What are Altcoins?
Altcoins can be described as optional coins created using the basic Bitcoin framework.
Basically, all cryptocurrencies including utility tokens, security tokens, and stablecoins are considered altcoins.
The rise or popularization of altcoins is inspired by the limitations faced by Bitcoin and the monopoly that it carries.
Although Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency, altcoins are increasingly gaining ground.
Among the most popular altcoins include Ethereum and Ripple. But there are several thousands of altcoins that are rarely mentioned.
What drives the value of altcoins?
One of the major drivers of the value of altcoins is the platform, blockchain, or project it is linked to. That’s what gives it utility and validity to the real world.
It is also important to note that most tokens or altcoins are built or created on protocols that are not similar to that of Bitcoin’s blockchain.
The Largest Altcoins as per Market Cap
Other than Bitcoin, the overall market capitalization of altcoins has increased for two years consecutively.
The previous peak was $142 billion while the latest was $169 billion and happened a few months ago.
By taking a deeper look at the projections, it is clear that some altcoins are doing much better than the others.
Below is a list of the best altcoins at the moment:
- 1. Ethereum (ETH)
- 2. Litecoin (LTC)
- 3. EOS
- 4. Chainlink (LINK)
- 5. Cardano (ADA)
- 6. Tron (TRX)
- 7. yEarn.Finance (YFI)
Ethereum is the most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin in terms of recognition, value, and applications. Its market capitalization is approximately $64.5 as we speak.
It uses decentralized software that allows decentralized applications and smart contracts to be created without control, downtime fraud, or interference from third-parties.
The application on Ethereum are operated on its own unique cryptographic token known as ether.
Think of ether as a vehicle that facilitates the movement of the Ether platform.
Launched in 2015, Ethereum is currently the most valuable altcoin after Bitcoin.
2. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin was launched in 2011 by a former employee of Google called Charlie Lee. It is almost similar to Bitcoin since it is also a peer-to-peer digital asset.
Although they are similar in many ways, one thing that differentiates Litecoin from other cryptocurrencies are the little to almost zero global payments.
The major goal of Litecoin is to help solve some limitations faced by Bitcoin such as low speed.
3. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano was started by Charles Hoskinson in 2017. It provides a reliable platform for smart contracts and DApps.
Cardano has a lot of improvements in terms of technology over other previous altcoins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Cardano aims at solving three major problems facing first and second-generation projects. This includes interoperability, sustainability, and scalability.
4. Chainlink (LINK)
Chainlink is a decentralized network for smart contracts that are closely connected to Ethereum smart contracts.
The hype behind LINK comes from its uniqueness compared to other blockchain technologies.
The cryptocurrency mainly emphasizes developing smart contracts for the outside world.
Chainlink was one of the best performing altcoins in 2020. In less than nine months, the price of this altcoin rose from $1.76 to $20.
The first Initial Coin Offering for EOS took place in 2017. The cryptocurrency was created by the founder of BitShare.
Similar to Ethereum, EOS has a platform where developers can easily create decentralized applications.
EOS managed to raise $700 million on its first Initial Coin Offering – making it one of the most successful ICO’s.
Although its platform is still under construction, EOS is currently the fifth most valuable altcoins.
Tron in an operating system that uses blockchain technology. Its main objective is to incorporate technology into people’s daily operations.
When compared to Bitcoin, Tron has the ability to handle up to 6 transactions per second while Ethereum can handle up to 25.
In terms of pricing, the highest TRX has achieved so far is $0.21.
7. yEarn.Finance (YFI)
Although it is one of the youngest projects in the world of cryptocurrency, YFI surpassed the expectations of its investors.
The altcoin’s price sored beyond that of Bitcoin when it was at its peak. YFI is primarily an aggregator that rebalances to generate optimized results during a transaction.