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Glossary of essential Monero terms

> Getting Started > Glossary of essential Monero terms

Balance

When you send funds to someone, they will appear in the person’s balance. After the Monero network confirms the transaction ten times in about 20 minutes, your funds will become spendable, and they will be listed as part of the unlocked balance.

CLI / Command line interface

This is a text only application that doesn’t have a graphics interface.

Daemon

Daemon is a tech term that describes a program running in the background. Monero uses such a daemon in order to sync with the network to scan for incoming transactions and send new ones. The wallet needs to use the daemon in order to scan the entire blockchain for incoming transactions because only your own wallet had your private view key. Only this can be used to detect which transactions on the Monero network have been sent to you.

Exchange

An exchange is a platform where you can exchange fiat currencies and cryptos for Monero.

GUI

This means Graphical User Interface, and it makes the process of using Monero as simple as possible.

Integrated payment address

In order to make it much easier for people to send you funds with a payment ID that you require, you will have the possibility to generate an integrated address to send to them which includes both your public address and the payment ID that you request them to use.

Mining / Blocks / Blockchain

Mining describes the process by which the Monero network nodes collectively verify transactions in exchange for a small transaction fee. When transactions are mined, this will cause them to appear in a block which will be added to the blockchain.

The blockchain is, therefore, the complete record of all Monero transactions that have taken place. Monero’s privacy features will make sure that the blockchain can be used only to reveal data about transactions to those who are involved in the transaction.

The blockchain is required to prevent double-spending of funds because it contains the data necessary to verify that funds have not been spent by their owner.

Mining pool

Mining pool represents a group of computers that run mining software to process Monero transactions and collectively share in the reward. The main advantage that a mining pool triggers is that a single computer would need too long to mine a single block if it worked alone and a larger group makes things much easier and more efficient.

Payment ID

When someone sends you funds, they will be able to specify a payment ID. Monero’s privacy features usually prevent you from knowing the source of the funds that you receive and the payment ID can be used if the sender wants to unveil their identity to you.

Privacy level

When you send funds, Monero’s privacy mechanisms will obscure them as a possible source by mixing in other potential sources of funds in the transaction. This means that it’s practically impossible for anyone from outside who observes transactions to know which is the real source of the funds.

A mixing level of 4 is the minimum that the Monero GUI allows. This means that your funds will appear to be one of 5 possible sources of funds for the transaction. In the GUI, this level is referred to as the privacy level.

Private key / Seed

The private key allows spending of funds. The seed that you will get is just a 25-word representation of your private key. You will have to keep your private key a secret or other people will be able to access and spend your funds. Such a private key is the only thing that you need in order to obtain your funds. The public address can be recovered from your private key and this means that you will not need to additionally keep a note of your public address.

Public address

This is your address, your wallet’s address.

Refresh / synchronization

Due to Monero’s privacy mechanisms, the private key needs to be used in order to scan the blockchain to detect transactions that are destined for you. This means that until the wallet software has scanned the whole blockchain, you will not see your funds appear in the wallet’s balance.

Stealth address

When a Monero transaction is sent, Monero will not publicly record the recipient’s public address as the destination. Instead, it will create a brand new anonymous one-time address as the destination that is not linked to the recipient’s public address. This one-time address is called a stealth address because it ensures that your public address doesn’t appear on the blockchain. Only the recipient has the secret view key needed to scan the blockchain in order to locate these one-time destination addresses that contain the received funds.

Sweep unmixable

This is a button that appears in the beta version of THE Monero GUI, and it’s only destined for users who received payments long ago, before RingCT and before denominations were used as part of Monero transactions.

Transaction priority

The transaction will be mined into a brand new block on the blockchain. If there are lots of transactions occurring on the blockchain, your own may not be able to make it in the next block that is mined, and this means that you will have to wait a few more minutes for your transaction to be included in the blockchain. On the other hand, you can also choose to increase the priority of the transaction in order to compete for a position in the next block that gets mined. Generally, you don’t have to do this because there is enough space in the next block for your transaction most of the times.

Monero also increases the size of blocks as transaction volume increases, and this means that you only need to change your transaction priority higher if the Monero network may be going through a surge in transaction volume and the network hasn’t changed yet upwards the sizes of blocks that are created to store the transactions.

View key /secret key / private view key

Your view key is normally private, but if you wish you can also give it out so that others can observe the contents of your wallet. For security reasons, you will be able to use your own view key to watch your funds on a computer, but if this is at risk of attack, the attacker could see your funds, while not being able to steal them. Your private key would be safe and only used when you need to send funds when you’re on a more secure computer.

Wallet

You Monero wallet holds the private key which allows you to view your funds and spend them. Such a wallet can be configured to only hold a view key so that it can only observe your funds, without also being able to spend them. In the wallet there is also a list of transaction IDs and keys which allow you to see a list of all payments that you made.

XMR

This is the currency code for Monero.


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