Reviewed by Aug 26, 2020| Updated on
Altcoins are alternative cryptocurrencies that were launched after Bitcoin's success. They generally project themselves as better replacements for Bitcoin. Bitcoin's emergence as the first peer-to-peer digital currency was paving the way for many to follow. Most altcoins are trying to target any perceived drawbacks that Bitcoin has and come up with competitive advantages in newer versions.
The term 'Altcoin' is a combination of two words: 'alt' and 'coin' where alt means 'alternative' and coin means 'cryptocurrency'. Together they imply a category of cryptocurrency, which is an alternative to the digital Bitcoin currency. After Bitcoin's success story, many other peer-to-peer digital currencies have emerged to try to mimic that success.
Many altcoins are built based on the basic structure provided by Bitcoin. Therefore, most altcoins are peer-to-peer, require a process of mining by which users solve difficult problems in cracking blocks and provide secure and inexpensive ways of carrying out web transactions. But Altcoins, even with many overlapping features, vary widely from one another.