What are Altcoins?

Cryptocurrency is not as new as you think. It has been circulating since 2009 and is gaining popularity every day. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is “designed to be a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.” Cryptocurrency is now a global phenomenon and is attracting people from every economic status. Bitcoin is what most people think of when they think of cryptocurrency, but bitcoin isn’t the only only player in the game. Another type of cryptocurrency is now catching peoples attention called altcoin. What are altcoins? What are the differences between altcoin and bitcoin?

Altcoins are alternatives to Bitcoin

Many people are developing their alternate versions of bitcoin with their own rules and principles attached to them. People use the term “altcoin” to describe coins with lower market capitalizations. Altcoins are powerful alternatives to bitcoin and are consistently changing the way digital currencies work. They are restructuring the way businesses flow and how we exchange money/assets. There are more than 800 altcoins available today. They are much less competitive and less expensive than bitcoin and come with their own standards. Some altcoins were created to put people at ease over the concerns of the future of bitcoin. Some examples of bitcoin available are litecoin, ethereum, ripple, zcash and dash.

The most popular of these is litecoin. Litecoin is known as the closest competitor to bitcoin and is possibly the most used altcoin. Litecoins are actually considered to be more stable than bitcoins. New litecoins are created every 2.5 minutes and use an alternate set of rules of mining. The general idea of litecoin was to keep things fair and give everyone a chance, instead of favoring richer people that were able to buy certain equipment. Another altcoin that has been created is called scamcoins. The purpose of scamcoins are solely to make a profit for their creators. They are announced with little warning, pre-mined by their creators, are hyped up by the creator to gain support. However, after gaining support, the creator sells all of the coins and leaves the scamcoin to fizzle out. This is becoming increasingly common.

An altcoins rules are changed to provide a unique and productive function for a particular application. Successful altcoins attempt to do something that provides technical value. Altcoins are used to either fix bitcoin’s flaws or to provide a variety of properties and goals not available from bitcoin.