Are you wondering what are the Altcoins?
First of all let us define what’s the meaning of altcoins…
Altcoins are the alternative cryptocurrencies which were launched after Bitcoin’s popularity and great success. The success of Bitcoin as the first peer-to-peer digital currency opened the doors for many to follow.
OK let us also keep in mind that the word “Altcoin” is a combination of two words: “alt” and “coin”; alt is short for alternative and coin signifies currency. The word Altcoins simply identifies a category of cryptocurrency that is alternative to Bitcoin.
Most of the altcoins are still built on using the same basic framework provided by Bitcoins. Many altcoins are trying to target any perceived limitations that Bitcoin has and come up with newer versions with competitive advantages. There is a great variety of altcoins. Examples of altcoin include Litecoin, Dogecoin, Peercoin, Feathercoin, Zetacoin, Novacoin, etc.
If you are new to Bitcoin, you should read our last article on “What is Cryptocurrency: Everything You Need to Know about Bitcoin” where we have tried explaining Bitcoin in detail.
OK back to Altcoins…
Altcoins: Looking for a Bitcoin Alternative?
Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the concept of money with the launch of many Bitcoin’s alternative Cryptocurrencies.
A number of cryptos have been launched and more are being launched every month.
The best way to explore Altcoins is to look at few altcoins such as Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, NEM and Bitcoin Cash.
Ethereum is not a currency but a Blockchain platform which is powered by the Ether cryptocurrency. Due to this reason, Ether currency and Ethereum are used interchangeably by many people. So keep in mind that ether is the cryptocurrency generated by the Ethereum platform. The Ethereum platform is a ledger technology other companies can use to build their own applications.
As many leading industry leaders collaborated to create this platform and currency, Ethereum (ETH) is one of the most fiercest rival to Bitcoin in circulation today.
Ripple is backed by the Google-backed altcoin startup and managed to pull in venture funding from many banking institutions. Ripple provides global financial settlement solutions to enable the world to exchange value like it already exchanges information giving rise to an Internet of Value (IoV). Ripple solutions lower the total cost of settlement by enabling banks to transact directly, instantly and with certainty of settlement. Ripple, also known as XRP.
Former Google engineer Charles Lee created this altcoin in order to improve Bitcoin’s current weaknesses such as the speed and the transaction processing time. Litecoin has been able to generate a new block in a much faster way and the transactions are much faster. Litecoin uses a different proof-of-work algorithm that’s more intensive on memory, where Bitcoin is more intensive on processing power. Its network tries to complete a block four times as often as Bitcoin, which is designed to speed up transaction confirmation.
Dash is a combination of 2 words i.e. digital and cash. Dash is the Internet’s cash-in-hand. Dash is quick. Its transactions are instant.
NEM is built on an entirely new codebase separate than the Bitcoin’s open-source code. NEM is built using Java code. NEM introduced the proof-of-importance algorithm to the digital ledger. A user’s wealth and number of transactions are used to timestamp transactions.
Originally this was created as a fork of Bitcoin, but now it is a separate currency. It is built using many architectural changes which have led to faster transactions and low fees compared to Bitcoin.
With the launch of Bitcoin and so many altcoins, a new global economy is being created. All of these Cryptocurrencies do allow us to transact in a peer-to-peer fashion, without third-party governing us. Bitcoin introduced the Blockchain, and now other developers are improving on the original idea and making it better. Some currencies are focused on speed such Ripple and Litecoin, and some are more focused on privacy such as Zcash which makes all transactions private and untraceable. Each altcoin comes with its own strengths and weakness.
Over the time, we will see many new currencies and that’s why the world of Cryptocurrencies is so exciting as nobody knows which will be the next Bitcoin!