There are currently over 800 cryptocurrencies, and each differs in terms of the consensus protocol used, the way information is stored, the algorithms used for hashing, real-world applications, etc.
Transparent: an open, distributed ledger records all transactions in a network, which can be viewed by anyone
No Central Authority: peer-to-peer network, distributed and owned by everyone in the network. No single point of failure
Verifiable & Permanent – miners validate transactions which are added to the blockchain. Historical data is essentially immutable
Encrypted – uses encryption techniques to control the creation of units and to verify transactions
Any digital cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin, so it is an “Alternative to Bitcoin”. While many Altcoins are very similar to Bitcoin with some modification, other Altcoins may have completely different applications such as a digital ledger of land titles and asset ownership, distributed file storage systems, energy usage, etc.
An open-source software platform that uses blockchain technology, and features smart contract functionality. It allows developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. Miners work to earn ‘Ether’ the token used to fuel the network.