I'm aware that LiteCoin is (was?) the "silver" to bitcoin's "gold".

The question is:

What was the first altcoin? Was it actually LiteCoin or was there something else?

For the purposes of "alt coin"

  1. What was the first fork of bitcoin
  2. What was the first altcoin that more than, say, 10 people mined?

3 Answers 3


Litecoin was not the first altcoin. It actually uses ideas for altcoins that precede it but had died before it was created. This is mentioned in its announcement thread on bitcointalk.. The very first altcoin was actually Namecoin, announced in April 2011. Namecoin was actively used and mined, and can still be used today.


As described by Andrew Chow, Namecoin was the first altcoin created as such. It was announced on 2011-04-18.

However, according to the question Testnet version history the testnet1 was reset after its coins started to get traded for value. Testnet 2 was kicked off on 2011-02-03, which would allow a case to be made for Testnet 1 to have been the first altcoin.


Namecoin, for sure, can read more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namecoin

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