Bitcoin is near synonymous with cryptocurrency, and that may still be the truth among the laymen, but with the number of people now buying what’s called “Altcoins”—a term for any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin—that may change.
There’s Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and so many others, over a thousand others. And, while it may seem odd to go with less-tested versions, there are a few reasons people may flock to the other cryptocurrencies.
The likely biggest reason is cost. Bitcoin mining and substantial Bitcoin investment is prohibitively expensive for some. Certain Altcoins don’t have this problem yet, and the idea might be—for those hopeful investors—that in the same way Bitcoin owners had a life-changing windfall, they too may reap the same rewards down the line.
Another big potential reason is a logical, risk-averse one. While cryptocurrency is experiencing a massive growth, it’s still volatile. Any of the currencies could have a drop or a sheer plummet, and, if you are investing, it’s a smart idea to not put all the eggs in one basket. Cryptocurrency is too large an idea to die off suddenly. Even if Bitcoin falls—as unlikely as that is—someone else can step up to take its place.
Bitcoin is not the monolith anymore—there’s competition. But, hopefully, for all of us interested in this currency and how it might change the world, it’s a healthy competition.
By Brandon Scott