Crypto is cool, there is no argument to this. For example, if you’re sitting in a group of your lesser tech-savvy friends and say “I invested in crypto”, your financial authority rises exponentially. But if you want to seem like a God of blockchain, you have to say the cryptocurrency names you’ve invested in. And they make things even cooler.

Yesterday, I opened a Wikipedia article List of cryptocurrencies and discovered that there are over 1600 of them. Again, 1600. And that also means 1600 cool names that you can use in your jargon. Like what is cooler then saying “Yesterday I bought some TRON and exchanged Dash to Compound because Waves market cap dropped”. I know, nothing.

That got me curious what’s behind all those names, there should be some meaning behind each and every one of them. In crypto subculture (because there is definitely one), it bears the same nerdy power as the names of new Apple’s OSs or the names of the famous bands. So let’s investigate a little bit and find out why some of the cryptocurrencies are named how they are named.

Cardano and Ada

Cardano is named after this guy:

Gerolamo Cardano, to be more precise. He was an Italian polymath who described a combination lock in the 16th century. Also, he made significant contributions to algebra, invented gimbal, Cardan shaft and overall was one of the coolest and most respected scientists of the Renaissance. Definitely one of the best cryptocurrency names ever.

Ada, Cardano’s cryptocurrency is named after Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer who is considered to be the first computer programmer in the world. And she lived in 19th century. Also, she was Byron’s daughter.

Cardano didn’t stop there with names. Their wallet is called Daedalus in the name of a guy who built a Minotaur’s labyrinth in Greek mythology.

The proof-of-stake protocol of Cardano is Ouroboros which is named after the ancient sign of regeneration.

Ouroboros symbol


Favorite cryptocurrency of hackers and drug dealers has its origin in Esperanto. “Monero” there means money.

Wow. Not quite the Daedalus level.


This one is a bit tricky. If you start researching for the meaning of Tezos name you will inevitably find an article or two that say that the word “Tezos” in ancient Greek means “smart contracts”. And you think to yourself, hmm, okay this sounds relatable. But then you also think how could ancient Greeks know what a smart contact is when they were riding horses and fought with the swords.

And then you find this Reddit thread that clarifies things. Apparently, the cryptocurrency’s founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman were just looking for a free domain names using some kind of an algorithm and the word Tezos popped up.

But Greek smart contracts sound so much more fulfilling.


This one is pretty cool. There’s a Reddit thread detailing the process of creating Dai name. It originates from the Chinese word 貸 (dài) meaning to lend or to provide capital for a loan. That was the direct origin of the name.

It also has some curious associations. For example, with Wei Dai, a Chinese programmer that contributed to the development of Bitcoin. Ethereum token are called wei, by the way.

So these were the most interesting cryptocurrency names I’ve found.

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