What Are Crypto Tokens, and How Do They Work?

Since crypto coins are digital currencies, funds simply move from one wallet to another without being physically transferred. For example, the ICO craze of 2017 was fueled by Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard. Which is basically a protocol for creating tokens on the Ethereum blockchain that can be exchanged with each other. Projects would announce or build an application on Ethereum using smart contracts. Issuing a native token for use in that application, raising funds directly from investors in ETH in the process. The token creator can also include a dividend system in the smart contract.

Coin vs. Token

However, these add a new concept where you could have “smart contracts” which are autonomously executing code and data stored on the blockchain. These smart contracts may be thought of as a special type of account. Now an account may sign information that does not transfer any units of cryptocurrency, but instead contains instructions for a smart contract to execute some code or store some data. Read more about Smart contracts in How to Build a Full Stack dApp on RSK. Another thing to note is that coins usually are used for 1 thing , while tokens have various use cases, which can include payments but also other things.

What is a crypto token?

Thus, tokens can be used to represent various assets including securities, rights and digital assets. Back when Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency, there was no need to distinguish digital assets. However, when Ethereum launched in 2015, it introduced a new class of cryptocurrencies known as digital tokens. Unlike «coins» built on their native blockchains, tokens exist on top of a pre-existing smart contract blockchain.

Coin vs. Token

The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a crypto asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility. One is through traditional mining on the Proof of Work system. Bitcoin hunters employ this method to boost their earnings.

Is Bitcoin a Token or a Coin?

For instance, when comparing a coin or cryptocurrency vs. utility token, utility tokens are used to access a product or service. A crypto token is a cryptocurrency that’s created or programmed on an existing blockchain. Cryptocurrency tokens that are compatible or usable on Ethereum are known as ERC-20 tokens. In comparison to tokens, coins can only be created by the protocol itself and are limited in supply.

Coin vs. Token

A coin is a cryptocurrency that comes with its own dedicated and standalone blockchain. In other words, a coin is a specific blockchain’s native cryptocurrency. Some tokens are launched via initial coin offerings , although they’re not technically coins. Bitbond’s security token offering in 2019 can also be used to illustrate the concept of security tokens. When Bitbond issued its tokenized bond, it was the first regulated STO in Germany.

What Are ERC-20 Tokens?

On top of that, tokens can’t exist on their own – instead, they are “hosted” on the blockchain of a crypto coin. So, you could say that tokens as so-called child coins that are based on the big environments of parent coins. If crypto coin transactions are handled by blockchain, then tokens rely on smart contracts.

  • Crypto tokens generally facilitate transactions on a blockchain but can represent an investor’s stake in a company or serve an economic purpose, just like legal tender.
  • Basically, cryptocurrency is a digital asset based on blockchain technology, and both tokens and coins fit this definition.
  • Other popular tokens include USD Coin, Chainlink, Wrapped Bitcoin (a version of Bitcoin that is compatible on Ethereum’s blockchain) and Uniswap.
  • The SEC uses the Howey Test to see if an asset is a security.
  • If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, that means you’re dealing with a security token.

For example, bitcoin is the most popular coin and is powered entirely by its own blockchain network. The Ethereum blockchain can be used to execute smart contracts and build decentralized applications. Users can send and receive assets and pay for the computing power required to carry out specific tasks using the blockchain’s native token, ETH. Like crypto coins, crypto tokens are designed using blockchain technology; however, crypto tokens aren’t native to a blockchain.

History of Crypto Tokens

Since 2019, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of security token offerings. Today, the total market capitalization of tokenized securities exceeds $3.6 bn. Tokens that are compatible with several blockchain protocols cryptocurrencies VS tokens are not necessarily bound to the blockchain on which they were issued. One example for tokens that can be allocated to a different chain are tokens that were issued on an Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible protocol.

Coin vs. Token

In broad terms, a digital asset is a non-tangible asset that is created, traded, and stored in a digital format. Using this definition, in the context of blockchains, digital assets include cryptocurrency and crypto tokens. Cryptocurrency coins and tokens have many applications when it comes to the crypto-economy, decentralized finance, and the metaverse. Coins are primarily used for money, payments, adn transactions. Tokens, on the other hand, have opened up many additional avenues that will increase the execution and practical use of decentralized applications , Web3, and smart contracts. Tokens are what are primarily used to interact with these decentralized applications and to facilitate transactions.


The question of whether to buy coins or tokens is largely dependent upon a holder’s goals. Both can be purchased in the App or on the Exchange with low fees and best execution prices. A blockchain keeps track of all transactions that involve its native crypto coin. The tricky part with the alternative distinction is distinguishing between coins and tokens in terms of functionality. This is because the methods of using coins and tokens often overlap, which is partly due to the extensive versatility of tokens.

Token standards

Instead, they operate on other crypto coins’ blockchains, such as Ethereum. Some of the most commonly seen tokens on Ethereum include BAT, BNT, Tether, and various stablecoins like the USDC. It is powered by its own blockchain with the same name and is used to pay transaction fees on the network. As BTC was the first established cryptocurrency, coins which appeared afterwards are called altcoins — alternative coins.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *