The term altcoin is an abbreviation of the words’ alternative’ and ‘coin,’ and it is used to represent all cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin. Popular altcoins (alternatives to Bitcoin), include Ether, XRP, Litecoin, NEO, Dash, and many others. CoinMarketCap lists more than 2000 altcoins on its platform, but the actual number in existence today will be much higher. This number will likely increase in the future as new altcoins are created. If an altcoin has a low number of users, it may not survive and can be removed from the market.
Bitcoin’s release to the public in 2008 started a new trend of digital currencies looking to disrupt the financial world and other industries. At their core, most altcoins utilize blockchain technology, just as Bitcoin does. However, with differences in their code, consensus rules, and other factors, altcoins can be designed specifically for a wide array of use cases that differ from Bitcoin.
Monero, for example, is an altcoin designed to be used as cash like Bitcoin. However, it also uses ring signatures, stealth addresses, and other techniques to make its transactions private and untraceable. Ether, the world’s largest altcoin by market cap, was created to compensate miners or validators who secure the Ethereum network. Ether is also the medium of exchange used by various services, Dapp providers, and other participants on the Ethereum platform.
You can buy and sell altcoins on cryptocurrency exchanges. The number available to trade will vary per crypto exchange, with some offering just one or two altcoins, while others, like Binance, have listed hundreds. No cryptocurrency exchange has listed every altcoin. Some Altcoins can be exchanged for fiat currencies, while others can only be purchased with cryptocurrencies.
This Altcoin News section will keep you up to date on all the latest developments in the altcoin space. Our professional journalists report on the most significant events as they happen.