The term ‘altcoin’ has been around for quite a while. Time to clear up that this not a type of a cryptocurrency, but all other coins than Bitcoin. That is right, the word is short for ‘alternative’ and ‘coin’. Hence, it refers to any alternatives to the Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin was the first breaking cryptocurrency, many people started to identify it with all the cryptos in general. After loads of different coins came out, Bitcoin stayed and still is the most popular, so the division marks a separation between Bitcoin and all others.
Currently, there are more than two thousand crypto coins on the market. In fact, the proper number is 2105, according to the giant financial observer CoinMarketCap. That is an overwhelming number and since traders cannot possibly remember and name all coins, it is much more convenient to call them just altcoins.
There are all sorts of altcoins out there. Some of them are considered Bitcoin’s rivals, like the Litecoin, which uses a similar protocol, it is also based on a decentralized network and on the blockchain technology, and it is a peer-to-peer token. However, there are centralized cryptos, as well as pegged to conventional currencies, such as the Tether, or even backed up with oil and diamonds, like the Venezuelan Petro.
A primary example of an altcoin is the Ethereum. It is the second most popular cryptocurrency yet with a substantial trading volume of Ethers. Many crypto developers think that without the Ethereum, at least half of the existing altcoins would not be possible. This is so because the Ethereum’s platform is different than the one of the Bitcoin and allows the creation of other tokens.
For a fast and comprehensive introduction to the altcoins, do watch this video. It is extremely bright!
*Video content posted on CryptoFrog is under the Creative Commons License. Credit goes to PIVX Class.