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What are Altcoins?

Alt-coins (alternative crypto currencies) have been every gambler and scammers dream come true since Bitcoin was first invented. The terminology being used for crypto currencies (aka altcoins) and bitcoin being the gold standard of crypto currencies, seems to confuse many people not familiar with the space.

Bitcoin is bitcoin. Altcoins are anything that isn’t bitcoin.

Confusing this even more is Ethereum.

Ethereum is a popular technology, ether is the token (crypto currency) people buy and exchange for goods and services. The Ethereum project includes a separate blockchain. Anyone can create a token on the blockchain and trade or sell it, the tokens can include smart contracts (digital contracts) setting rules for use of the tokens.

What are ICO’s?

ICO’s (initial coin offerings) commonly use Ethereum ERC20 tokens (similar to stocks in a company) they sell when starting a business. The business may create their own alt-coin or be working on disk space storage for computers, or creating an exchange to trade alt-coins. Regardless of the business an ICO is the launching of business. Investors in the business can buy the coin (or token) offered by this new business with their current holdings in bitcoins or altcoins. The company is funded by rich crypto currency holders, speculative investors, gamblers and occasionally morons.

Stock trading and ICO’s are similar in the sense that people are investing using money and “digital money,” ICO’s are however the wild west of unregulated investment capital currently. This is the reason for all of the media hype and people claiming “crypto currency is a scam.” ICO’s can and most likely are a scam, even the “legit” businesses that start with crypto capital, with the best intentions to create a product, could fail like 90% of businesses do.

We may not have the cheap-alt’s news that many crypto traders like to see, or the buzzwords of a new crypto going to the moon, however the chances of 90% of altcoins lasting 5 years at their valuations is almost impossible. To clarify:

The chances of 90% of altcoins, lasting 5 years at their valuations, is almost impossible.

Anyone can create an ERC20 token and anyone can pretend they are starting a company to get investment money. Especially when ICO’s are the easiest way to get capital, there will be a flood of scammers and bad business people in this space. There are a FEW really good technologies being developed, with very good teams that seem worthy of peoples time, attention and possibly their money. We aren’t recommending anybody interested in crypto currency look to acquire anything other than bitcoin because the properties of these “other” crypto’s has to always be questioned and monitored.

The few technologies and teams that stand out above all the crypto currency noise will be covered here. For anyone wanting crypto trading advice, go to YouTube and watch some kid in his bedroom market a new token or coin. The marketing companies are now involved with ICO’s and alt-coin launches so believing these technologies or companies will ever launch or create a product of value is completely up to the consumer of those tokens.

For a better understanding of what 100 different altcoins (and tokens do), we’ve “borrowed” this from u/redddiablo

Top 100 Crypto Currencies described in 4 words or less.
Name Sym. Description
Bitcoin BTC Digital gold
Ethereum ETH Programmable contracts and money
Bitcoin Cash BCH Bitcoin clone
Ripple XRP Enterprise payment settlement network
Litecoin LTC Faster Bitcoin
Dash DASH Privacy-focused Bitcoin clone
NEO NEO Chinese-market Ethereum
NEM XEM Batteries-included digital assets
Monero XMR Private digital cash
Ethereum Classic ETC Ethereum clone
IOTA MIOTA Internet-of-things payments
Qtum QTUM Ethereum contracts on Bitcoin
OmiseGO OMG Banking, remittance, and exchange
Zcash ZEC Private digital cash
BitConnect BCC Madoff-like investment fund
Lisk LSK Decentralized applications in JavaScript
Cardano ADA Layered currency and contracts
Tether USDT Price = 1 USD
Stellar Lumens XLM Digital IOUs
EOS EOS Decentralized applications on WebAssembly
Hshare HSR Blockchain switchboard
Waves WAVES Decentralized exchange and crowdfunding
Stratis STRAT Decentralized applications in C#
Komodo KMD Decentralized ICOs
Ark ARK Blockchain switchboard
Electroneum ETN Monero clone
Bytecoin BCN Privacy-focused cryptocurrency
Steem STEEM Reddit with money voting
Ardor ARDR Blockchain for spawning blockchains
Binance Coin BNB Pay Binance exchange fees
Augur REP Decentralized prediction market
Populous PPT Invoice trading futures
Decred DCR Bitcoin with alternative governance
TenX PAY Cryptocurrency credit card
MaidSafeCoin MAID Rent disk space
BitcoinDark BTCD Zcoin close
BitShares BTS Decentralized exchange
Golem GNT Rent other people’s computers
PIVX PIVX Inflationary Dash clone
Gas GAS Pay fees on Neo
TRON TRX In-app-purchases
Vertcoin VTC Bitcoin clone
MonaCoin MONA Japanese Dogecoin
Factom FCT Decentralized record keeping
Basic Attention BAT Decentralized ad network
SALT SALT Cryptocurrency-backed loans
Kyber Network KNC Decentralized exchange
Dogecoin DOGE Serious meme bitcoin clone
DigixDAO DGD Organisation manages tokenized gold
Veritaseum VERI Vaporware
Walton WTC IoT Blockchain
SingularDTV SNGLS Decentralized Netflix
Bytom BTM Physical assets as tokens
Byteball Bytes GBYTE Decentralized database and currency
GameCredits GAME Video game currency
Metaverse ETP ETP Chinese Ethereum plus identity
GXShares GXS Decentralized Chinese Equifax
Syscoin SYS Decentralized marketplace
Siacoin SC Rent disk space
Status SNT Decentralized application browser
0x ZRX Decentralized exchange
Verge XVG Privacy Dogecoin
Lykke LKK Digital asset exchange
Civic CVC Identity and Authentication App
Blocknet BLOCK Decentralized exchange
Metal MTL Payments with rewards program
Iconomi ICN Digital asset investment funds
Aeternity AE Decentralized apps (prototype)
DigiByte DGB Faster Bitcoin
Bancor BNT Token Index Funds
Ripio Credit RCN Co-signed Cryptocurrency Loans
ATMChain ATM Advertising network
Gnosis GNO Decentralized prediction market
VeChain VEN Supply chain item IDs
Pura PURA Cryptocurrency
Particl PART Privacy marketplace and chat
KuCoin Shares KCS Profit-sharing exchange fees
Bitquence BQX Mint for cryptocurrency investments
FunFair FUN Decentralized casino
ChainLink LINK External data for contracts
Power Ledger POWR Airbnb for electricity
Nxt NXT Cryptocurrency and marketplace
Monaco MCO Cryptocurrency credit card
Cryptonex CNX Zerocoin clone
MCAP MCAP Mining investment fund
Storj STORJ Rent disk space
ZenCash ZEN Privacy-focused Bitcoin clone
Nexus NXS Bitcoin clone
Neblio NEBL Decentralized application platform
Zeusshield ZSC Decentralized insurance
Streamr DATAcoin DATA Real-time data marketplace
ZCoin XZC Private digital cash
NAV Coin NAV Bitcoin with private transactions
AdEx ADX Advertising exchange
Open Trading OTN Decentralized exchange
SmartCash SMART Zcoin clone with rewards
Bitdeal BDL Bitcoin clone
Loopring LRC Decentralized exchange
Edgeless EDG Decentralized casino
FairCoin FAIR

Bitcoin that rewards savers