A term with a dominantly Greek origin meaning an initial version or edition of something, often to be upgraded at a later time.
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, so the term generally represents something that is the first along to be produced or released to the public, often to test the reception. This is the most prominent usage of the term in software development. However, alpha as a concept is also used to describe the crudest outcomes of a process, and it serves as a benchmark to emphasize significant improvements in follow-up products, recommendations, and initiatives.
In the blockchain ecosystem, an alpha product may take the form of the first result of a project that functions as a framework. Thus, an investor would spend a lot of time analyzing the various aspects of an alpha release before deciding to commit time and resources to the envisioned final or initiative.