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Cryptocurrency Bitesize – Altcoins

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An ‘Altcoin’ is an ‘implied’ cryptocurrency coin, meaning it often shares Bitcoins characteristics, hence the name ‘Alt Coin’. Currently its claimed there are over 1500 of these ‘Alt Coins’ available to invest in.

Notable Alt coins:

  • Litecoin – Seen as an alternative Silver to Bitcoin’s gold and thoroughly decentralised! Uses a ‘Proof of work’ scheme to validate blocks.

  • Etherum – Steered by major players such as the eponymous Microsoft, Accenture. Since the recent smart contract exploitation resulting in Etherum being split into two seperate networks there has been much debate if Etherum can still be classed as an ‘Altcoin’. A recent study citing correlation to Bitcoin, placed Etherum ‘into the playing field’, as the ‘most decentralised blockchain platform in existence’ and more importantly ‘publicly recognised as an asset’.

Most Altcoins are peer to peer, some even follow the Bitcoin mining process where miners solve difficult mathematical problems (proof of work) to unlock blocks, and are based on Bitcoin. Some just don’t do much, or are very basic.

What makes Altcoins interesting is the risk to owning, and volatility. Many ‘Altcoins’ can offer more privacy/ anonymity with obfuscated transactions such as ‘Monero’. Some Altcoins mined blocks are solved faster than Bitcoins, yet require far more proof of authority.

Altcoins may use differing proof of work algorithm’s, or could be designed to support technical uses as a way to build more applications on top of existing Cryptocurrency structures, such as the Cryptocurrency ‘EOS’.

Importantly some ‘Altcoins’, and you should watch out for, these don’t do very much.

Why use Altcoins?

  • Online payments in other currency’s
  • Trading
  • Privacy in ledger transactions
  • Decentralisation
  • Building payment based applications

Here at ixdlab_ we can help you to understand and formulate opinions on using electronic cashless payment technologies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, XRM in your business. Look out for more on #Cryptocurrencies later on.

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