What are AltCoins?
If you know digital cryptocurrencies then you probably know Bitcoin, the first and most famous cryptocurrency. Bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency world in terms of volume and market cap. But did you know there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin? They are built using similar technology and they are all slightly different in terms of what they offer. It could be faster transaction speeds or stronger hash encryption. Most are improvements on Bitcoin yet Bitcoin is the “Coca Cola Classic” of the cryptocurrency world and dominates the market.
So strictly speaking all Cryptocurrency coins that are not Bitcoin are called “AltCoins” or “Alternative to Bitcoin”. At the time of writing this article there were over 1500 altcoins in existence. New ones are added every day to exchanges while others are taken off and fade away.
Considering the volume and fragility of altcoins should you invest in them? There is potential to make money from altcoins considering they can increase in value quite fast yet they can also go down just as fast. The short answer is: do your research. Find out about the Coin, the pros and cons, the unique selling point, the backers, what’s the news. Here are some coin reviews to help you on your way.
There are a few coins that have withstood the rigours of the market like Ethereum*, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Stellar. Then are are the newer upcoming coins with some strong backing like NEO, Cardano, and TRON.
*There are some crypto experts and enthusiasts who believe Ethereum should not be an AltCoin but should be in the same league as Bitcoin. This is because Ethereum’s technology using smart contracts is considered to be much more advanced than Bitcoin’s. In fact most of the newer cryptocurrencies and tokens coming on to the market are based on the Ethereum technology than Bitcoins.