The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which calls itself “the definitive record of the English language”, has added the word “satoshi” to its database.

The Oxford English Dictionary is published by Oxford University Press (OUP). The OED follows the development of the English language over the past thousand years, “providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world.” 

Work on the OED began in 1857 and although the most recent printed edition (i.e. the 2nd edition) was published in 1989, an online version of the OED has been available since 2000, which is when the editors of the OED began the work of creating the third edition of the dictionary (expected to be ready by 1837 and only in an electronic form). Currently, the OED has definitions for over 600,000 words.

According to a blog post by the OED about its latest quarterly update, “satoshi” (a word that was “first used less than seven years ago”) was the most recent addition. Here is the official definition:

The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.

And here is what the entry for “satoshi” says about the etymology of this word:

the name of Satoshi Nakamoto (reportedly born in 1975), to whom the introduction of the Bitcoin system is attributed, presumed to be a pseudonym for one or more unknown persons

As for the word “cryptocurrency”, this is how is defined in the OED:

1. An informal, substitute currency. rare.

2. Any of various digital payment systems operating independently of a central authority and employing cryptographic techniques to control and verify transactions in a unique unit of account; (also) the units of account of such a system, considered collectively.


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