Shitcoins vs. legitimate altcoins: Key differences

5 minutes

Hwang Mee
09/09/2023 12:00 AM


    Cryptocurrencies have gained widespread attention and adoption in recent years, creating a vast and diverse landscape of digital assets. However, not all cryptocurrencies are created equal. Among the thousands of digital coins and tokens available, there exists a distinction between those with genuine potential and those that are essentially worthless. This division is where the terms "shitcoins" and "legitimate altcoins" come into play.

    Understanding shitcoins

    What are shitcoins?

    Shitcoins, as the name suggests, are cryptocurrencies with little to no value or utility. They are often created hastily, lack innovative technology or use cases, and may serve no purpose other than to make a quick profit for their creators. Shitcoins are characterized by their high risk and susceptibility to pump-and-dump schemes, where their prices are artificially inflated and then rapidly sold off.

    Red flags of shitcoins

    Identifying shitcoins can be challenging, but several red flags can help you steer clear of them:

    • Lack of transparency: Shitcoins often have anonymous development teams, making it challenging to verify their credentials and intentions.
    • Overhyped claims: Beware of cryptocurrencies that promise unrealistic returns or have excessive marketing hype.
    • Low liquidity: Shitcoins typically have low trading volumes, making it challenging to buy or sell them without significantly affecting their prices.

    Legitimate altcoins: A contrast

    In contrast to shitcoins, legitimate altcoins are cryptocurrencies that offer unique features, solve real-world problems and have active development teams. These coins often serve as alternatives to Bitcoin and Ethereum and have established use cases within the blockchain ecosystem.

    Characteristics of legitimate altcoins

    Legitimate altcoins share several key characteristics:

    • Clear use cases: They have a defined purpose within the blockchain ecosystem, such as enabling smart contracts, facilitating fast transactions, or enhancing privacy.
    • Active development: Legitimate altcoins are actively developed, with regular updates and improvements to their technology.
    • Community support: They have a strong and engaged community of users, developers, and supporters who believe in the project's mission.

    Notable examples of legitimate altcoins

    Some well-known legitimate altcoins include:

    • Ethereum (ETH): Known for its smart contract capabilities, Ethereum has paved the way for decentralized applications (DApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.
    • Cardano (ADA): Cardano focuses on sustainability, scalability, and interoperability, aiming to provide a secure and sustainable platform for DApps.
    • Chainlink (LINK): Chainlink provides tamper-proof data for smart contracts, enhancing their functionality and reliability.

    Investing wisely

    Research and due diligence

    When considering an investment in cryptocurrencies, thorough research, and due diligence are paramount. Understand the technology behind a coin, its use cases, the team driving its development, and its community support. Avoid investing in coins solely based on hype or promises of quick riches.

    Risk management

    Investing in cryptocurrencies inherently carries risks. It's essential to diversify your investment portfolio, only allocate what you can afford to lose, and employ risk management strategies such as setting stop-loss orders.

    The role of regulation

    As the cryptocurrency market matures, regulatory oversight is increasing. Many countries are developing frameworks to govern the issuance and trading of digital assets. These regulations aim to protect investors from fraudulent schemes and promote transparency within the crypto space.


    In the world of cryptocurrencies, discerning between shitcoins and legitimate altcoins is crucial for making informed investment decisions. While shitcoins may promise quick gains, they often lead to losses. Legitimate altcoins, on the other hand, offer innovative solutions and have the potential to shape the future of blockchain technology. Investors should approach the crypto market with caution, conducting thorough research and seeking out projects with real-world utility and active development teams. By doing so, they can mitigate risks and contribute to the growth of a more reliable and transparent cryptocurrency ecosystem.


    Shitcoins are cryptocurrencies with little to no value or utility. They are often created hastily and lack innovation, making them high-risk investments.
    Look for red flags such as anonymous development teams, overhyped claims, and low liquidity. Conduct thorough research before investing.
    Legitimate altcoins have clear use cases, active development teams, and strong community support. They aim to solve real-world problems within the blockchain ecosystem.
    No, not all new cryptocurrencies are shitcoins. Some may have innovative technology and real use cases. Research is essential to distinguish between them.
    Regulation helps protect investors from fraudulent schemes and promotes transparency and accountability within the cryptocurrency space.

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