An off-chain transaction is the movement of value outside of the block chain. A new block is added to the chain at random intervals averaging, by design, ten minutes (proof-of-work causes this delay). Together with the limit on block-size, this limits the number of transactions that can be processed in a given time. Some sites work around this problem using "off-chain payments" conducting transactions without writing them to the blockchain, which involves various trade offs regarding trust and transaction finality.


A transaction is a transfer of Bitcoin value that is broadcast to the network and collected into blocks. A transaction typically references previous transaction outputs as new transaction inputs and dedicates all input Bitcoin values to new outputs. Transactions are not encrypted, so it is possible to browse and view every transaction ever collected into a block. Once transactions are buried under enough confirmations they can be considered irreversible. Standard transaction outputs nominate addresses, and the redemption of any future inputs requires a relevant signature. All transactions are visible in the block chain, and can be viewed with a hex editor. A block chain browser is a site where every transaction included within the block chain can be viewed in human-readable terms. This is useful for seeing the technical details of transactions in action and for verifying payments.


Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement.

Operations Security (OPSEC)

Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information. In a more general sense, OPSEC is the process of protecting individual pieces of data that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture (called aggregation).

Orphan Block

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the initial block, which is known as the genesis block. Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.