Bitcoin was the first-ever cryptocurrency to come into existence after the pseudo-anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto introduced it in 2009. However, other newer coins have been introduced, such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
These coins, which serve as an alternative to Bitcoin, are called altcoins. Altcoins have existed since 2011 when Namecoin was released with the same code as Bitcoin. However, altcoins are becoming more popular than ever. Every day there is a new cryptocurrency in the market.
With tens of thousands of cryptocurrencies, which one should you choose? The most definitive answer would, of course, be Bitcoin.
Are Altcoins Better Than Bitcoin?
Although many altcoins promise better features than Bitcoin, none have ever surpassed it. Altcoins market themselves as having lower fees or better transaction speeds, but Bitcoin still dominates because, ultimately, it is the market leader with an enormous network effect.
Altcoins carry a lot of uncertainty due to the risk you have to take to invest in an unproven blockchain. Alternative cryptocurrencies are also more vulnerable. Not only can they be used to scam their investors, but they can also fall victims to hacks. Altcoins may offer better fees, transaction speeds, and sometimes even better returns. These benefits naturally come at the cost of higher risk.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is more trusted. Bitcoin is now a legal tender of El Salvador. Moreover, it is also on the NYSE, which other competing cryptocurrencies are not. Bitcoin has been remarkably resilient and reliable. Ever since its introduction, Bitcoin has never failed to reach higher highs and often outperform its competitors.
The future of altcoins seems very uncertain. While some altcoins promise to be the next Bitcoin, it is unlikely that any will ever reach Bitcoin’s network effect. Most altcoins currently have significantly lower market caps than that of Bitcoin, and with a lower market cap comes less trading volume, which means that the altcoin is less liquid. This results in greater volatility. As much as that might be enticing to speculators, it is not the case for those who are looking to invest for the long-term.
Should You Buy Bitcoin or Altcoins?
If you are looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the obvious choice. Not only does Bitcoin offer more reliability and authenticity, but it is also on an excellent foundation for further expansion and adoption compared to other cryptocurrencies.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not which coin would suit you. If you are looking for a reliable cryptocurrency with significant future potential, Bitcoin is a natural choice. On the other hand, if you are looking to take more risks with the possibility of increased risk and potential profit, you have the option to choose an altcoin instead.