What is an Altcoin?

evo

Site Admin
Apr 2017
Seattle
#1
Altcoin is an abbreviation of "Bitcoin Alternative" and refers to every cryptocurrency except for Bitcoin. Altcoins are often referred to as Bitcoin alternatives because most altcoins hope to either replace or improve upon at least one component of Bitcoin.

There are hundred of altcoins. Coin Market Cap currently lists 716 cryptocurrencies.

Most altcoins are nothing more than Bitcoin clones, with only minor characteristics - transaction speed, distribution method, or hashing algorithm. And most altcoins don't survive.

Many altcoins innovate with new features providing functionality different than Bitcoin - Ethereum, Dash, Monero, Ripple, etc.

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts will argue there's no need for altcoins because they will never replace the Bitcoin infrastructure. Decentralization is one of Bitcoin's prominent goals, and altcoins further decentralize the cryptocurrency community. And most important, altcoins allow developers to experiment with unique features and give Bitcoin healthy competition.

If users don't feel Bitcoin can satisfy their digital desires, they can always adopt an altcoin. And of course, if enough users left Bitcoin for a particular altcoin, the Bitcoin developers would move to adopt features desired by the community instead of risking their premier place as the most prominent cryptocurrency.

The First Altcoin

In April 2011, Namecoin was the first altcoin. Namecoin acted as a currency and was created to decentralize domain name registration, making Internet censorship much more difficult.
 
#2
It's good to have everything summarized in a compact way. There are so many terms to get to know and such an overkill of information out there! From time to time everything makes sense, thank you!
 

evo

Site Admin
Apr 2017
Seattle
#4
Do you think that the prices from Altcoin will go with the Bitcoin prices yet?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you view the overall market... the price of altcoins have shown to be directly tied to the price of Bitcoin (BTC), which makes sense because to enter/exit the altcoin market, you have to buy BTC to make your trades.

There are some exceptions of course, when a particular altcoin finds itself responding to general market sentiment or news.
 
#5
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you view the overall market... the price of altcoins have shown to be directly tied to the price of Bitcoin (BTC), which makes sense because to enter/exit the altcoin market, you have to buy BTC to make your trades.

There are some exceptions of course, when a particular altcoin finds itself responding to general market sentiment or news.
Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for your quick answer!
 
#6
Thanks for this concise summary! Of course it makes sense, that the altcoins are tied to the Bitcoin prices as well... I would also like to know how the features of Ethereum, Ripple and other Altcoins differ in functioning, so how are the features different from Bitcoin? Is there any kind of summary where I could get information about this? I am still trying to educate myself about the different coins and their differences:) Any help or tips would be very appreciated...