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In This Article

  1. What Are Altcoins? 
  2. 5 Most Popular Altcoins in 2022
  3. Where to Buy Alt Coins 
  4. The Bottom Line: Altcoins 

What was initially viewed as a misunderstood fad by all accounts has grown into an industry giant that shows no signs of slowing down — cryptocurrency. 

Bitcoin (BTC) is credited as being responsible for the rise of crypto, but altcoins deserve equal praise for innovating on the concept of digital currency by introducing new concepts and ideas.

What are altcoins exactly, and what role do they play in the grand scheme of cryptocurrencies

Most importantly, should you invest your hard earned money in them?

We'll answer each of these questions— and more — in this article.

Let’s get started! 

What Are Altcoins? 

Altcoins are an alternative form of cryptocurrency from Bitcoin.  

The reason altcoins were introduced to the cryptocurrency market is that there was a need for variation in cryptocurrencies, which could be used for specific purposes. 

Altcoins have features that may be better suited for specific needs than those offered by Bitcoin.

While it’s evident that altcoins found success on the back of bitcoin, there are some differences that separate the two types of cryptocurrencies. 

Take one of the most popular altcoins on the market, Ethereum. It was the first type of crypto to bring the “Smart Contracts” concept to the table. 

The Smart Contracts feature ensures that the cryptocurrency isn’t active until certain conditions are first met. 

Therefore, if two parties agree to specific terms, Smart Contracts give them an incentive to hold up their end of the agreement.

Moreover, altcoins have helped introduce:

  • enhanced functionality
  • better transaction methods
  • allowed for scaling opportunities to ensure that the growing demands of the market are feasibly met

Advantages and Disadvantages of Alt Coins 

The primary advantage of investing in altcoins is that each has its own set of unique features

Plus, compared to Bitcoin, there are many options to choose from with altcoins. 

On the other hand, there’s no getting around the fact that Bitcoin came first. Because of this, it has the biggest market share and a solid reputation with its first-mover benefit, detracting from altcoins.

Plus, unlike Bitcoin, many altcoins prove to not be successful — some are even outright scams. 

Next, we’ll look at the most popular altcoins today. 

#1: Ethereum

Considered one of the best altcoins, Ethereum (ETH) boasts excellent security features to prevent fraudulent activity. 

What’s more, third parties can’t interfere with Ethereum. 

This altcoin was introduced to allow anyone to access it around the world without restriction. 

As its name suggests, Ethereum runs on a platform-specific cryptograph token called “ether.”

#2: Litecoin

Litecoin (LTC) is another crypto that is believed by many to be one of the best altcoins on the market. 

It was one of the first altcoins behind Bitcoin, having launched in 2011, just two years after Bitcoin. 

Litecoin is the creation of a former Google engineer, which lends some credence to its legitimacy. 

If Bitcoin is considered gold, Litecoin is considered silver.

#3: Cardano

Cardano (ADA) is the culmination of research from:

  • engineers
  • cryptography experts
  • mathematicians

In fact, one of Ethereum’s co-founders helped create Cardano. 

Although still a newcomer, Cardano is showing promise to be a serious contender in the world of altcoins.

#4: Chainlink

Chainlink (LINK) is revered for offering real value on Ethereum’s Smart Contracts, as well as other blockchains. 

This could prove to spawn numerous new applications for the blockchain. 

Chainlink’s goal is to provide reliable, trustworthy data without a middleman.

#5: Dogecoin

Dogecoin (DOGE) is often considered the first meme coin

Shortly after its launch, Dogecoin’s price increased exponentially. This alt coin’s popularity grew so fast that it’s now accepted by some major businesses. 

But it’s far more volatile compared to other altcoins, as well as Bitcoin. 

Where to Buy Alt Coins 

There are a few ways you can buy altcoins, including:


The most prominent method to buy altcoins is to go through an exchange. 

There are many online exchanges that offer an easy way to exchange one digital currency for another without going through a complicated process of waiting for a bank transfer that could take days.

It is important to do some research and compare exchanges to ensure that you use one that best suits your needs and offers your altcoins of choice.


Mining is another viable way to get altcoins if you have some time on your hands and don’t mind doing some research. 

You can learn more about mining here. 

The Bottom Line: Altcoins 

Altcoins offer far more variety than Bitcoin and open the door for innovative features. 

Just keep in mind that altcoins have their fair share of risk involved with them — that’s why it’s so important to research the various altcoins on the market before making a final decision. 

While it’s difficult to narrow down the best altcoins due to the quantity, the variety alone is a tremendous opportunity among the crypto community, beginner and expert alike.