Altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, have gained significant traction in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in recent years. They offer different features and capabilities compared to Bitcoin, which was the first and most well-known cryptocurrency.
One of the main uses of altcoins is for speculative investing. Investors are attracted to altcoins because of their potential for significant gains in value. Many altcoins have unique features, such as faster transaction times, lower fees, or enhanced privacy and security, which make them appealing to investors. However, investors must be aware of the risks associated with investing in altcoins, as their value can be volatile and unpredictable.
Apart from speculative investing, altcoins can be used for a variety of purposes within the blockchain ecosystem. One of the most significant applications of altcoins is as a means of payment. While Bitcoin is still the most widely accepted cryptocurrency for payments, many altcoins are also accepted by merchants and online businesses. Some altcoins are designed specifically for use as a means of payment, with features such as built-in privacy and security.
Another use case for altcoins is in the creation of decentralized applications (dApps). These dApps are built on top of a blockchain platform, and the altcoin is used as the native currency within the dApp. This allows users to interact with the dApp and perform various actions, such as buying and selling goods or services, using the altcoin. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is one of the most significant areas of growth for dApps, with many DeFi protocols using altcoins as the primary means of exchange.
Ethereum is one of the most significant altcoins in the cryptocurrency market. It is a blockchain platform that enables the creation of decentralized applications and smart contracts. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. Ethereum has become the go-to platform for the creation of dApps and is responsible for much of the growth in the DeFi sector.
Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH), which is used as the primary means of exchange on the platform. Ether is used to pay for transaction fees and to incentivize network validators, who maintain the blockchain’s security. Additionally, Ether is used as collateral in many DeFi protocols, where users can borrow and lend cryptocurrency.
The Ethereum network has also introduced the concept of ERC-20 tokens, which are a type of altcoin created on top of the Ethereum blockchain. These tokens can be used for a variety of purposes, such as fundraising or as a means of payment within a specific dApp.
Doge coin is probably the best know of the ERC-20 Tokens.