Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto game in town.
Bitcoin (BTC) usually receives a large share of cryptocurrency media coverage, and rightly so. In the years since the first bitcoin transaction was completed in 2009, however, thousands of other cryptocurrencies have popped up, creating a vague picture for investors.
Some altcoins have unique technology that improves on or differentiates them from Bitcoin. Others are simply popular digital currency brands and viral social media memes. Investing in altcoins is a risky endeavor, but it can also be very lucrative given the extreme volatility in the crypto market. Here are seven of the best altcoins to buy.
Ethereum is by far the largest and most popular alternative to Bitcoin, but it was built with an entirely different goal in mind. The decentralized network was the first to introduce smart contracts: code that allows blockchain platforms to run decentralized applications, or dApps.
Compared to Ethereum, Solana is a relative newcomer to the crypto space. The cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in popularity, however, making Solana the fourth-most-valuable crypto in the world. Solana also supports dApps and NFTs, but it claims to have only 350 or so projects on the network at this point.
The Polkadot blockchain launched in 2020 and was developed by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Polkadot operates a main network blockchain where transactions are permanent. Its unique feature is its so-called parachains, which are user-created blockchains that can be customized while still benefiting from the same security measures as the main chain.
Dogecoin was created in 2013 as a parody of Bitcoin. The joke cryptocurrency caught fire in 2020 thanks in large part to its Shiba Inu dog mascot. Dogecoin became a social media meme phenomenon, but the cryptocurrency has also won over some heavy hitters in the business world.
Litecoin was created in 2011 by former Google engineer Charlie Lee, who now works for crypto exchange company Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN). Lee essentially created Litecoin to be to Bitcoin what silver is to gold. Litecoin’s biggest advantage over Bitcoin is its faster block generation time, which allows for shorter transaction confirmation times.
Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu’s success is primarily a testament to its branding, including its name and logo. Shiba Inu was created in August 2020. In July 2021, its developers launched the ShibaSwap decentralized exchange, which provides financial services for its user community. Outside of ShibaSwap, Shiba Inu has limited functionality.
SafeMoon launched in March 2021 and hit the ground running, skyrocketing in price within weeks of its rollout. SafeMoon was designed to encourage long-term investing and discourage selling. Sellers are charged a 10% fee, and a portion of that fee is returned to existing investors. This system allows investors to generate passive income from their holdings.