The term, “Altcoin” came into being in light of the launch of the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Altcoin, which is portmanteau of the terms, “alternative” and “coin”, had become the term for the other cryptocurrencies that came after Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin, the forerunner of the other digital currencies, paved the way for these alternatives. What Bitcoin could not account in usage, the other altcoins tried to gain from, establishing their presence in niche markets.  

A number of altcoins are built on the standard framework setup by Bitcoin. Hence, a great number of these coins subsist in peer-to-peer systems. Developers had gone through lengths to offer cost-efficient ways to administer transactions on the worldwide web.

In the early chapters of 2020, the cryptocurrency market had recorded an estimate of over 5,000 altcoins in circulation.