What Are Altcoins? A Beginner’s Guide

What Are Altcoins_ A Beginner's Guide

The term “altcoin” is a portmanteau that combines the words “alt,” which means “alternative,” and “coin,” which means “cryptocurrency.” In other words, altcoins are any cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin (BTC). After the worldwide financial crisis between 2008 and 2009, blockchain technology was initially shown to the world through the cryptocurrency known as bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC) has successfully established itself as the “gold standard” among cryptocurrencies and has ushered in a new era in the world of finance. As a result of the fact that it was the first cryptocurrency to implement blockchain technology, it has established itself as the standard for other cryptocurrencies.

Alternative cryptocurrencies have been developed to solve the problems that Bitcoin faces on both a technical and a practical level (more on this later). Is it accurate to call Ethereum an altcoin?

After the inception of altcoins, blockchain technology gave rise to subsequent and subsequent generations of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin (LTC) and Ether (ETH). Altcoins, also known as alternative cryptocurrencies, are often valued in Bitcoin (BTC), although Bitcoin is frequently quoted in dollars, yuan, euros, and other fiat currencies.

This page will attempt to answer various questions, such as how a person can acquire or sell alternative cryptocurrencies. What sets Bitcoin apart from other cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins? Are alternative cryptocurrencies preferable to Bitcoin?

Whatever alternative cryptocurrencies exist, it is important to realize that after Bitcoin, the world of alternative cryptocurrencies has a long way to go.

At this point, there are more than 1,000 altcoins in existence. However, you should know that buying them is very difficult. Unlike Bitcoin, altcoins do not have a traditional market value and cannot be obtained through conventional methods such as crypto exchanges or by advertising on an online forum.

Types of altcoins

Types of altcoins

PoW and PoS altcoins:

PoW altcoins are the most common and have blockchains based on Proof-of-Work (PoW). PoW is a highly competitive, rapid, and energy-intensive technique to secure a network.

The miners who mine blocks in this method compete with each other using their computers’ processing power to amass the largest possible number of coins. The earliest cryptocurrency that uses PoW is Litecoin (LTC), launched in 2011.

PoS altcoins are different; they have blockchains secured by those who possess coins instead of those who perform block mining.

This method is also known as Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and is considered more energy efficient than PoW. Moreover, the creator of a PoS blockchain – Nxt – claims that the method is more environmentally friendly than PoW. The first PoS altcoin was Peercoin (PPC), launched in 2012.

The Proof of Work (PoW) consensus method is used by the Bitcoin network to validate and process transaction requests. Other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies include Zcash, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) (ZEC). On the other hand, in the PoS paradigm, validators—not miners—are responsible for verifying transactions.

Due to the high energy consumption required by the PoW consensus mechanism, Ethereum is transitioning to the PoS mechanism. Examples of Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrencies include Cosmos (ATOM) and Tron (TRX).

DeFi altcoins:

DeFi is an abbreviation for Decentralized Finance. It is a new term to describe cryptocurrencies that can support financial applications.

These cryptocurrencies have been specifically designed to work with other blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, without a direct connection to them (hence the name). Through interoperability, a person can use these altcoins in conjunction with other cryptocurrencies and digital assets natively or through third-party applications.



Ethereum is a cryptocurrency with a decentralized platform for developers to build and deploy smart contracts. Ether is the native asset of the network.

Ethereum was launched as a proof-of-concept in 2013 and became a functional cryptocurrency in 2014, with its main platform – Ethereum Network (Ethereum Blockchain) – being launched in July 2015. The purpose of this platform is to allow stakeholders worldwide to engage in secure and seamless transactions using blockchain technology.


A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that has a stable value over time. Stablecoins are often pegged to one of the top cryptocurrencies of the network, such as USD. Examples include Tether (USDT), TrueUSD (TUSD), and Basis (BASE).



A Decentralized Application or Dapp is an app that runs on a specific blockchain but does not use any central server to run transactions. All app users are also app operators instead of using a central server that one person controls. The term “dapp” was introduced by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin in 2013.


Litecoin (LTC) is a cryptocurrency that was launched in 2011 as an alternative to Bitcoin. It was created by Charlie Lee, who Google employed at the time. Its block mining time is 2.5 minutes (as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes), making it a more durable option for everyday transactions regarding cryptocurrency payments and transfers.

One of the early alternative cryptocurrencies is Litecoin, which originated as a fork of Bitcoin. It was a clone of Bitcoin’s source code, offering faster transaction confirmation times and lower fees than Bitcoin.

Charlie Lee, a former employee of Google, is credited with the creation of Litecoin in 2011, and the cryptocurrency was formerly rated second in market capitalization.

Litecoin was frequently used as a testbed for Bitcoin to test new technology such as SegWit, Atomic Swap, Lightning Network, and MimbleWimble. This was possible because of the similarities between the two cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin’s mining process is based on the Scrypt algorithm, which was first developed for Bitcoin. Its original purpose was to stop application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) from having an overwhelming competitive advantage over miners utilizing central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), thereby allowing the cryptocurrency to become more decentralized.

The cryptocurrency industry agrees that Litecoin was one of the first alternative cryptocurrencies to be created. Litecoin might be considered digital silver compared to Bitcoin, which could be considered digital gold.


In conclusion, many altcoins can be used when carrying out fund transfers. The main reason why people refrain from using them is that they feel it will be a hassle.

More importantly, they need to know how the transaction will work and where to go once it has been confirmed. Also, they need to know how much they will be charged in fees and what kind of transactions they can perform on their chosen altcoins.

One more thing to remember is that the value of altcoins can change frequently. If you’re interested in trading altcoins, it is wise to have a trading bot that can help you execute trades automatically. Such a tool will also show you how much profit you can get by buying and selling different cryptocurrencies at the best price and when the market is most favorable.

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