Altcoin is a cryptocurrency, just like Bitcoin. Bitcoin and Altcoin share some characteristics, but they are different in some ways. Altcoin differs from Bitcoin in terms of coin-distribution techniques, mining mechanisms, and the ability to design decentralized applications.
Even though Bitcoin is highly influential and innovative, it has few issues being fixed by the developers. Altcoin makes faster transactions, is less volatile, and is more private.
Want to learn more about Altcoin? Read: Altcoin Explained: Types, Pros & Cons
Tokens, cryptocurrencies, and other digital assets other than Bitcoin are collectively known as alternative cryptocurrencies, typically shortened to “altcoins” or “alt coins”,or disparagingly “shitcoins”. Paul Vigna of The Wall Street Journal also described altcoins as “alternative versions of Bitcoin” given its role as the model protocol for altcoin designers.
Altcoins often have underlying differences when compared to Bitcoin. For example, Litecoin aims to process a block every 2.5 minutes, rather than Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, which allows Litecoin to confirm transactions faster than Bitcoin.Another example is Ethereum, which has smart contract functionality that allows decentralized applications to be run on its blockchain. Ethereum was the most used blockchain in 2020, according to Bloomberg News. In 2016, it had the largest “following” of any altcoin, according to the New York Times.
Significant rallies across altcoin markets are often referred to as an “altseason”.
- Want to Keep Up With Bitcoin Enthusiasts? Learn the Lingo
- Cryptocurrency Mania Goes Beyond Bitcoin
- Bitcoin is not a bubble but other cryptocurrencies are ‘cannibalizing themselves,’ fintech exec says
- These Digital Coins Soar (or Fall) With Bitcoin
- Bitcoin Surges to Highest Since July 2019 After PayPal Embrace