Altcoin is a term that describes any cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin’s inception there have been countless cryptos launched.
Many of these have met varying levels of success, though several have risen to rival Bitcoin itself.
Ether, XRP, Stellar, Monero, Ada, and Dash are a few examples of the more popular altcoins.
There presently exist over 5,000 altcoins and this number seemingly grows constantly. The paramount altcoins as of May 2020 are Ethereum and Ripple.
In terms of structure, altcoins can be different from the Bitcoin network in any number of ways. This is often the primary reason for the existence of altcoins themselves.
Why Do So Many Altcoins Exist?
While Bitcoin is both innovative and massively influential, it does possess some problems that developers are trying to fix with their own products.
Over time there have been developed altcoins that makes faster transactions, while also altcoins that are less volatile, or altcoins that are more private, etc.
Altcoins also can have different economic models and their methods of distribution can be different.
Moreover, their programming languages can be different, and they can support the development of different kinds of applications.
While many altcoins have been built with amazing technology and have amazing potential to change the world, many of them have been created as methods of grabbing quick cash, or even as jokes.
However, some of the joke altcoins have still managed to gather a significant number of users and followers.
The most prominent example of this trend is DogeCoin, a cryptocurrency inspired by the Doge meme.
Additionally, other joke altcoins have also experienced large market cap, such as JesusCoin.