Altcoins have become an increasingly larger part of the crypto market since the beginning of 2021.
"Crypto and blockchain is about moving money and property rights onto the internet," said Matt Hougan, Bitwise chief investment strategist. "That's one of the largest addressable markets that the internet has ever attacked."
At the start of 2021, bitcoin made up more than 70% of the crypto market, according to TradingViews. By the end of July 2021, bitcoin's market share dropped to 48% of the global $1.6 trillion cryptocurrency market, with altcoins such as ether and USDC eating into its dominance. In fact, the crypto market now contains more than 11,000 different kinds of altcoins, according to Coinmarketcap.com.
"Everybody's trying to do something that hasn't been done before," Mati Greenspan, Quantum Economics founder and CEO, told CNBC in an interview.
Altcoins fall into several different categories. There are technology platforms such as ethereum, the blockchain that ether is built on and that provides the underpinnings for the growing "decentralized finance" movement. There are stablecoins, or digital currencies pegged to real-world currencies or other assets. And then there are meme currencies, like dogecoin.
Watch the video below to learn more about the world of altcoins, the different kinds of altcoins, and the steps regulators might take to rein them in.