Stablecoins vs. Altcoins: What's the Difference?

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  • December 15, 2023

In the expansive domain of cryptocurrencies, two prominent types of coins - Stablecoins and Altcoins - have garnered attention owing to their unique features and practical use cases. Though both categories are constituents of the cryptocurrency spectrum, they cater to different objectives and display varying attributes.


Aiming to impart stability in the highly volatile cryptocurrency market, Stablecoins tether their value to traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar or other assets such as gold. This cryptocurrency comparison reveals how stablecoins like Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Binance USD (BUSD) act as a bridge between the digital and traditional financial realms.

Pros Cons
Price Stability: Their value is pegged to stable assets, rendering price stability. Centralization: Their management by centralized entities contradicts the decentralized ethos inherent in blockchain technology.
Predictability: The predictable value facilitates daily transactions. Over-collateralization: To keep the value steady, you might need to provide more backup funds than the amount you're securing.
Reduced Volatility: They exhibit lower price fluctuations. Limited Growth Potential: The price stability caps growth potential.
Liquidity: Often characterized by high liquidity. Regulatory Scrutiny: Might attract heightened regulatory scrutiny.
Fiat Currency Conversion: They ease the transition between cryptocurrency and fiat currency. -


Altcoins, a shorthand for alternative coins, encompass all cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin. They frequently introduce varying use cases, structures, and underlying technologies. Renowned altcoins like Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC) contribute to digital currency diversification.

Pros Cons
Innovation: They herald new technologies and features, propelling the cryptocurrency market forward. High Volatility: Can display high price volatility, potentially leading to substantial losses.
Investment Opportunities: The volatility presents significant altcoin investment prospects. Lesser Known: A lack of recognition may result in a trust deficit or misunderstanding.
Diversification: Altcoins provide avenues for diversifying cryptocurrency portfolios. Competitive Market: The fiercely competitive market could deter the progress of new or lesser-known altcoins.
Community Engagement: Robust communities often drive their development and marketing. Regulatory Uncertainty: The unclear regulatory framework could pose risks for investors.
Potential for High Returns: During bullish market conditions, they can deliver high returns on investment. -

The Difference in Stablecoins Vs Altcoins

The crux of the distinction lies in their core purpose and resultant functionality. While altcoins embrace price volatility, stablecoins strive for stability, underpinned by a fixed cash reserve or other assets.

Altcoins, diverging from Bitcoin, offer unique features, notably granting access to decentralized finance (DeFi) via smart contracts, ensuring faster transactions, and lower fees, all thanks to the innovative blockchain technology.

In contrast, Stablecoins, though offering lesser ROI with interest rates hovering between 5% and 20%, are lauded for their convenience and potential for innovative design enhancements, crucial for expeditious crypto transactions. Notably, both Stablecoins and Altcoins can be seamlessly transacted via a cryptocurrency ATM, further contributing to the accessibility and usability of these digital assets.

Aspect Comparison Altcoins Stablecoins
Value Stability Highly volatile, prices fluctuate based on market demand and supply. Stable value due to being pegged to a stable asset like USD or gold.
Purpose Specific purposes like enabling dApps or faster transaction times. Serve as a store of value and a medium of exchange.
Investment Appeal Potential for quick profits due to price volatility. Stable and secure investment option.
Risk Level Higher risk due to price volatility. Lower risk due to price stability.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between stablecoins and altcoins boils down to individual investment goals and risk tolerance. If stability and lower risk are priorities, stablecoins are the better choice. They provide a hedge against the volatility typical in the crypto market. 

However, if you are inclined towards higher returns and are comfortable with higher risk, altcoins could be more suitable. They offer a myriad of innovative functionalities and the potential for significant returns.

Localcoin offers altcoins like Ethereum and Doge, and the USDC stablecoin.


While stablecoins bring about price stability and are suitable for daily transactions, altcoins offer a plethora of innovative features and investment opportunities. The choice between stablecoins and altcoins depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and the specific use case at hand. 

Understanding the core differences between them can help investors and users make informed decisions in the cryptocurrency space.

Localcoin provides both stablecoins and altcoins at each Bitcoin ATM. Localcoin has more than 70+ machines across Australia, making buying crypto like Ethereum, USDC, Cardano, and Litecoin more accessible for everyone.

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