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Webster's Dictionary Adds 'Cryptocurrency' and 'Initial Coin Offering'

One of the world’s most established dictionaries has gotten a cryptocurrency update.

Merriam-Webster announced Monday that it has added terms such as “cryptocurrency,” “blockchain” and “initial coin offerings” to its word lists as of this month. The additions came amid more than 800 new entries.

In unveiling the move, the company said that it aims to help clarify the “sometimes perplexing domain of digital financial exchanges,” striving to use examples as a guiding point.

“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,” Merriam-Webster wrote.

Cryptocurrency” is defined as “any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority,” going on to note that the system records transactions and used cryptography to prevent counterfeit or fraudulent transactions.

Similarly, the term “blockchain” notes that it is a digital database used within a decentralized network. However, unlike the other two terms, “initial coin offering” does not have a working page as of press time.

The additions are notable, coming nearly two years after “bitcoin” was first added to the dictionary. Indeed, the listings point to the increasing profile of such words in the public lexicon, though it remains to be seen if terms like “mining” receive a cryptocurrency-themed update in the future.

Dictionary image via Shutterstock

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