Cryptocurrency: what are the differences between Bitcoin and altcoins?


Since Bitcoin stormed into people’s consciousness in 2018, many have tried to replicate his success. These are altcoins, simply “alternative coins”. As Bitcoin reached higher and higher highs, culminating in its highest dollar exchange rate in november 2021 of $64,400 for a Bitcoin, altcoin challengers explored ways to challenge the market dominance of their predecessors. One of them is Ethereumwhich is a cryptocoin that has been at the forefront of the NFT market and is the central currency used for the purchase of NFT.

The difference is quite easy to understand. Simply, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and altcoins simply represent all other cryptocurrencies that have been created because. Altcoins is a generic term for bitcoin competitors, while bitcoin stands for, well, bitcoin.

Bitcoin: the pioneer

Bitcoin was born in 2009 after the concept of a decentralized digital currency was presented by its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, a false name. Since then he has become the standard for cryptocurrencies that use peer-to-peer networks maintain a record of all transactions.

This peer-to-peer network is known as Blockchain and it is the crucial foundation on which all cryptocurrencies are built. The Blockchain is a database for storing cryptographic information. The particularity of this database is that the records are decentralized and not controlled by a third party. After each “block” of data has been filled, the system begins to fill in another. This means there is a clear timeline of transactions that cannot be tampered with, helping to protect users’ data and investments.

Since the introduction of Bitcoin, other coins have been created to emulate their founder.

Altcoins: the competitors

As mentioned, altcoins include all cryptocurrencies that are not bitcoins. According to the aggregated site statistic, there is more than 10,300 altcoins worldwide. These range from tiny coins that are just beginning to joke around with coins like Dogecoin. Originally started to troll crypto users, Dogecoin has evolved into a beast in its own right. It had virtually no value until the coin was picked up by Reddit, from which point its value increased tenfold.

Another example is Ethereum which are often used for buying and selling NFTs. NFT stands for “non-fungible token”, and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or video game items. Non-fungible means it is individual. The opposite, fungible, has examples like Bitcoin. One bitcoin can be exchanged for another; they are identical. However, no two NFTs are the same.

What similarities do the different pieces have?

Something that all cryptocurrencies have in common is that none of them are good for the environment. Bitcoin, used so much energy like the whole of Angola in 2017and considering the time that has passed since that footprint can only be bigger.

For another example, a New York Times report claims that creating an average NFT brings with it “more than 200 kilograms of planet-warming carbon, which is equivalent to driving 500 miles in a typical American gas-powered car. As the world strives to become more sustainable, efforts will need to be made to make cryptocurrencies more sustainable.

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