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What is an altcoin? A beginner’s guide to cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin

On blockchain platforms, an altcoin is any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. The term “altcoin” is short for “alternative coin” and generally refers to all cryptocurrencies created after Bitcoin.

Published: 11 November 2022, 2:00 pm Updated: 11 Nov 2022, 12:41 pm

Most altcoins are forks of Bitcoin, built using its open-source code as a starting point but with slight modifications to the underlying blockchain technology. These modifications can be in the form of different hashing algorithms, faster transaction speeds, or various economic incentives for miners and stakers. Some popular altcoins include Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

While there are over 5,000 altcoins currently traded on digital asset exchanges. Only a handful have established themselves as viable long-term investments. When choosing an altcoin to invest in, it is important to research the project team and roadmap carefully and use the case to ensure that it is a legitimate project with a bright future ahead.

What is an altcoin?

The term “altcoin” refers to all coins that are not Bitcoin (BTC), with “alt” standing for “alternative.” Litecoin (LTC) and Ether are two second- and third-generation blockchain-based cryptocurrencies that emerged. Altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies) are often valued in BTC, unlike Bitcoin, which is frequently quoted in dollars, yuan, euros, and other fiat currencies.

Types of altcoins

The many types of altcoins include stablecoins, decentralized finance (DeFi) altcoins, proof-of-work (PoW), and proof-of-stake (PoS) altcoins (based on consensus processes).


Stablecoins are coins whose value is tied to a fiat currency, such as the USD. The most popular stablecoin is Tether (USDT), which is pegged to the USD. Other examples of stablecoins include USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX), and TrueUSD (TUSD). Most stablecoins are backed by reserves of fiat currency or other assets, such as gold. The team behind a stablecoin project will typically hold the reserves in a transparent and auditable manner.

DeFi altcoins

DeFi altcoins are…


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