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The crypto world never ceases to amaze when it comes to the coinage of new words. One of the most popular terms of the moment is “Altcoin”.  Its meaning can be easily guessed, but it’s better to provide a broader description of what an altcoin is and how it works. Are you ready? Keep reading!

A brief definition of Altcoin

Altcoin means “alternative coin.” Quite a simple explanation, isn’t it? With the word altcoin we usually refer to any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin. As with regular cryptocurrencies, altcoins operate on a blockchain system

How many altcoins are in the market?

The number of altcoins in the market is unclear: according to some reports there are as many as 5,000 altcoins in the market today. All these altcoins combined represent approximately 40 percent of the cryptocurrency market. The majority of them are still quite young and cannot be considered in the same way as Bitcoin. They lack its worldwide recognition and market capitalization. 

What is the difference between Bitcoin and Altcoin?

Altcoins behave exactly like Bitcoins. In fact, there are pretty much the same thing. Being cryptocurrencies, they both use blockchain technology and can be transferred from one wallet to another. The main difference regards the energy consumption, as many altcoins consume significantly less energy compared to Bitcoin. One of the most popular altcoins is Litecoin, and it usually requires 18.5 kilowatt-hour (KWH) per-transaction, while Bitcoin needs 770 KWh. 

As we mentioned earlier, the number of altcoins is extremely high. The most famous ones are:

  • Litecoin: founded by ex-Google employee Charlie Lee, Litecoin is known for its fast processing time, allowing for the completion of a block every 2.5 minutes.
  • Ether (ETH): Ether is the cryptocurrency of Ethereum, a blockchain network whose popularity keeps on growing day by day. Ether is the second most popular crypto, though its value is leagues apart from its bigger brother Bitcoin.
  • Cardano: a decentralized proof-of-stake blockchain, whose cryptocurrency is Cardano (ADA). ADA is eco-friendly, because it was designed to consume less energy than Bitcoin or Ether. Cardano’s proof-of-stake consensus provides a more efficient network that saves electricity. 

Do you know? With LYOPAY you can manage up to 18 currencies, from fiat currencies like dollars and euros to cryptocoins like BTC, ETH, Litecoin.

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