Altcoin is short for “alternative coin” or “bitcoin alternative“.

The term “altcoin” is also a category given to any and every coin or token other than Bitcoin (BTC).

Ethereum is an example of an altcoin.

As of 2022, there are roughly 10,000 different altcoins.

Altcoins are meant to be different in some way from Bitcoin(BTC) and all other altcoins.

Various types of altcoins exist including:

  • Stablecoins
  • Meme Coins
  • Utility Tokens
  • Security Tokens
  • Governance Tokens

When considering the cryptocurrency’s total market capitalization (“market cap”) as a whole, Bitcoin’s market cap dominance, as a percentage, is often compared to the altcoin market cap (the market cap of all altcoins grouped together).

This market cap metric, and the rise and fall of Bitcoin (BTC)  dominance, are used by many traders and analysts to better understand the cryptocurrency market as a whole, gauge trader sentiment, and determine if the current market conditions offer any trading opportunities.