While Bitcoin was undoubtedly the forerunner of cryptocurrencies, plenty of other contenders are following in its wake. These currencies are known collectively as ‘alternative coins’, or altcoins for short, and constitute every cryptocurrency that isn’t the big hitter, Bitcoin. Although Bitcoin, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, was the pioneer of the form, many of the altcoins present themselves as being better alternatives to the original cryptocurrency, and try to exploit any perceived weaknesses that Bitcoin has to get themselves ahead. There are hundreds of altcoins available; some of the more popular ones include Monero, Ripple and Dash, to name just a few.
So what exactly are the differences between Bitcoin and other altcoins? Bitcoin has the advantage of being the only recognised ‘household name’ when it comes to cryptocurrencies, but that doesn’t actually mean it’s always the best option. Some altcoins offer a different economic model, some employ different mining algorithms, some purport to offer a more diverse programming model, and others offer more security and privacy. With all the options out there, it’s pretty clear that altcoins are here to stay; but what effect is that having on the online gambling industry?
(Ad) As seen in this article, Bitcoin is already a big hitter in the online gambling industry, but its release opened the floodgates for altcoins to also invade the market place, leading to some of the contenders being recognised as viable cryptocurrency options. Though it might be a long time before they catch up to Bitcoin’s dominance, they are still being used in the online gambling marketplace today, and provide some variable options for players across the world. When it comes to popular gambling sites, the option of being able to use various cryptocurrencies is extremely freeing for gamblers; they can choose the one that suits them best, without being forced down a singular Bitcoin route.
One of the altcoin variants has injected a lot of fun into online gambling proceedings; Dogecoin. Born from the popular internet meme featuring a concerned looking Shiba Inu, Dogecoin is now a verified cryptocurrency in circulation around the world, and is popular with smaller betting sites due to its quirky nature and pop culture reference. Litecoin is another popular option for betting sites and users alike, because of its much quicker block processing time; two and a half minutes as opposed to Bitcoin’s ten. Another major competitor is Dash, which, despite a slow start, has risen to become a popular choice for players because of its heavy focus on anonymity.
The plethora of cryptocurrency options also mean that more and more online gambling sites are cropping up all over the world. Many gambling sites are small and run only a few games on their interface. For these kind of sites, altcoins provide a perfect fit, as there are little or no licenses required to utilise them, and transaction fees are often negligible. Ultimately, altcoins are ensuring that online gambling remains diverse and varied, and are enabling smaller operators to set up their own sites which only utilise one or two different altcoin currencies. As these sites grow, it ensures that more players turn to altcoins, and start using them. All in all, the future for altcoins looks bright when it comes to online gambling.