As your knowledge about the crypto ecosystem is expanding, it is likely that you have seen or heard about altcoins, this term may have been a bit confusing, since you do not know for sure which cryptocurrencies they refer to.
And it is very normal that at the beginning of all learning, many cryptocurrency users do not identify the cryptocurrencies that are classified in this term, since even its own meaning has changed over the years and with the appearance of new cryptocurrencies. Let us remember that the first definition that was given to this term, which is: “Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin” that is to say that in the early years of cryptocurrencies, any cryptocurrency that was created at this time was classified within the definition of Altcoin and it automatically converts to an alternate currency.
Years later this definition would change a little, since the crypto ecosystem managed to develop so much in such a short time that it was necessary to expand this definition more. This is why some people have a slightly different concept from the original, for these people Bitcoin is no longer the center of the crypto universe or the cornerstone to differentiate with other cryptocurrencies, since they state that right now there are cryptocurrencies that are so different from the Bitcoins and at the same time so many so similar that the idea that Bitcoin is the only factor to differentiate is absurd, which is why for certain people the meaning of Altcoin refers to: “A particular group of cryptocurrencies that fulfill a specific function or have a main characteristic that makes it unique”, and it differs for being the best coin with said characteristic or the most popular.
Such is the case of Ethereum, where it was a pioneer in the creation of smart contracts and later in DApps. A few years after its creation we would see more cryptocurrencies with these same characteristics but innovating in other aspects, and according to this last definition, Ethereum would no longer count as an altcoin but rather as the mainstay in its own category; This is how we see what happens with other cryptocurrencies such as stable coins, coins with Staking or other tokens.
It is likely that experienced traders agree that it is currently much easier to acquire or buy cryptocurrencies considered as Altcoin, since in the early years of the crypto ecosystem in 2009 or 2011 it was a bit more complicated, since most platforms were concentrated solely and exclusively in Bitcoin, it was only with the arrival of currencies such as Ethereum or Litecoin that this trend ceased.
Although it is true that today Bitcoin is still the preferred cryptocurrency, luckily there are countless platforms that offer an extensive catalog of cryptocurrencies and tokens considered Altcoins.
Currently there are various platforms that offer a very extensive catalog of cryptocurrencies or tokens, among the platforms with the largest supply of these cryptocurrencies we have the Exchanges that since their beginnings have chosen to collect the cryptocurrencies belonging to large and successful crypto projects, some of these platforms manage an extensive catalog of more than 350 cryptocurrencies, this being an abysmal figure compared to the other ways of acquiring altcoins.
The exchanges are very popular since, in addition to having large cryptocurrency catalogs, they also have very reliable security systems, in addition to the fact that almost all of the exchanges request identity verification in order to operate on their platform.
Its purchase dynamics can sometimes seem complicated and for a certain type of trader, the truth is that exchanges offer multiple ways to acquire a cryptocurrency, in certain countries users can use their credit cards to purchase their cryptocurrencies, as well as make use of an internal P2P platform that will allow users to buy from other users, however in this way the offer is more limited, on the other hand the main source of cryptocurrency supply in an Exchange is its internal market, It is a market that works like an auction system, where a user can place a purchase order at the price they want and if another user is selling at that same price, the order is executed automatically.
Person-to-person e-commerce platforms are a good option to acquire your first cryptocurrencies since many of these platforms compile a compilation of the best currencies on the market, although it is true that their catalog is not as extensive as a non-Exchange. It has nothing to envy from these, since most users look for the most popular Altcoins on the market to include them in their portfolio of crypto assets.
In addition, in certain P2P trading platforms, the trading dynamics are a little easier for certain users than in an Exchange. It is also worth mentioning that in terms of security, many of these platforms have systems very similar to those of exchanges, there are even platforms such as Ccoins that go further and implement extra security systems within the transactions of their users.
Its trading dynamics are in a certain way easier than in an exchange since a P2P platform works almost the same as a market, a person who owns some cryptocurrency can accept a purchase offer from another user, or create his own offer, as well as someone who wants to buy cryptocurrencies can accept a sale offer, or create their own purchase offer, it has an Escrow system that protects both parties in each transaction.
Actualmente podemos encontrar al Ethereum como la segunda criptomoneda más usada y aceptada en la actualidad, pero si nos regimos por el nuevo paradigma podemos encontrar monedas como Cardano, Solana, Tether, USD Coin , entre otras.
Por supuesto, actualmente existen criptomonedas tan diversas que algunas pueden ser usadas para problemas muy puntuales donde se desempeñan de mejor forma que otras criptomonedas, es por esto que el hecho que cada vez estos proyectos vayan aumentando es muy beneficioso para el ecosistema.
Por normal general ninguna criptomoneda es mejor que otra, pero si existen criptomonedas que pueden ser más útiles que el Bitcoin en ciertas prácticas, como el Bitcoin es mejor que otras criptomonedas en otras prácticas, es por esto que todo depende del contexto en el que se evalúe cada moneda.