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Altcoins, or alternative coins, are defined as cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, such as Litecoin, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Ethereum, and thousands of other cryptocurrencies. There are hundreds of different cryptocurrency exchanges that allow you to trade, buy, and sell altcoins, each with its particular pros and cons.

To get started buying and selling cryptocurrencies, you need to open an account in one or several of these exchanges. Most crypto exchanges offer the option of buying, selling, or trading your digital money, either by exchanging fiat money for cryptocurrencies or by trading between pairs of crypto assets.

Top Four Cryptocurrency Exchanges for Altcoin

Almost all reputable cryptocurrency exchanges support a wide range of altcoins, but the types of alternative coins you can buy and sell in each of these crypto exchanges differ. To choose the best cryptocurrency exchange, in addition to the variety and number of altcoins featured, you should look for other advantages/options they provide, such as pre-approved lending, interest-bearing accounts, and financial derivatives.

In this article, we shall review the top 4 altcoin exchanges. Each of these exchanges offers at least 20 different cryptocurrencies and a host of other rewarding features. So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the best cryptocurrency exchanges for altcoins.

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most important names in the world of cryptocurrency. Coinbase was founded in 2011 in San Francisco, and it boasts one of the highest Bitcoin trading volumes in the world. Moreover, Coinbase also allows you to trade over 40 different altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH).

Another impressive feature of this exchange is it allows users to convert any altcoin for another automatically. Coinbase is not a mere exchange but rather a crypto brokerage, so instead of trading altcoins for each other, it just credits each account holder with the specified tokens.

Coinbase platform is very beginner-friendly, and they provide first-rate customer service, including phone support. You can use Coinbase via their website or through their IOS or Android Mobile apps. Coinbase offers a quick and easy verification process, and it accepts bank transfer and debit/credit cards. Furthermore, since Coinbase keeps 98% of its assets and customer funds in cold storage and uses two-factor authentications, the security of your crypto assets is guaranteed.

Binance

Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, Binance is the largest exchange for trading cryptocurrencies. Binance is best known for its crypto-to-crypto trading, and since the platform doesn’t use fiat money as a trading option, it does an excellent job at that.

Binance offers more than 600 trading pairs between different cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, they provide their customers with an impressive choice of over 150 different altcoins such as DASH, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and their digital coin known as Binancecoin (BNB).

In addition to its online web platform, Binance offers user-friendly and highly secure Android and IOS mobile apps that make trading cryptocurrencies easy and efficient. To start depositing and trading cryptocurrencies with your Binance account, you first need to pass the “Know Your Customer” application process.

Kraken

Founded in 2011, Kraken is another popular altcoin exchange with a user-friendly platform. Like the previous options, you need to verify your account through a KYC process to work with Kraken.

Kraken supports more than 50 different cryptocurrencies, and the platform works with a wide range of fiat currencies such as Euro, USD, Yen, CAD, and AUD. Kraken trading fees are straightforward and vary between 0.02%-0.26% depending on the type and amount of altcoin you want to trade.

Kraken supports almost all major altcoins and cryptocurrency trading pairs, such as Zcash, Tether, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many more.

Kucoin

Kucoin was launched in 2017, and thanks to its easy-to-use interface, shrewd management, and rewarding schemes, it is becoming one of the shining stars of the crypto exchange universe. Kucoin supports more than 100 different altcoins such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash and counting, and upwards of 400 different trading pairs.

Kucoin’s underlying technology allows it to support a vast number of crypto trading pairs, as the platform empowers altcoin managers to register their desired cryptocurrency pairs and start trading. In addition to their transparent and reasonable fees, Kucoin’s committed and 24/7 customer support makes them one of the best altcoin crypto exchanges in the world and a force to be reckoned with.

Major Types of Alternative Coins

In its simplest definition, cryptocurrency is electronic money based on blockchain technology used for paying for goods and services between individuals and groups in a decentralized manner. There are several types of cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin being the most well-known. The success of bitcoin led to the creation of many other blockchain-based coins called Alternative Coins or Altcoin for short.

Alternative coins are themselves divided into a number of different categories, each designed to fulfill a specific set of functions. These include:

Mining-Based Coins: These types of coins use the proof-of-work method, which requires computers to solve complex problems to validate the network. To that end, miners validate a transaction with special mining computers and gain a certain amount of cryptocurrency as a reward. Zcash and Monero are two examples of mining-based coins. Ethereum is also proof-of-work but that will be changing. Bitcoin is famously based around mining.

Stablecoins: Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged to an existing stable asset such as the US dollar or gold.  With stablecoins, the objective is to take advantage of cryptocurrency potential without suffering from price volatility inherent in conventional forms of cryptocurrencies. Tether and True USD are two examples of stablecoins.

Utility Tokens: These Tokens are app coins or user tokens that allow investors to profit from services or products offered by a company in the future. Dentacoin and Sia are two examples of utility tokens. You could also add many of the crypto exchange tokens such as BNB and CRO to this category.

Security Tokens: These tokens function as a type of investment contract, ensuring the user gains profit, voting rights, and equity, as well as other options in a specific enterprise. tZERO and 22x Fund are two examples of security tokens.

Proof-of-Stake Tokens: These tokens skip traditional mining and instead rely on people “staking” coins to help validate the network. Famous examples include Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT) and Tezos. Ethereum will also be upgrading to proof of stake in the future. One interesting benefit of Proof-of-Stake is that token holders can potentially earn interest on their crypto just for holding it.

Why Invest in Altcoins Rather than Bitcoin?

Altcoins, by nature, act as an alternative for Bitcoin. There are several reasons why it’s a decent idea to diversify your crypto portfolio.

The first reason is that Bitcoin is potentially overpriced and could experience a severe crash in the future. Bitcoin has mostly speculative value, and as opposed to many altcoins, is not designed to fulfill specific functions in the real world.

On the other hand, Altcoins are much more reasonably priced, and many of them are developed to perform a real-world function. Furthermore, many altcoins go beyond traditional uses of currencies. These coins can revolutionize many aspects of our society and economy, such as the healthcare system and education.

The third reason why you should invest in altcoin is profit. Many altcoins are currently traded near $1, giving you the opportunity to potentially multiply your investment by orders of magnitude in the future.

Conclusion: You Should Consider Adding Altcoins to Your Portfolio

Altcoins are potentially the future of cryptocurrency. In this article, we attempted to provide you with the basic knowledge of what altcoins are, where to buy and sell them, and why they are worth investing in.

Anyone who wants to make cryptocurrencies their passion or even vocation should know as much as possible about altcoins. If you are interested in gaining more comprehensive knowledge about other aspects of altcoins and cryptocurrency, check out our Buying Cryptocurrency section, or our cryptocurrency guides section.

Owen Pham

About the Author

Owen Pham

Owen Pham has 8 years of experience as a blog writer, specializing in content related to finance, business, technology, and history. He is based in London and holds a Master’s degree in strategic marketing as well as certifications in content writing.