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Altcoins Continue Upward

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Since becoming the darling of investment communities worldwide, Bitcoin has spawned an entirely new class of digital assets called “altcoins.”  Seeking to replicate the success of the world’s first digital currency, the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market continues yielding swaths of newer coins that are all designed with the intention of upending Bitcoin as the heavyweight king of crypto.

With well over 9,000 new altcoins to choose from, here’s what you need to know:

What are altcoins?

Altcoin is short for "alternative coin.”  Quite simply, these digital assets are alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin will forever be universally hailed as a “first of its kind” asset and newer cryptocurrencies developed after the fact are viewed as alternative coins, or altcoins. The first altcoins started showing up back in 2011 and they were designed to be more advanced than Bitcoin in terms of technology.  For example, quicker transaction speeds than what Bitcoin could offer. 

To get an idea of how altcoins work, all you need to do is look at blockchain technology – the environment where all cryptocurrencies “live.”  A blockchain is an electronic ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions and this ledger is maintained across computers that are linked across a distributed network.  What investors finds so intriguing about cryptocurrency is that they operate on a decentralized, trustless, P2P payment network that functions without a central authority or overseer to facilitate transactions. 

It is truly decentralised

Many of the altcoins that you can invest in are, in fact, technologically superior to Bitcoin.  They’re just not as popular…yet. 

Here are three altcoins with an especially promising future:

Chainlink (LINK)

Chainlink's price has more than doubled in 2021, and they’ve recently announced a partnership to provide data for what are called “smart contracts” - programs used to automate the execution of an agreement so that all parties are held accountable for a desired outcome.  Chainlink is building a great reputation for being able to translate real-world data into something that these smart contracts can immediately interpret and act upon.  In a nutshell, Chainlink is offering capabilities that are very desirable in the cryptoverse, making Chainlink one of the top altcoins to watch.

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Polkadot (DOT)

Much of the ballyhoo surrounding this altcoin is that it’s promoted as “one of the most highly anticipated next generation blockchains.”  Polkadot lets developers build their own blockchains and then connect them with each other, overcoming major scalability issues.  Much of the cryptocurrency brain trust has gone so far as to say that Polkadot is the future of decentralized applications.  Time will tell, but this altcoin is certainly off to an incredibly searing start.

Stellar (XLM)

Stellar was created by one of the co-founders of another popular altcoin called “Ripple” and was designed with a focus on the people that are living in developing countries.  These are places where traditional banking services may not always be immediately available and Stellar is designed to be the “peoples” resource.  This altcoin offers the best in terms of real-world application.  For those who’ve worked in a business operating internationally, Stellar could be a very big deal.

Altcoin Price Volatility

As altcoins got their start, the cryptocurrency market would move in unison with the performance of Bitcoin.  As Bitcoin went up, so did the market.  It was the same if Bitcoin trended downward.  Maybe not perfectly aligned, but about 70% and more was what we could expect.  Now, as altcoins demonstrate their usefulness, and independence from Bitcoin, there has been a break in the correlation. 

I think this is the sign of a healthy cryptocurrency market that is gaining strength, and another sign that now is the time to start looking seriously at cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, not named Bitcoin.

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Author: Greyson Kelly

Greyson Kelly is a business writer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He writes extensively on technological trends, cryptocurrency, and ‘cutting edge’ industry topics. He has an MBA in Business and has over a decade of experience in communications and public relations.

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