What is an altcoin?

An altcoin is a term used to refer to any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin.

The term "altcoin" is short for "alternative coin" and is used to describe any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, which was the first and most well-known cryptocurrency. Altcoins were created to address some of the limitations of Bitcoin, such as its slow transaction times and high transaction fees, as well as to offer different features and use cases. Examples of altcoins include Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Cardano and Chainlink among others.

Generally, altcoins fall into two categories: those which are largely based on Bitcoin’s code (Bitcoin forks) and those which are standalone projects which were created from scratch. Today, most altcoins are hosted on the Ethereum network as ERC-20 tokens and, therefore, depend on Ethereum to stay functional.

The most popular altcoins by market capitalization are:

  1. Ethereum (ETH) - the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, focusing on smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps).
  2. Binance Coin (BNB) - the native cryptocurrency of the Binance exchange, used to pay transaction fees and access additional features.
  3. Cardano (ADA) - a platform for building decentralized applications that uses a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.
  4. Dogecoin (DOGE) - a cryptocurrency that started as a joke but gained popularity due to social media hype and celebrity endorsements.
  5. XRP (XRP) - a cryptocurrency created by Ripple for faster and cheaper cross-border payments.
  6. Polkadot (DOT) - a platform for building interconnected blockchains and applications.
  7. Solana (SOL) - a blockchain platform that uses a unique consensus algorithm to achieve high transaction speeds and low fees.
  8. Chainlink (LINK) - a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts to external data sources.
  9. Litecoin (LTC) - a cryptocurrency created as a faster and cheaper alternative to Bitcoin, focusing on payments.

It is important to note that the popularity and ranking of altcoins can change rapidly due to various factors such as market trends, adoption, and regulatory changes.

You can buy or sell BTC, ETH, ADA, and LINK on nbx.com.

The article does not constitute financial advice.

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