For understandable reasons, bitcoin tends to get the lion’s share of attention in “Cryptocurrency for Beginners” videos. After all, it’s not only the first crypto, it’s also the largest and most successful by any metric. But there are hundreds of other crypto tokens out there, and if you’re new to cryptocurrency you might not understand the difference between BTC, BCH, XRP, or ETH. Thankfully, there are a ton of helpful YouTubers out there who are happy to help.
Let’s take a look at four videos that will help you understand the basics of altcoins.
1. What is Ethereum? A Beginner’s Explanation in Plain English
If you’re at least somewhat familiar with cryptocurrency, you already know that the second-largest crypto after bitcoin is called Ethereum. But what exactly is Ethereum? How is it different from bitcoin and other tokens? Why is it the go-to platform for smart contracts and Dapps (decentralized applications)? This helpful explainer video from 99Bitcoins answers all of these questions and more, while also avoiding the confusing technical jargon.
2. What is Ripple? Programmer Explains
YouTube channel Ivan on Tech is a great resource for a wide variety of cryptocurrency-related topics, sidestepping the hype and price talk in favor of a more technical perspective. Not surprisingly, his video on Ripple Lab’s XRP token is an excellent introduction to this semi-centralized, banking-focused cryptocurrency. If you’ve ever wondered why so many people in the cryptocurrency community claim that XRP “isn’t a real cryptocurrency,” this video will also help you understand where that criticism comes from.
3. Bitcoin Cash Beginners Guide – What is BCH?
One of the first “political” divisions within the cryptocurrency community was the 2017 split over the maximum size of the individual blocks on bitcoin’s blockchain. This rift was seen by many as largely ideological rather than technological, but the end result was the forking of the bitcoin blockchain into a new token, known as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In this video, YouTuber Every Bit Helps presents the fundamental case for Bitcoin Cash in a little over three minutes.
4. Altcoins and ICOs Explained in Plain English
Not sure what an “altcoin” is, and how exactly they differ from bitcoin? Want to know what an ICO is, and why they’ve gotten such a bad reputation in recent years? This extremely helpful video (again from 99Bitcoins) will walk you through the basics, and answer the most common questions along the way.