Altcoin: Altcoin, short for “alternative coin,” refers to any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. Originally, the term was used to categorize all cryptocurrencies launched after Bitcoin, as Bitcoin was the first of its kind. Over time, the classification of altcoins has evolved, with some perspectives considering only those cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin and Ethereum as altcoins. This distinction arises from Ethereum’s significant market presence and its foundational role in the development of decentralized applications and smart contracts.
Altcoins encompass a wide range of cryptocurrencies, each with unique functionalities, technological foundations, and use cases, differing from Bitcoin in various aspects like consensus mechanisms, transaction speeds, and governance models. Despite these variations, altcoins collectively contribute to the diverse and expanding landscape of the cryptocurrency market.