Altcoins are cryptocurrencies outside the dominant blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Altcoins often use their unique protocols and algorithms, and many have features that make them more advantageous for specific use cases than the dominant blockchains.
Altcoins play an important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem because they offer alternatives to users who may not find the features or functionality of Bitcoin and Ethereum appealing.
Furthermore, altcoins can act as test cases for new ideas and technologies that may be implemented on the dominant blockchains in the future.
Most altcoins are created through a process called “mining.” Miners use special software to solve complex mathematical problems, and in return, they receive a certain number of coins proportional to their contribution.
Altcoins are an alternative to the original Bitcoin currency. They’re just like Bitcoins in that they’re entirely decentralized and open-source, but they have different names and uses.
Some of the more popular altcoins are Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, ZCash.