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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 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.
BitcoinBTCDigital gold
EthereumETHProgrammable contracts and money
Bitcoin CashBCHBitcoin clone
RippleXRPEnterprise payment settlement network
LitecoinLTCFaster Bitcoin
DashDASHPrivacy-focused Bitcoin clone
NEONEOChinese-market Ethereum
NEMXEMBatteries-included digital assets
MoneroXMRPrivate digital cash
Ethereum ClassicETCEthereum clone
IOTAMIOTAInternet-of-things payments
QtumQTUMEthereum contracts on Bitcoin
OmiseGOOMGBanking, remittance, and exchange
ZcashZECPrivate digital cash
BitConnectBCCMadoff-like investment fund
LiskLSKDecentralized applications in JavaScript
CardanoADALayered currency and contracts
TetherUSDTPrice = 1 USD
Stellar LumensXLMDigital IOUs
EOSEOSDecentralized applications on WebAssembly
HshareHSRBlockchain switchboard
WavesWAVESDecentralized exchange and crowdfunding
StratisSTRATDecentralized applications in C#
KomodoKMDDecentralized ICOs
ArkARKBlockchain switchboard
ElectroneumETNMonero clone
BytecoinBCNPrivacy-focused cryptocurrency
SteemSTEEMReddit with money voting
ArdorARDRBlockchain for spawning blockchains
Binance CoinBNBPay Binance exchange fees
AugurREPDecentralized prediction market
PopulousPPTInvoice trading futures
DecredDCRBitcoin with alternative governance
TenXPAYCryptocurrency credit card
MaidSafeCoinMAIDRent disk space
BitcoinDarkBTCDZcoin close
BitSharesBTSDecentralized exchange
GolemGNTRent other people’s computers
PIVXPIVXInflationary Dash clone
GasGASPay fees on Neo
VertcoinVTCBitcoin clone
MonaCoinMONAJapanese Dogecoin
FactomFCTDecentralized record keeping
Basic AttentionBATDecentralized ad network
SALTSALTCryptocurrency-backed loans
Kyber NetworkKNCDecentralized exchange
DogecoinDOGESerious meme bitcoin clone
DigixDAODGDOrganisation manages tokenized gold
WaltonWTCIoT Blockchain
SingularDTVSNGLSDecentralized Netflix
BytomBTMPhysical assets as tokens
Byteball BytesGBYTEDecentralized database and currency
GameCreditsGAMEVideo game currency
Metaverse ETPETPChinese Ethereum plus identity
GXSharesGXSDecentralized Chinese Equifax
SyscoinSYSDecentralized marketplace
SiacoinSCRent disk space
StatusSNTDecentralized application browser
0xZRXDecentralized exchange
VergeXVGPrivacy Dogecoin
LykkeLKKDigital asset exchange
CivicCVCIdentity and Authentication App
BlocknetBLOCKDecentralized exchange
MetalMTLPayments with rewards program
IconomiICNDigital asset investment funds
AeternityAEDecentralized apps (prototype)
DigiByteDGBFaster Bitcoin
BancorBNTToken Index Funds
Ripio CreditRCNCo-signed Cryptocurrency Loans
ATMChainATMAdvertising network
GnosisGNODecentralized prediction market
VeChainVENSupply chain item IDs
ParticlPARTPrivacy marketplace and chat
KuCoin SharesKCSProfit-sharing exchange fees
BitquenceBQXMint for cryptocurrency investments
FunFairFUNDecentralized casino
ChainLinkLINKExternal data for contracts
Power LedgerPOWRAirbnb for electricity
NxtNXTCryptocurrency and marketplace
MonacoMCOCryptocurrency credit card
CryptonexCNXZerocoin clone
MCAPMCAPMining investment fund
StorjSTORJRent disk space
ZenCashZENPrivacy-focused Bitcoin clone
NexusNXSBitcoin clone
NeblioNEBLDecentralized application platform
ZeusshieldZSCDecentralized insurance
Streamr DATAcoinDATAReal-time data marketplace
ZCoinXZCPrivate digital cash
NAV CoinNAVBitcoin with private transactions
AdExADXAdvertising exchange
Open TradingOTNDecentralized exchange
SmartCashSMARTZcoin clone with rewards
BitdealBDLBitcoin clone
LoopringLRCDecentralized exchange
EdgelessEDGDecentralized casino

Bitcoin that rewards savers