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Altcoin

What does Altcoin mean in crypto terms?

An 'altcoin' is a blanket term used to denote any digital cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin, which was the first established cryptocurrency.

The word 'altcoin' itself is a portmanteau of 'alternative' and 'coin,' reflecting its status as an alternative to Bitcoin. Following the success of Bitcoin, thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies have been developed, each with its unique properties and functionalities.

Examples of altcoins include Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple among others. Similar to Bitcoin, most altcoins leverage the concept of blockchain technology, a decentralized, distributed ledger system for recording transactions. Despite this similarity, altcoins vary in many ways such as their underlying algorithms, the consensus mechanisms they employ, transaction speeds, and the degree of privacy they offer.

Some altcoins aim to provide advanced functionalities or to solve perceived drawbacks of Bitcoin, making the cryptocurrency market diverse and competitive.

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