According to crypto market capitalization aggregators, there are more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today and over 20,000 different types of markets. BTC is the oldest and most known digital asset and most everything else has been typically referred to as an “altcoin.” The term refers to any of the thousands of prevalent cryptocurrencies that aim to work alongside bitcoin and each other, or are competing for ultimate domination.
Since 2011 the Rate of Altcoin Issuance Has Grown Exponentially
Satoshi’s creation has been around for over 11 years now and there are 5,098 alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) that exist next to the creator’s invention. Cryptocurrency historians widely consider the Namecoin network as the very first altcoin and the term ‘altcoin’ was allegedly first described by the developer Andrew Chow.
Namecoin is not depicted in this picture but NMC is considered the first altcoin, launched in April 2011. LTC came out in October 2011 and many other digital currencies followed year after year.
Namecoin was launched on April 18, 2011, and the project aims to decentralize domain registration. Between 2011 and 2014 — before the 2015 blockchain hype — the rate of Altcoin launches started to grow exponentially. Following namecoin, bitcoiners witnessed the birth of ripple, litecoin, peercoin, feathercoin, mastercoin, counterparty, and unobtainium. There are now thousands of digital currencies that used the BTC codebase and developers have changed a few minor details with coins like einsteinium, litecoin, dash, zcash, and novacoin. There are also forks of Ethereum (ETH) with networks like ubiq, ethereum classic, and wanchain. Bytecoin has a unique codebase and also has a plethora of forks including monero,