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01 Sep 2020
3 min read

Altcoin vs Bitcoin: Which Will Reign Supreme?

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Written by OspreyFX News Team
*OspreyFX would like to state that traders should research extensively before following any information given hereby. Please read our Risk Disclosure for more information.

Altcoin vs Bitcoin: Which Will Reign Supreme?

Traders Takeaways
  • What are Altcoins?
  • BTC vs Alt which will come out on top

Earlier this year, Elon Musk single-handedly drove the price of a particular crypto coin up simply by tweeting that this was the best option. You might be thinking that he was talking about Bitcoin. Surprisingly, he was talking about an altcoin that started out as a prank.

All About Altcoins

So, what are altcoins and why are they an important part of the crypto landscape? An altcoin (or alternative coin) can be described as any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin. It is calculated that there are more than 5,000 altcoins are in circulation with a market share of more than 34%.

Bitcoin was created by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto 11 years ago and was responsible for the creation of a completely new digital dimension that took the world by storm and captured the imagination of many. Alternatives started to pop along the way with the first altcoin, Namecoin being released in 2011.

 

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The Leaders of the Pack

The sheer amount of altcoins may at first glance seem overwhelming. However, there are clear frontrunners.

Perhaps the most known altcoin is Ethereum. Apart from notoriety, Ethereum also has a strong market presence and an impressive market cap of over $48 billion. Other top currencies include Ripple (with a market cap of over $12 billion), Tether (with a market cap of more than $13 billion), Litecoin (with a market cap of over $4 billion), and Bitcoin Cash (with a market cap of more than $5 billion).

We couldn’t conclude this section without mentioning Mr. Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency – Dogecoin. This crypto coin did apparently start off as a joke but subsequently gained traction and its market cap rank is 26 according to CoinMarketCap. Not bad at all for a prank.

Who Will Be King?

One of the core benefits of a cryptocurrency is that it is an asset that is not regulated by governmental forces. However, are altcoins a better option than Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency for a reason – it is backed by a large, stable infrastructure, leading developers, and a large number of users. This means that Bitcoin has a much more stable presence and therefore represents a more constant investment.

On the other hand, altcoins are (to varying degrees) characterized by high levels of volatility. This is primarily related to the fact that many altcoins are not backed up by consolidated structures. As a result, investing in altcoins (especially lesser-known options) will always carry a higher element of risk.

We know that it is a bit of a cliché to say that variety is the spice of life but it is definitely true for the crypto sphere. The availability of so many currencies provides a more dynamic environment that creates the preconditions for innovation and growth. So, while Bitcoin is undoubtedly the kingpin; the range of big and small players provides the ideal scenario for a lively kingdom that is continuously growing.