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What Is An Altcoin? The Simplest Altcoin Definition

Altcoin is a term that's bandied around a lot, but what exactly does it mean. Well, the answer couldn't be more simple: An Altcoin — short for Alternative Coin — is the name assigned to every Cryptocurrency launched after Bitcoin, the first Cryptocurrency

Seeing as any Cryptocurrency that's not Bitcoin is an Altcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Zcash are all classified as Alternative Coins. The list is endless, with more popping up by the hour, all promising to improve on Bitcoins shortcomings. 

Improve they may, but take over they shan't. Bitcoin has come too far to be dethroned; while Altcoins seem like viable alternatives, in the real world, where computation, market cap, usage, and adoption come into play, they aren't competitors at all.

Related: How To Mine Bitcoin Fast

That said, there are number of reasons you may want to hold an Altcoin balance, with the most popular being they present somewhat of an appealing investment opportunity. As such, we've rounded up five of the most used Bitcoin alternatives:

  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Zcash (ZEC)

Want to learn more about Cryptocurrency? Check out our Beginner's Guide.