With the overwhelming presence of Bitcoin in today’s media, the term ‘cryptocurrency’ is one that most of us are likely to have heard of, at least in passing. While Bitcoin is the dominant cryptocurrency on the market currently, the ‘altcoins’ following closely the term ‘altcoins’ or what they are, but with Bitcoin’s harsh volatility, it could be time to start paying behind are worthy of their own buzz but unlike their predecessor, this isn’t always the case. In fact, most aren’t aware of attention. Here, we’ve decided to look deeper into altcoins, and whether or not they could be the future of cryptocurrency.
What Are Altcoins?
Altcoins are, as their name suggests, coins that offer an alternative to Bitcoin and include everything from Bitcoin Cash to Litecoin. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency on the market and being the most popular, other cryptocurrencies have earned the title ‘altcoins’ due to their primary nature as ‘alternatives’ to Bitcoin. In most cases, the coins are equally as efficient, if not more so, than their predecessor but the price tends to be much lower. Generally, these altcoins all have an aim to fill in any limitations that Bitcoin may have or may be thought to have, but could they really take over the lead in the future?
Which Altcoins Should We Be Watching?
There are hundreds of altcoins on the market today so of course, not every single one can lead the market. However, there are a few in particular that are thought to be well worth watching as worthy competitors to Bitcoin:
- Bitcoin Cash
Only introduced in August 2017, Bitcoin Cash is the newest of the altcoins we’ll be exploring. This creation came as a result of a splitting in bitcoin’s blockchain, but it currently worth much less than its ‘parent’ coin. There also isn’t much that you can do with this coin just yet, but with time and development, it could become just as prominent as other leading cryptocurrencies. Currently, it’s a case of waiting for the infrastructure (wallets, payment services etc.) to become available.
Ripple is perhaps the cryptocurrency that is the most likely to be used on a mainstream scale. It’s already being funded by banks and financial institutions thanks to its use within banking, and this means that it is also the most regulated of all cryptocurrencies. Its stability is a worthy selling point, however it lacks the blockchain technology that Bitcoin uses. Instead, this is more private and while this is a plus for those seeking anonymity, it does open Ripple up to increased risk of misuse.
Launching in 2011, Litecoin is the closest to Bitcoin that you’ll get. However, it’s worth a lot less and is usually undervalued too. While it is similar to Bitcoin, it also has its differences, and they’re valuable ones at that. With a cap of 84million Litecoins compared to Bitcoin’s 21million and superior block and transaction processing times, Litecoin could very well take Bitcoin’s place in the future if Bitcoin doesn’t stay on its feet.
Altcoins provide a valuable alternative to Bitcoin, and while it can be difficult to choose whether or not to invest in one or the other, it’s at least worth following the market to see what happens. Bitcoin is extremely volatile, and while this is a wave that most investors are willing to ride, those who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies could benefit from a more stable, lower-value alternative.