Community Submission - Author: Caner Taçoğlu
The term whitelist refers to a list of allowed and identified individuals, institutions, computer programs, or even cryptocurrency addresses. In general, whitelists are related to a particular service, event, or piece of information. As such, whitelists can present distinct meanings depending on the context they are used.
For instance, when users sign for the mailing list of a company, they are often requested to add the company’s email to their whitelist, so that the messages don’t go directly into users spam folders. In some cases, companies may also pay fees to be whitelisted by Internet service providers, so that their emails don’t get automatically marked as spam. So by whitelisting an email address, users can assure that future emails will reach their inbox.
Whitelists can also be used in the context of network security. For example, local area networks (LAN) can set up a list of trusted MAC addresses so that an outsider won’t be able to join it. Similarly, wireless internet routers can use whitelists to allow only identified users to benefit from the Internet connection.
Other than that, the concept of whitelisting may be related to a list of computer programs that are considered safe to use. Many antivirus software have a predefined list of trusted applications that won’t be targeted during system scans, but users can create whitelists manually as well.
Finally, in the blockchain and cryptocurrency environment, whitelists are either related to Initial Coin Offering (ICO) events, or to withdrawal addresses. In the first case, cryptocurrency projects may offer a whitelisting phase for investors that are willing to participate in the public sale of their tokens. So any investor that wants to participate in the ICO would need to provide their personal information before being whitelisted (this is usually done through a KYC procedure).