Singh Kaur 1 Questions 0 Answers 0 Best Answers 20 Points View Profile 0 Singh Kaur Asked: May 1, 2019In: Cryptocurrency Bitcoin, altcoins and your coin. Why so many coins? What’s the difference? 0 Share Facebook 1 Answer Voted Oldest Recent Joanna Added an answer on May 1, 2019 at 7:03 pm Even if you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency, you’ve no doubt heard of Bitcoin. In fact, such is its popularity that many use the terms ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ interchangeably. Bitcoin was indeed the world’s first cryptocurrency — and continues to hold a large share of the cryptocurrency market, but today it is but one of thousands of cryptocurrencies used daily around the world. Termed ‘altcoins’, from ‘alternative coins’, these cryptocurrencies open up the endless transaction and investment options. Why so many coins? Altcoins and Bitcoin alike are all members of the broader cryptocurrency family. However, just as a family likeness might change — and even diminish — throughout the generations, some altcoins bear a strong resemblance to their predecessor, Bitcoin (in protocol and/or features), and others less so. Each altcoin seeks to bring something new and different to the cryptocurrency sector. Whether improvements to blocktime (the time is taken for cryptocurrency transactions to be confirmed), transaction security, mining processes or incentives — or even the appeal to a certain sub-culture or set of values, each altcoin has its own point of difference. Innovative altcoins Amongst thousands of altcoins, here are a few notable for their popularity and innovation. Litecoin Launched in 2011, Litecoin was the world’s second cryptocurrency. Developed with strong reference to Bitcoin, Litecoin has been dubbed “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold”. It markets itself as a coin without pretense, well suited to everyday transactions. Fast blocktime of only 2.5 mins per block (good for everyday purchases and transactions). Coin cap of 84 million. Employs Scrypt algorithm, increasing resistance to specialized mining hardware and ‘professional’ mining groups. Use of this algorithm seeks to ensure that Litecoin remains a cryptocurrency ‘for the people’. Ripple In an increasingly globalized world, international transactions can be a source of major frustration. High transaction and exchange fees are not uncommon — as are long processing times. Ripple aims to move money across borders and between institutions more quickly, cheaply and with greater ease. It is a cryptocurrency seeking to enable exchanges. Fast four-second transaction time. Allows institutions to make small payments without attracting high fees. Touted as revolutionary for the global remittances market. Ethereum Ethereum’s distinguishing feature is the way it facilitates ‘smart contracts’. It harnesses blockchain technology to program ‘self-executing’ contracts. Ethereum seeks to make contractual processes faster, cheaper and easier by eliminating the need for third-party mediation and oversight. The terms of a contract are instead written into the Ethereum blockchain, and a contract is automatically executed once all of its terms have been met. Weighing up the alternatives While altcoins often represent exciting, cutting-edge cryptocurrency developments and innovation, as with any investment, due diligence is strongly advised. The cryptocurrency history books are littered with ‘pump and dump’ schemes whereby developers generate enough hype around the launch of a new coin to encourage investment and raise its value to an all-time high. They then sell rapidly, sending the coin’s value plummeting and devastating investors. 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Featured image Select file Browse Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.