Altcoins is the name of all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin. The first altcoins appeared in 2011. Their aim was to overcome all technical limitations that Bitcoin had. As of the beginning of December 2017, there are over one thousand altcoins existing in the world.
Coinmarketcap.com portal contains data on 904 altcoins traded on exchanges, although according to some estimations, their number exceeds one thousand. Nevertheless, in the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in the amount of more than $343,586 billion, Bitcoin still takes the dominant position with a share of 55% (about $191,118 billion).
Disadvantages of BitcoinEdit
The developers of altcoins primarily solve problems that are present at Bitcoin.
Among such disadvantages there are:
- Long transactions. To speed up the transactions’ time, other algorithms are used. In addition, the cryptocurrencies with a smaller block volume calculate the necessary operations faster.
- Lack of anonymity. Although the cryptocurrency transactions are considered to be encrypted enough, still, the sender and receiver may be tracked. To avoid it, some altcoins use addition methods of encrypting.
- Difficult and expensive mining. Constant complicating of Bitcoin mining requires even more resources to form new blocks in block chain. Altcoins offer alternative mining protocols, which allow the users to do it without any complex equipment.
- Insufficient functionality. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and its primary task is to be a tool for settlement transactions. Altcoins add extra functionality, for example, the creation of smart contracts.
Many of altcoins are built on the basic structure, provided by the Bitcoin block chain, i.e., they are in fact its forks. So, the majority of altcoins are single ranked, include mining process and offer effective and cheap ways to carry out transactions over the Internet.
The most popular altcoinsEdit
Ethereum. The cryptocurrency, created in the Ethereum block chain. «Ether» is second by capitalization after Bitcoin, as well as has been second by the rate price of one coin for a long time. Ethereum was developed in 2015 as a platform for the creation of smart contracts. Today, the major part of all ICOs are conducted on this platform.
Dash. Another altcoin, aimed at anonymity. Has been existed since January 2014.