The technical aspects of cryptocurrencies are a challenging thing. For translators working in this subject field, deep specific knowledge is an absolute must-have. But first, it’s worth considering how these notions are perceived in different countries while learning terminology along the way.
Crypto Across the Globe
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has already made bitcoin a legal currency. In contrast, the Chinese government is acting against it because of the newly introduced state cryptocurrency called DC/EP. In Russia, the contradiction intensifies — it’s legal to own cryptocurrency whereas it’s not acknowledged as a mean of payment. Thus, any purchase or sale paid by any cryptocurrency is out of the law. In this way, Germany seems to be closer to Japan, as its government recognizes bitcoin as “private money” which isn’t equal to a foreign currency or electronic money.
The Industry Jargon
It is obvious that the area is quite specific, and the world of cryptocurrency is full of specific terms too. However, it can’t be an obstacle for a pro translator. Because cryptocurrencies are just like foreign languages: once you start learning and understanding the subject, you will be able to use this experience to your personal benefit.
Blockchain translators deal with texts and articles that may be considered pointless or just absurd by the broad public audience. Below, you may find a few special terms and their definitions — after reading those, you won't feel helpless while reading any crypto-related article anymore.
Altcoin (alternative + coin) — any digital currency that isn’t bitcoin.
Fiat money — legal tender whose value is backed by the government that issued it.
ICO (Initial Coin Offering) — a popular, usually unregulated, way to raise cash for new cryptocurrency ventures. A percentage of the new currency is sold to backers as blockchain “tokens” in return for more established cryptocurrencies.
Mining — the process of finding new bitcoins, which involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle through hashing.
Whales — the players who hold huge amounts of bitcoin.
Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) — the property of a system that is able to resist the class of failures derived from the Byzantine Generals’ Problem. This means that a BFT system is able to continue operating even if some of the nodes fail or act maliciously.
Blockchain offers bright perspectives and various ways to gain benefit in the near future, both for cryptocurrency players and translators who help them understand what they actually deal with. If you are curious about digital trends and field-specific translation (or both), feel free to join us in exploring this whole new world: Lingvista has been working with crypto projects since 2017.