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Intro to Altcoin

Updated on August 4, 2018
Chris O Sanders profile image

Chris is an IT professional with over 10 years experience in the field. He specializes in cyber security and cryptography in networking.

What Are Altcoins?

The word "Altcoin" is simply the two words "alt" and "coin" combined. Where "alt" means alternative, and the "coin" part refers to the currency. Rocket science I know.
Altcoin is a general term used to describe any alternative cryptocurrencies to bitcoin, and the major purpose for creating altcoins is to improve upon the features of bitcoin. Or in some cases outperform and exceed Bitcoin.
Some altcoins have features that exceed the parameters of Bitcoin such as faster transactions and processing. And in some cases fee-less transactions!

The Look Of Altcoin(s)

Different coin logos
Different coin logos | Source

There Are Over 700 Different Altcoins!

There are various different coin types, such as Litecoin (LTC), Verge (XVG), Tron (TRX), Cardano (ADA), and Ripple (XRP). So far Litecoin is the most popular altcoin as it has gained popularity since 2011. But with Altcoins unlike Bitcoin, they are very volatile due to their low market caps and price manipulation. Also Altcoin uses it's own innovative blockchain technology outside of bitcoins. And many are looking to these coins for more purposes.

With That Many Why Bother?

I thought the same thing initially, how do you sift through all these different coins to find out what is good? I'll tell you, ton's of research. There are a ton of what the community has dubbed "s**tcoins", which were made entirely to get people to throw a ton of money in and then they disappear.

But there have been huge steps to stop these guys such as exchanges like Coinbase that rigorously vet and examine all coins before allowing them to be listed. Which means you can only invest in is what a sure bet. Draw back is you might miss out on the chance to get in while prices are low. Remember bitcoin was once less than a dollar.

Remember It's The Tech That Counts!

With altcoin, what makes them valuable, are the capabilities of their technologies and the scope of use. For instance, DOGE or Dogecoin at one point was considered nothing more than a joke coin. But as developers were encouraged to build it, and seeking sponsorship, developed the coins code and found itself to be a contender coin to watch. Being billed as a coin to tip content creators on social media websites. Or coins like Ripple, which are used by banking institutions for faster processes.

Some Coins And Their Current Prices

Current price
Request Network(REQ)
Stellar Lumens(XLM)
Current coins I feel have real value and chance for growth. Stats from

Be Wary Of...

The delusion that every new random coin will take you "To The Moon!!!!"
The delusion that every new random coin will take you "To The Moon!!!!" | Source

Do NOT Get Caught Up in The Fantasy Of FOMO

With a lot of these coins people often get lost in the fear of missing out or FOMO. People will rush in to buy these coins looking for huge gains then they merely end up failing and becoming worthless. Earlier I cited Dogecoin as a coin that recently saw a explosion in value, but mainly because of FOMO. It's uses are still not clear and where it will be in the future is unsure. Remember this "Always watch the fundamentals and the team of a coin". Meaning the actual business behind the coin.

Research Is Your Friend! Google Good!

See a coin that interest you? Don't be afraid to get on some sort of search engine and doing some proper research about it. As I've said there are a TON of coins out there, and not all of them are actually there to benefit anyone. Some are simply there to trick unsuspecting would be investors into buying them. That's why I suggested you used a more vanilla exchange to purchase any coins such as Coinbase or Robinhood.

These exchanges are still vetting a lot of the altcoins before letting them be traded on their platforms. So you can rest assured that you aren't risking it on a scam.

While exchanges like Binance, although very reputable tend to have a wider range of coins listed. But it is excellent at shutting down and removing listings that are frauds or worthless.

Also, if none of this made sense to you try checking out my other article "The Intro To Crypto"

Altcoin Make Sense?

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