What are altcoins?

The word “altcoin” is derived from “alternative” and “coin.” Altcoins refer to all alternatives to Bitcoin. Altcoins are cryptocurrencies that share characteristics with Bitcoin (BTC). For example, Bitcoin and altcoins have a similar basic framework. Altcoins also function like peer-to-peer (P2P) systems and share code, much like Bitcoin.

Of course, there are also marked differences between Bitcoin and altcoins. One such difference is the consensus mechanism used by these altcoins to validate transactions or produce blocks. While Bitcoin uses the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, altcoins typically use proof-of-stake (PoS). There are different altcoin categories, and they can best be defined by their consensus mechanisms and unique functionalities.

Here are the most common types of altcoins:

Mining-based

Mining-based altcoins use the proof-of-work method, most commonly known as PoW, which allows systems to generate new coins by way of mining. Mining entails solving complex problems to create blocks. Monero (XMR), Litecoin (LTC) and ZCash (ZEC) are all examples of mining-based altcoins.

Stablecoins

Stablecoins aim to reduce the volatility that has marked crypto trading and use since the beginning. The value of stablecoins is, therefore, pegged to the value of a basket of goods, like precious metals, fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies. The basket serves as a reserve in case the cryptocurrency encounters problems. Dai (DAI), USD Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT) are all examples of stablecoins.

Security tokens

True to its name, a security…


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