Altcoins are the alternative digital currencies to bitcoin — here’s what they are and how they work

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The altcoin market is a new and unstable one, so potential investors should consider the risks before investing in any one type of altcoin.

Altcoin is short for “alternative coin” and — as the name suggests — is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin.
Altcoins have become a major segment of the cryptocurrency markets, with projects like Ethereum (ETH), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Uniswap (UNI) distinguishing themselves as platforms with innovative capabilities.
The altcoin markets are characterized for their volatility and are highly speculative investments.

Since the emergence of Bitcoin, the concept of a decentralized, trustless peer-to-peer (P2P) payment network has inspired an entire class of digital assets. The crypto markets are a product of Bitcoin’s success, and the fast-growing space consists of more than 9,000 altcoins.

Now we have altcoins, which began to emerge in 2011 in an attempt to reinvent Bitcoin, with their own rules and improvements on different features.

What is an altcoin? 

Altcoin is a cryptocurrency alternative to Bitcoin — its name is a portmanteau of “alternative” and “coin.” Since Bitcoin is widely regarded as the first of its kind, new cryptocurrencies developed after are viewed as alternative coins — or altcoins. The emergence of altcoins began around 2011, with the first generation formed using the same blockchain engine as Bitcoin.

The first altcoin was Namecoin, which is based on Bitcoin’s code and was released in April 2011. Namecoin is integral to the history of altcoins in that it showed that there’s enough room in the …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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