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An Introduction to Altcoins

Dec 20, 2017

An Introduction to Altcoins


An Introduction to Altcoins

Since you're probably sick of hearing about Bitcoin.

From its dramatic changes in valuation to its much-covered “bubble,” most of us are sick of hearing about Bitcoin too. Heck, we covered its growth months ago but with its current value approaching $20,000, it must be doing something right. Due to its high transaction fees, long trading times, and limited scalability, Bitcoin definitely has its pitfalls (“bitfalls,” if you may). Lucky for us, there are dozens of other cryptocurrencies out there, each with their own unique style. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones.


Starting off with the one closely associated with Bitcoin itself, Bitcoin Cash was created after what is called a “hard fork.” This was basically where everybody who owned any Bitcoin was identically copied into a brand new network that was developed to overcome some of Bitcoin’s hurdles. Enter Bitcoin Cash, aimed at better handling such astronomical scaling and making it easier for smaller mining operations. Though it hasn’t quite boomed as well as Bitcoin, it’s still worth a very respectable eight times higher than its launch price on August 1st. Additionally, being so well associated with its parent crypto allows it to be commonly traded among a myriad of exchanges opposed to some of the lesser-known altcoins.


Speak of the devil (perhaps literally), the smaller altcoin, Potcoin has been lighting up the exchanges lately. The name pretty much says it all – Potcoin is a cryptocurrency specifically aimed towards buying and selling marijuana products. It was created to provide anonymous trade in the industry while avoiding big fees from banks. Naturally being launched at 4:20 on January 21, 2014, Potcoin has gone from as low as $.06 in October to as high as $.48 earlier this month. It has some big-name backers, too – Snoop Dogg’s charity that helps inner-city children participate in youth football and cheer, the Snoop Youth Football League, managed to raise 55,000 Potcoins in two days from the community. Suburban moms beware – apparently, marijuana can do more than turn you gay.


Monaco caught some flak a few months ago when they made premature claims about striking a deal with Visa. Though they eventually ended up landing a deal with Visa, such a statement was possible for Monaco because it differs from other cryptocurrencies by being positioned as credit card based on another big-hitting crypto, Eutherium. They plan on offering “perfect” exchange rates by leveraging the crypto market, which can save you a ton of money if you’re traveling. If you own any Monaco, you can even get a physical credit card to keep spending which is very convenient for the consumer. Plus, a single share of Monaco coin is up more than 6 times its initial price back in July, so perhaps Visa knew it was missing out.


Who would have thought a skit from Homestar Runner would have sparked a cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than half a billion dollars? Being run by the power of the internet meme community, Dogecoin differentiates itself from its competitors by being easier to use while still retaining its decentralized and anonymous nature. Since it’s meant to be so user-friendly, its simplistic nature takes a tenth as long as Bitcoin to transfer Dogecoin from one account to another. Trading at less than a penny a share, Dogecoin has still skyrocketed over 600% over the past three months. Plus, come on, how can you not want to cheer Dogecoin’s adorable Shiba Inu mascot on?

Now, before you go dumping your entire savings account into these four jewels, just know that we too cannot predict where any of these markets will take their valuations over the next few years. So do some research, find a few you like, and invest a little money you wouldn’t be devastated to lose in the first place. Plus, if they’re too risky for you, they can at least make for great convo pieces.