All nodes in a quorum slice agreeing on a result are enough to convince the node of that result. If the quorum slices are correctly built, global quorum emerges from these local quorum slices.
RPC
Remote Procedure Call is a protocol that allows a program executing on a computer to request a service from another program, typically running on a different computer. Flare offers some public and private nodes with RPC capabilities.
Real World Assets
Tokens that represent tangible or intangible assets, such as real estate or government bonds, respectively, as opposed to digital assets such as cryptocurrency.
Sandwiching
When a network validator reorders transactions before adding them to a block so that its own transactions appear right before and after a target transaction, extracting value in the process. A typical example would involve flash loans. Compare with front-running.
Smart Contract
Computer program running on a blockchain, typically one based on the EVM. The blockchain’s immutability ensures that the contract is not tampered with, and running it on several machines bound together by a consensus algorithm ensures faithful execution. Smart contracts are said to be self-enforcing.
Songbird
Flare's canary network, launched in September 2021.
State Connector
Piece of the Flare network that keeps track of the state of other networks, facilitating the implementation of advanced mechanisms like the FAssets. The State Connector uses several independent Attestation Providers that are rewarded for providing correct information. Read more...
Stablecoin
A cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to the value of another currency. For example, $USDC is a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.
Sybil Resistance
The ability of a distributed system to overcome a Sybil attack, in which a malicious actor creates multiple identities to gain voting or mining power. Resistance is typically gained by making voting or mining too costly for the attack to be worth it (as in Proof of Work or Proof of Stake) or by requiring new entities to be approved by existing actors (as in FBA).
Test Network (TESTNET)
The computer network that supports a blockchain in its development stage. It is intended for testing purposes and should not store valuable assets, as its contents might be deleted (purposely or by accident) at any time. Among other facilities, testnets typically provide faucets. Compare to a Canary or a Main network. Flare's testnets are Coston for Songbird and Coston2 for Flare.
Transaction
A request to add information to the blockchain, which is then analyzed by the network and accepted when consensus is reached about its validity. It can be a movement of funds between two accounts, or the execution of a contract, for example.
Transaction Fee
Amount of cryptocurrency that must be paid by anybody submitting a transaction for inclusion on a blockchain. These fees reward block producers for their work processing transactions, and typically vary depending on network congestion.
Trustless
A quality of a decentralized blockchain. Requires no parties to know or trust one another because there is no intermediary, i.e., no individual or central entity has authority or control over the system. Instead, transactions are processed according to agreed upon governance through smart contracts. At Flare, the process is secured at the network level, meaning that it is inherited by all subprotocols.
Token
A digital representation of an asset. Fungible tokens are indistinguishable from one another so they can be merged together (e.g., a cryptocurrency). Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are unique and therefore cannot be merged.
Turing-completeness
The ability of a machine to solve any computational problem, no matter how complex, given the necessary steps and enough time and memory. This is a mandatory feature of any general-purpose processor like a CPU or the EVM.
Validator
A validator node is a machine connected to a blockchain network that verifies transactions and emits a vote. When there is a quorum among all validators regarding a given block of transactions, they are accepted into the blockchain.
Vote Power
Weight proportional to the amount of wrapped tokens ($WFLR) held by an address plus the amount of tokens delegated to it. This weight is used during FTSO operation and governance votes, for example.
Wallet
In blockchain, a wallet is a synonym for account and address. See Wallets
Wen flare
The war cry of all the impatient that would like to see the Flare network launch before it is fully tested. Pay no heed to them. Flare launched on January 9, 2023.
Zero address
A special address represented as 0x0000000000000000000000000000. Also known as the null address, it is typically used as a return value from functions to indicate an error condition.