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What is Altcoin
Altcoin literally means “alternative coins”, and the term encompasses all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin’s advent in 2009, people of the sector have realized the important advantages that it brings over currencies like Euro, Dollar and GBP as well as the aspects that need improvement within Bitcoin itself. This led to the appearance of altcoins, cryptocurrencies that share the same blockchain technology of Bitcoin but are developed in a different fashion to reach different goals.
Like Bitcoins, altcoins are generated through an algorithm that allows the release of a digital currency within its blockchain. To date, there are hundreds of altcoins and this number will continue to grow in the future.
Some examples of altcoins are Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Nem, Dash, Monero, Zcash and more.
Why trade altcoins?
Not all altcoins can be traded like Bitcoin. This is worth mentioning because only a limited amount of altcoins are able to stand out from the clutter of the market. Some of these altcoins are often heavily traded by notorious people of the field, who trigger chain purchase events with the aim at selling at the correct time to make huge profit. This technique is referred as the “pump and dump” technique. This usually results in the loss of relevance of the altcoin in question, because the hype and the movements created around the same altcoin come to an end once the traders sell at the right time.
The most important altcoins today, like Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, ZCash and more, are still running and offer interesting opportunities for the trader that wants to invest in cryptocurrency, but not Bitcoin alone. The exchange rates, the possibilities and features of each cryptocurrency are different from one another and the choice on which altcoin to choose lies within the trader himself.
Altcoins are not for beginners, who should stick to Bitcoin or Ethereum due to the large communities around their environments and to the massive amount of resources that can be found on the net. Altcoins, due to the sheer number of alternatives, are quite difficult to grasp and need awareness and knowledge of the trading scenario. Nevertheless, altcoins are certainly worth considering if we plan to trade consistently in the cryptocurrency market.