The Short Guide to Altcoin

By Alex Mardikian

Altcoin is the shortened form of Bitcoin Alternative and is the collective term for other digital currencies other than Bitcoin. Each altcoin contributes to making the decentralized digital currency system more robust by trying to improve upon chosen aspects, such as speed of transactions, number of simultaneous transactions, distribution technology, hashing, mining methods used, etc.

On similar lines, altCUBE is improving user experience with cryptocurrency through its Altcoin kiosks that facilitate fast, safe, and easy banking. Buy, trade, and remit at these altCUBE Kiosks using credit cards and fiat currencies.

We don’t have to go back very far back in time to learn about the first altcoins. Many coins were created, and many fell by the wayside. Some survive till today, and are continuously growing strong.

Litecoin, for example, is one of the earliest altcoins. It is regarded as silver as compared to Bitcoin’s gold. DASH is a system that enables anonymous transactions. Darkcoin uses DASH. Ripple is associated with the efforts for easier payments.

The competition that altcoins provide to bitcoins ensures that the decentralized nature of digital currency is further strengthened. Ethereum has kept Bitcoin on its toes. Trading volumes with Ethereum have, on occasions, surpassed those of Bitcoin.

The first altcoin to appear was Namecoin in 2011. Namecoin is a cryptocurrency that focuses on ensuring the decentralization of online identities.

Altcoins are subject to the same volatility of technology that affects Bitcoin; but Bitcoin has acquired a degree of stability, to a large extent because of the community that backs it. It has the numbers. Altcoins rise and fall. Developing a community is the main thing here. So, if you wish to invest in altcoins, consider those that have a sizeable community behind it. Of course, you can take risks. Risks are often accompanied with big rewards. Altcoins have delivered returns many times the investment, and that too in a single day. A general rule with all risky investments is to invest an amount that you are comfortable losing.

You need to do your research to understand how such investments work. For example, know what pump and dump means and if you can actually make a profit riding the waves that arise with pump and dump.

You can trade in Altcoins using Fiat or other Alt currencies such as Ethereum. These trades occur at cryptocurrency exchanges.

To recap, just know that altcoins are a form of cryptocurrency different from Bitcoin. The economic model may vary or the proof-of-work mining algorithms may be different. The degree of privacy may differ as compared to Bitcoin. Some altcoins may not serve any monetary purpose at all.

Altcoins that simply alter some aspects of bitcoin are ones that fail to garner a base of followers, because they don’t provide truly useful features.