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Altcoin Guide

Information about Altcoins

What does Altcoin mean?

Altcoin refers to all digital cryptocurrency launched following the success of Bitcoin, hence the name Altcoin meaning “alternative” to Bit”coin”.   There are over 900 Altcoin currencies that have been created since Bitcoin.


altcoin image


Facts about Altcoins

Meaning: “Alternative” coin (currency) to Bitcoin

# of Altcoins: over 900

First Altcoin: Namecoin

Examples of Altcoins: Litebit, BTCdirect, Kraken, Bittrex


The most important Altcoin terms and definitions

Blockchain: the simplest possible definition of blockchain technology is that it’s a decentralized database that can’t be manipulated, making it un-hackable

Coinexchange: A market where buyers and sellers trade Bitcoins and Altcoins

Dapp: Stands for decentralized application, referring to Apps built written in the blockchain

Encryption: Information that can only be unlocked with a private key code

ICO (Initial Coin Offering): An opportunity to purchase digital coins for the first time from a new blockchain currency

Miner: A computer validating blockchain transactions

Public Key:  Used to transfer coins publicly, in and out of a Wallet

Private key: The key to open a Wallet

Satoshi: The smallest denomination of Bitcoin, one hundred millionth of a single Bitcoin

Wallet: Digital device used to store, send, and receive digital currency. Examples are Jaxx and Exodus


Miners and crypto currencies

Computers, known as miners, are part of the blockchain network and support in verifying and recording the transactions of cryptocurrency.  In exchange, they are compensated with a small amount of the cryptocurrency being transacted. The act of mining, thus, involves offering your computing power to the network in exchange for some cryptocurrency.

Verification and recording protocols vary by Altcoin currency, and thus computing power and hardware requirements for each blockchain network can differ.


Additional resources

This has been an introductory guide to alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin.  To keep learning more about other alternative digital currencies and finance in general, these additional resources will be helpful:

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Bitcoins
  • Ethereum
  • Blockchain

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