I’ve been investing in Bitcoin for a while now, and recently I’ve begun to explore the world of altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies. What confuses me a bit is the main purpose of these altcoins. From what I understand, some of these buying and selling dynamics I’ve encountered seem to be quite different from Bitcoin.
Many people have told me these altcoins are just ‘copies’ of Bitcoin with minor tweaks, but others have said they wholly serve different functions altogether. So, could anyone shed light on what actually the main purpose of an altcoin is? Is it merely to diversify your crypto portfolio or are there specific use-cases to each one? Is there a significant technological difference that makes some altcoins more unique and valuable? I’d love to hear your opinions and learn more about this.
Sure, happy to shed some light on this. In the broadest terms, an altcoin, short for alternative coin, is any digital currency that isn’t Bitcoin. The main reason they exist is to offer alternative solutions to issues that their creators believe haven’t been adequately addressed by Bitcoin, or to provide entirely new blockchain-based services. While some altcoins might just be slight modifications of Bitcoin, many are quite different, with unique features or purposes. For example, Ethereum, an altcoin, introduced “smart contracts,” which are programmable contracts that automatically execute when certain conditions are met. Others might focus on being more energy-efficient, more private, or faster to transact. So yeah, in a sense, investing in different altcoins allows you to diversify your investment based on these different features and the potential uses they have. It’s like investing in different startup companies, each one attempting to create value in a unique way using blockchain technology.