What are Altcoins?

Altcoins are the other cryptocurrencies launched after the success of Bitcoin. Generally, they sell themselves as better alternatives to Bitcoin, thus the term “altcoin.” Many of the altcoins are built upon the basic framework provided by Bitcoin making most altcoins peer-to-peer. They try to offer efficient and inexpensive ways to carry out transactions on the Internet. Even with many overlapping features, altcoins vary widely from each other.

Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin caused the cryptocurerncy’s price to surpass $48,000, but Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency in the headlines as of late. Several alternative cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins, have experienced massive surges in price. Many of these currencies have historically followed the price of Bitcoin up, but some have become sensationalized on social media, giving them meteoric rises.

The primary example of this is Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started in 2013 as a fork from Litecoin. Dogecoin began as a joke and is named after a popular meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog as its symbol. Recently, celebrities like Gene Simmons, Snoop Dogg, and Elon Musk have either sarcastically, or even seriously, endorsed Dogecoin via tweets or other social media posts. Since Jan. 27, Dogecoin has experienced a nearly 820% increase in price.

While the headlines are filled with news of meme coin pumps, there are numerous altcoins with serious projects aimed to solve real-world problems. The most notable of which is Ethereum, which helps to create decentralized financial systems for those without access to traditional financial products. While many of the thousands of variations out there claim to be better than Bitcoin, some have taken more impressive strides than others. That said, none have unseated the current de facto standard yet, but the innovations, like the ability to handle more transactions per section, abound. 

ETH Ehereum
USDT Tether
ADA Cardano
DOT Polkadot

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