What is an Altcoin and Where are they bought?

By early 2020, there were more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies, and based on a recent CoinMarketCap report, they account for more than 34% of the market.

What is an Altcoin?

The word altcoin is a combination of two words “Alternative” and “Coin”; it includes all alternatives to Bitcoin. Alternatives are other cryptocurrencies launched after the success of Bitcoin. They generally sell themselves as the better substitutes for Bitcoin even though its success as the first peer-to-peer digital currency is what paved the way.

Many altcoins are built upon the basic framework provided by Bitcoin; thus, most are peer-to-peer. They try to offer efficient and inexpensive ways to carry out transactions on the internet. Even with many overlapping features, altcoins vary widely from each other.

Many altcoins target the perceived limitations of bitcoin. An altcoin must have a competitive advantage to succeed against Bitcoin.

Types of Altcoins

  1. Mining-based

They have a mining process by which new coins are generated by solving challenging problems to unlock blocks.

  1. Stablecoins

They seek to improve on Bitcoin by reducing volatility

  1. Security Tokens

They are linked to a business and they often in an Initial Coin Offering. Security tokens resemble traditional stocks, and they often promise some type of dividend like payment or ownership in a business.

  1. Utility tokens

utility tokens provide a claim on services, and they are sometimes sold as part of an ICO.

Top Altcoins in 2020

  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Unibright (UBT)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Ox (ZRX)
  • Komodo (KMD)
  • Energi (NRG)
  • Bitpanda ECO System Token (BEST)
  • West Energy Token (WEST)

Where to buy Altcoins

Most exchanges pair altcoins with either Bitcoin or Ethereum, you have to trade either one of them for altcoins. There are cases when you need to register and transfer digital coins between several exchanges to get what you want. However, in most cases, the process is easy and straightforward, as you are about to find out.

The first thing you need to do is get registered at a gateway service such as a crypto exchange. The exchange will facilitate the purchase of Cryptocurrencies with fiat. In our experience, one of the most beginner-friendly exchanges is extoid which lets you buy, sell, trade cryptocurrencies and fund your account with ease. You also get to create your trading pairs and swap any Cryptocurrency for another easily and quickly. They are responsive and allow you to be innovative.

When picking an exchange for your altcoin needs, you need to look for a service that suits your needs and is not blocked within your jurisdiction. You especially need to pay attention to the deposit and transfer fees.

Some exchanges offer quick credit/debit card transfers but that usually costs more than a regular transfer. Also, check for their crypto markets since most services always work on listing more cryptocurrencies, and if you are lucky you might find a wanted altcoin listed on an accessible fiat-to-crypto platform and buy it.

The following is a list of popular gateway exchanges and their fees compared:

Exchange Deposit fee (transfer/card) Crypto withdrawal fee
Coinbase Free/3.99% Network transaction fee
eToro Free Network transaction fee
Binance Unavailable/3.5% or $10 0.0005 BTC/Differs per currency
Bitstamp Free/5% Free
Kraken Free or $5 for international 0.0005 BTC/Differs per currency






Elina is New York based writer and media consultant. Currently she is involved as an advisor in several ICOs. In addition to her professional interests, she loves jazz, modern art, coffee, and yoga.

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