Cryptocurrency is a term coined (pun intended) for a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services. Since this technology is still fairly new, share prices for each coin are drastically inflated as investors are using the unregulated currency to trade for profit.

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to make its way to the market back in 2009. A decade later, over 6000 coins are now available to trade with. A crypto exchange, like Coinbase or Binance, are platforms where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency

An altcoin refers to any coin that is an alternative to Bitcoin. Bitcoin is volatile, but altcoins are even more so.

You hear a multitude of reasons as to why someone decides to invest in a particular altcoin. Some back a coin due to the team behind the coin's creation, some back a coin because of its historically high values and they believe the coin will reach those values again, or some simply back a coin because Elon Musk has tweeted about it.

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Regardless of how you choose to justify your investment choice, we suggest you add another point of analysis when trying to select a coin to invest in; What the altcoin is used for.

Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin to take away the elite's control of the world's financial market and give that control back to the 'common folk.' Its potential use is what made it so popular. Bitcoin is the first player in the decentralized financial market (Defi).

Most altcoins have simply built on the ingenuity of Bitcoin and have attempted to improve on certain features of that technology.

Here are 6 useful altcoins that might be worth taking a look at. We saved the latest and most interesting one for last.

6. Stellar (XLM)

What is Stellar (XLM) and why is it a useful Altcoin?

Stellar is a blockchain platform that facilitates cheap and fast movement of money across the world. Transaction fees cost 0.00001 XLM, which equates to about USD0.00000259.

If you have ever tried sending money overseas, you would be well aware of how difficult the current banking system makes it. The process goes through several verification stages between your bank and the bank of the person you are sending the money to.

If the two banks don't have a prior agreement to transfer money across borders, the process is even longer. If your friend doesn't have a bank account, you are better off not attempting this.

Therefore, you need to add a buffer to the money you plan to send to pay for bank fees and account for conversion rates. All of this could take weeks.

Stellar simplifies and, in some cases, eradicates all of this.

To use the Stellar platform, you upload money onto an anchor on the network. An anchor is like a PayPal for the Stellar network that holds your funds. When you choose to send a certain amount overseas, the anchor verifies that you have that amount and converts your funds into the currency of the location you are sending money to.

On the other end, whoever receives the money can withdraw the funds from an anchor that supports their currency without the involvement of a bank. All this happens in under 5 seconds.

Lumens (XLM) is the token that gets transferred on the Stellar network. The network can process up to a thousand transactions per second, whereas Bitcoin can only handle 7.

Stellar has also partnered with IBM to increase the speed of worldwide payments.

You can buy XLM on Coinbase, Binance or Kraken exchanges.

5. VeChain(VET)

What is VeChain(VET) and why is it a useful Altcoin?

VeChain is a blockchain platform that actually has uses outside of the Defi space. Its whitepaper description states that "VeChain is a blockchain platform designed to enhance supply chain management and business processes. Its goal is to streamline these processes and information flow for complex supply chains through the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT)."

Simply put, the VeChain platform will remove data silos in the logistics and supply chain industry, increasing transparency in the production and delivery process of goods. VET and VTHO are the tokens used on the platform.

VeChain was founded by Sunny Lu, former CIO of Louis Vuitton China. His initial goal with VeChain was to combat the counterfeit high-end goods market by allowing customers to track their products throughout the supply chain to validate their authenticity.

Since its inception in 2015, VeChain's use case has grown from Sunny's original goal of tracking luxury products to all industries, including alcohol and car manufacturing.

A lot goes into this process but to put it simply, each product is given a unique identity which is tracked by sensors throughout every stage of the supply chain. This allows companies to ensure products are handled correctly and identify where they can improve their processes. It also enables consumers to know the legitimacy of their purchases through the tracking system.

You can buy VET and VTHO on Binance or Coinmama exchanges.

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4. Solana (SOL)

What is Solana (SOL) and why is it a useful Altcoin?

It is well known that Bitcoin has a scalability problem. If you were to send a small amount of Bitcoin as payment, the transfer would be instantaneous. However, a larger value transaction can take days. For comparison, Visa does an average of 1,700 transactions per second, whereas Bitcoin can only process 4.6 to 7 transactions per second. If the goal is to replace ordinary (fiat) currency that companies like Visa handles, the current Bitcoin transaction rate will not cope.

The Solana blockchain platform promises to solve this issue with a much higher scaling capacity. While Bitcoin and Ethereum do 7 to 14 transactions per second, Solana claims to handle 50,000, making it the fastest operating blockchain in the market.

This means when individuals or companies decide to build decentralized apps(dApps) on the Solana platform, they will be able to handle a larger userbase than those created on other blockchain platforms such as Ethereum. In addition to that, the average transaction fee on Solana is 0.000005 SOL or $0.001. Bitcoin's transaction fee is $23. SOL is the token used on the platform.

Solana already has several applications built on its platform. O3Swap, SolStarter, Arweave, and Oxygen are some of the most popular dApps on the platform.

You can buy SOL on Coinbase, Binance or FTX exchanges.

3. Pirate Chain (ARRR)

What is Pirate Chain (ARRR) and why is it a useful Altcoin?

Not sure if you picked that up but the abbreviation for the Pirate Chain token is ARRR, as in a pirate goes arrr… Never mind.

Another aspect that Bitcoin is having trouble with is its non-fungibility problem. What that means is each transaction carried out using Bitcoin can be traced, all the way back to when it was first created.

When Bitcoin was first created, an estimated 25% of its transactions were for illegal activities, which wasn’t a problem for people back in the day. However, advanced research firms such as Chainanlysis are now able to trace each Bitcoin through its previous transactions and pinpoint where the coin came from.

For ordinary folk like you and I, we do not know where a coin comes from when we get our hands on it. However, if we do end up purchasing a coin that was involved in criminal activity, the chances are we will be harassed by law enforcement for simply having the coin in our possession.

Pirate Chain is a privacy coin that claims to be the most secure coin on the market. All transactions are kept anonymous and everyone’s identity, along with the amount of coins transferred, are kept hidden.

The platform also uses military grade encryption to ensure your confidential information cannot be hacked or your private information be sold to marketing companies for targeted ads.

You can buy ARRR on, Changelly PRO or CoinEX exchanges.

2. Tether

What is Tether and why is it a useful Altcoin?

Tether is a cryptocurrency unlike Bitcoin or any of the altcoins mentioned in this article. It is known as a stable coin.

Like the term stable coin suggests, this coin is not volatile like the other cryptocurrencies. For example, Bitcoin has can bounce between USD60,000 and USD30,000 in a matter of days whereas Tether doesn’t do that.

Each Tether coin’s value is attached to value of the US dollar. Therefore, the price of each coin is the same as the current rate of the US dollar, which makes it way less volatile, hence giving it the term stable coin.

Tether is the largest stable coin and the third-largest digital coin according to market value. Tether is used by crypto investors as a safe-holding point.

Let’s say you have invested in one Bitcoin. The next day your investment has grown 10X. You could either leave that money in Bitcoin shares or you can transfer those profits to Tether coins as that price doesn’t fluctuate as much, giving you peace of mind that your profits will not be lost to the volatility of the Bitcoin price.

You can buy Tether on Binance, Kriptomat or Kraken exchanges.

1. Rocket Vault Finance (RVF)

What is Rocket Vault Finance (RVF) and why is it a useful Altcoin?

For the last useful altcoin on our list, we have Rocket Vault Finance. Now this altcoin sounds almost too good to be true.

This project leverages the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to determine how to invest a user’s funds in the crypto market. To put it simply, you give the platform your money and it is supposed to do the analytical research for you and allocate your funds to trade that it believes will get you the best returns, consistently.

All you have to do is put your funds into an automated smart vault. The platform monitors hundreds of crypto coins across several exchanges to identify which trades have the best potential upside and which can end in a loss. If you were looking for passive income you may not have to look any further because this platform works all day, every day, constantly monitoring and readjusting trades.

All profits are stored in stable coins because, as mentioned in the Tether section, stable coins don’t vary in value as they are tied to fiat currency.

The RVF team also claim to be able to generate over 100% APY (Annual Percentage Yield). The team consists of statistical analysts, developers with strong backgrounds in artificial intelligence and machine learning and security experts so it wouldn’t be a surprise if these claims are true or at least very close to the truth.

You can buy RVF on Coinbase or Uniswap exchanges.

In the coming articles, Reality Gems will be exploring a few different Cryptocurrency investing strategies.
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Crypto is all anyone can talk about right now. People are opening their eyes to the fact that banking institutions do not have their customer's best interests at heart, and the best way to move forward is to create a decentralized system.

Bitcoin does that. Now, learning from Bitcoin's inabilities and failures, alternative coins (altcoins) have emerged, offering a specific set of useful improvements.

This list of useful altcoins should be your stating point. If you are looking to invest, please make sure to do your own research. This article was simply to help people approach investing in crypto from a different angle. That doesn't mean we guarantee profits because the reality is no matter how sure of a bet a coin may look, you could lose all of your money in a matter of seconds.

About The Author
Diren Alexander

Diren Alexander

I am an IT Business Analyst who loves reading and blogging about business, technology and lifestyle topics. Checkout my services on UpWork.