Altcoins - All you need to know

This altcoin hub explains everything you need to know before investing in altcoins. Get the lowdown on the altcoin market and discover the different ways to invest in it.
By: James Knight
James Knight
James is the lead content editor for Invezz, covering the stock market, cryptocurrency, and macroeconomic markets. Outside of work,… read more.
Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Ways to invest in altcoins

To invest in an altcoin you first need to sign up for a broker or an exchange platform. They allow you to buy, sell, or trade coins, and the best choice depends on which altcoins you want to own and how long you intend to hold them for.

There are a few different ways to invest. You can buy and hold the coins in the hope that they grow in value, trade them quickly to benefit from small changes in price, or put your money in regulated funds that own the cryptocurrencies themselves. You can learn more about how to invest in each different altcoin by reading through the guides below. 

What is an altcoin?

It’s a cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin. Generally speaking, they are digital currencies or tokens that share a similar set of features, such as being supported by blockchain technology. Usually a coin is attached to a project, but the scope of these vary wildly, from ones with innovative plans to revamp corporate supply chains to jokes based on internet memes.

Another shared feature across all altcoins is that they are assets that you can speculate on by buying, selling, or trading them. They’re popular because they’re often volatile, and their prices can rise or fall dramatically in the space of a few hours.

The first altcoins began appearing in 2011 and many of them developed out of a desire to improve on or adapt the Bitcoin model. The most well-known altcoin is Ethereum, which has been around since 2015, and thousands more have been released since then.

How do altcoins work?

It depends on what the purpose of the coin or token is. All cryptocurrencies use an online public ledger known as a blockchain to track and store its transactions. Beyond that, they can work in many different ways and each coin is usually released along with a white paper that explains the specifics in detail.

The key point behind the development of all these altcoins is decentralisation. They all offer alternatives to the traditional online framework where a central body, which might be a bank or a tech company like Google, can act as the gatekeeper. The blockchain is not owned by any one entity and it usually isn’t all hosted in one place.

Instead, the power and responsibility is spread out between everyone that uses it. Many coins confer voting rights on their holders, who can help to shape its future. Meanwhile each blockchain is hosted by many different computers in different places around the world, so it’s very difficult to attack or change it.

The different ways to invest in altcoins

Your investing options depend on the coin you want to own. The term ‘altcoin’ covers such a huge range of coins that the options for the leaders of the pack are very different to those at the bottom. Here are all the different ways to invest, but keep in mind that not all are available for every coin.

Where can I buy altcoins now?

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Fact-checking & references

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Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

James Knight
Lead content editor
James is the lead content editor for Invezz, covering the stock market, cryptocurrency, and macroeconomic markets. Outside of work, James is an avid trader and golfer… read more.