How do Altcoins Work? A Guide to the Cryptocurrencies Beyond Bitcoin

In 2009, Bitcoin started the cryptocurrency age, and it rapidly became the term used anytime anybody discussed digital currencies. In fact, it dominated the emerging market to the extent that any other cryptocurrency was viewed as a “altcoin,” or substitute for Bitcoin. And the moniker remained, despite the fact that the original digital currency now has thousands of rivals.


Here are some general information on alternative currencies, ones to watch in 2018, and if they will replace Bitcoin.


What is an Altcoin?


A cryptocurrency known as an altcoin exchange is a substitute for Bitcoin, which once stood alone among all other cryptocurrencies. Early on, Bitcoin dominated the market to the point where other competitors were compared to the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was involved, along with everything else. 


Therefore, an altcoin is any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. This type of description was quite reasonable in the early days of cryptocurrencies when Bitcoin commanded the majority of market attention and there were dozens or even hundreds of competing coins. Today, analysts estimate that there are more than 10,000 different cryptocurrencies. Therefore, defining the cryptosphere as “Bitcoin and everything else” makes less sense than before.


Types of Alternative Cryptocurrencies


Considering the sheer number of cryptocurrencies in use, investors seeking for alternative coins are inundated with options. But a lot of trade centres on the biggest companies and those that have the finest technological capabilities, including quick transaction speeds.


Mining-Based Coins


Computer networks that frequently require a lot of energy to solve complicated mathematical problems produce coins based on mining into circulation. The biggest cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin, as well as several altcoins, are dependent on mining.




A type of cryptocurrency known as a stablecoin is one whose value is tied to the value of another asset, often the US dollar. Stablecoins attempt to maintain a coin price that is equal to the value of the underlying item. Stablecoins frequently have a foundation in real money since they are backed by assets like actual dollars (but frequently bonds and other assets as well). Stablecoins like Tether and USD Coin are two examples.


Tokens for Security


A type of currency known as a security token denotes a little stake in another asset. For instance, security tokens might be used to confirm ownership of a work of art and split ownership among its owners. Or, a business’s ownership may be represented through security tokens. Therefore, this form of token may enable the securitization of more conventional assets.




Memecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that has captured the attention of the general public, potentially as a result of social media or the tweets of famous people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Memecoins frequently have a lottery-like quality, rapidly rising in price before falling sharply. Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are two well-known memecoins.


Popular Alternative Currencies

The top 10 cryptocurrencies, as of Jan 28, according to CoinMarketCap, are as follows:


  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Tether
  • Binance Coin
  • USD Coin
  • Cardano
  • XRP
  • Solana
  • Terra
  • Dogecoin


Naturally, these rankings are subject to change as each currency produces new coins and has tremendous fluctuation in its price. Here is further information about the largest cryptocurrencies.


What to Think About Before Purchasing Alternative Cryptocurrencies


The only Factor Driving Cryptocurrency is Emotion: Cryptocurrency is solely based on sentiment since, unlike stocks, it is not backed by the assets or cash flow of the actual corporation. Altcoins depend on traders becoming or becoming more hopeful for their prices to rise since sentiment can fluctuate from outrageously euphoric to depressingly negative.


The Most Widely Used Coins Attract the Most Investors: Investors cluster around the most well-liked currencies, concentrating on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a relatively small number of other coins since cryptocurrency is driven by emotion. A new cryptocurrency emerges every so often; purebred examples include Dogecoin and Shiba Inus, but hundreds more remain unheard of. This implies that if an alternative coin falls out of popularity, it could never recover, losing you most or perhaps all of your investment.


Are you Financially Able to Lose Some Money? It’s crucial to consider whether you’re just betting with money you can afford to lose given the type of severe dangers associated with altcoins as well as their volatility. You shouldn’t invest your rent money or other necessary finances in the cryptocurrency market or any other financial market.


Pay Attention to an Altcoin’s Technological Capabilities: Look at an altcoin’s technical potential before investing. For instance, Solana, an altcoin, has had tremendous growth since it offers excellent functionality at a low price. The characteristics of a cryptocurrency might keep it top-of-mind with users, making it a desirable trading tool that users can gather around.


Bottom Line


The number of altcoins continues to rise, and there are now thousands of them. Even if the whole “cryptocurrency pie” keeps growing, altcoins as a whole should continue to take market share away from Bitcoin, even though no one coin may be able to topple Bitcoin’s status as the leading cryptocurrency (for now).