In the spirit of this question, I thought it might be a good idea to standardise some terms that get used in a lot of different ways. Some examples:

  • block chain or blockchain or block-chain
  • double spend or doublespend or double-spend
  • etc. (feel free to edit and add more)

For reference, Satoshi used "block chain" and "double-spend" (which is also the wider usage of the term).

  • Vote by one-standard-per-answer. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 13:16
  • 2
    how do you plan to enforce a standardized terminology? New users are not going to know some arbitrary standard on how to say block chain or double-spend. Is the community suppose to edit every question and answer that uses the incorrect terminology? Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 13:07
  • Just use tag synonyms. We're not going to be able to enforce how these words are used and in any sense a community consensus of bitcoin users will converge on terms over time. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 17:15
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    I though that this was a perfect oppurtunity to make use of the whole StackExchange network so I asked our friends on English language & usage for advice. They should have some good answers. english.stackexchange.com/questions/41281/…
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 18:53
  • Mostly I want to create some consistency in my own posting. New users will of course use whatever they want. But this way at least "veteran answers" can have some consistency. Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 12:13

4 Answers 4


Suggested standard: "block chain".

  • (Non native speaker) but maybe the tag should be renamed as "block-chain" too. Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:15

Suggested standard: "double-spend".

  • For the verb ("he attempted to double-spend some bitcoins"), the noun ("he attempted a double-spend attack"), or both? Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 0:31
  • Hadn't thought about it. Do you have any input regarding that? Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 0:33
  • I personally like "double spend" in all cases. But I think I'm in the minority on that. Whatever we decide, I think it should probably be the same for all cases. (At least for no other reason that it's bad to force people to think about how they're using a term in order to use it.) Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 0:34
  • Just to be pedantic, your second example is an adjective. But I agree it makes sense to keep one convention all the way around (barring some further grammatical insight someone has to offer). Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 0:37
  • I'm not an expert on grammar, but I don't think so. "He attempted a double-spend attack" is like "He attempted to get a dog license", and "dog" is certainly not an adjective. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 1:07
  • lol, yep it is. It describes "license". Many nouns can be used as adjectives in this way ("a purple car" or "a jalapeño sandwich"). Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 1:14
  • That's not what Steven Pinker says. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 2:36
  • It all comes down to whether you refer to the function of the word or the identity. To continue the pedantry contest, you can most accurately refer to such words as noun adjuncts which are typically described as "a noun functioning as an adjective". Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:33


because we want it to be a tag, and I don't think tags can be two words. Already, the blockchain tag has 19 questions. It makes much more sense to use that as a standard instead of having people write "block chain" but then tag their questions "blockchain"

  • Two word tags like mining pools are simply hyphenated. Since people don't have to type the whole tag before it shows up with a description, I don't think this is a problem. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:36
  • @eMansipater one of the options you gave as standard for blockchain is block-chain... notice that block-chain and block chain will map to the same tag. I think this will be confusing. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 15:54
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    I don't think that deciding how to write a word should be based on some limitations of a tag system on a web site.
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 18:55

Suggested standard: "double spend".

(As suggested on SE site for English language & usage)

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    Just a note that the accepted answer there is just someone's suggestion. They didn't seem to be aware that double-spending has an existing background in academic cryptography. Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 12:11

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