What Are Altcoins? A Complete Beginner's Guide 

When we bring up Cryptocurrency to most people, they often shrug and nod their head.

They don’t actually know what it is, but may have heard of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is the theoretical kind of Cryptocurrencies. It was the first one through the door. It’s a celebrity in a sense...

So much that Bitcoin holds its name while the term “altcoin” means any other alternative coin.

While this is something that is obvious to those in the Cryptocurrency realm, it often needs to be broken down for beginners.

So in this quick guide, let’s break down Alt Coins.


An altcoin is any Cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin, but isn’t actually Bitcoin.

Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and the rest of them are all considered Alt Coins while Bitcoin is the one and only that doesn’t hold this title.

The reasoning stems that Bitcoin was the first coin and blockchain created, while the other ones are alternatives.

Most of these coins hold the same rules of Bitcoin, they just aren’t Bitcoin, making them an “alternative to Bitcoin.”


Altcoins consist of every coin except for Bitcoin.

That being said, Ethereum and Litecoin are altcoins.

And every one of the other 1300 Cryptocurrencies that exist today, besides Bitcoin.

Although, Ethereum is considered the second major Cryptocurrency, as it does hold the title of alt-coin and likely always will (unless Bitcoin gets dethroned).


An Alt Coin can have many different uses.

The first that come to mind are some of the amazing missions of upcoming companies:

  • An open, free, decentralized Internet
  • The ability to decentralized solar power
  • A card for spending actual Cryptocurrency in the day-to-day
  • Blockchain payments and wireless transfers
  • Platforms created to house and build Dapps as well as smart economies.
  • Digital identities (decentralized of course)

Most altcoins stick to the 4 major properties of Bitcoin, but they may differ on proof-of-work vs proof-of-stake.

Otherwise, alt coins have hundreds of different uses.

Most are utility based tokens, while many are currencies similar to Bitcoin such as Litecoin, Dash and Monero.

Since Cryptocurrency as a whole is so new, we have another major use below…


Trading Alt Coins based on arbitrage is becoming a huge marketplace inside of Cryptocurrency.

When Bitcoin raises in price to say $11k often times it pulls Alt Coins up with it, and while many people like to hold Alt Coins day-to-day, they also like to trade them.

An Altcoin trader looks for arbitrage in a coins value, and sells at the peak, while buying in at the low.

(Or at least that’s what they hope to do.)

We at GCA aren’t very fond of trading coins as it can result in dramatic losses and who knows what certain tax regulations will look like in the future high taxes.

We believe in investing in upcoming companies we believe are going to make a huge impact on the world and hold our shares for long-term gain.

Yet, this field is becoming huge with companies creating A.I. based systems around trading Alt Coins.

All in all, many Altcoin traders make a lot of money (fiat or BTC) but put in an equal amount of time to do so.


While many people know of and own Litecoin or Ethereum, there are so many other Alt Coins one could get.

Although, it can be hard to learn how to buy them.

That’s why we put together a free guide on getting your first Altcoin.

You can get that (for free) by clicking the button below. We’ll send you access straight from our FB Messenger.

Thanks for reading,

The GCA Team

Need Help Buying Your First Altcoin? Get Our Free Guides In FB Messenger Below