Crypto Coins vs Tokens: The Difference Explained

Crypto coin transactions are handled by the blockchain itself. When a coin is sent from one user to another, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain. The balance of the investors’ wallet is updated accordingly as they receive the asset. Since crypto coins are digital currencies, funds simply move from one wallet to another without being physically transferred. The creation of Bitcoin, and later other currencies, enabled efficient global transactions and the digital transfer of value. Thus, coins are primarily designed to function pretty similar to fiat money.

difference between coin and token

Coins are primarily used as a medium of exchange, whereas tokens are mainly used to claim ownership or grant rights. Because tokens can be issued and managed on existing blockchains, they have a much broader scope of functionality. Crypto tokens are often used as a way to raise funds for projects in initial coin offerings. ICOs have been abused by many parties to fool investors into contributing funds, only to disappear, but many are valid fundraising attempts by legitimate businesses. If you’re considering crypto tokens as an investment, be sure to do your research on the team or company offering them.


The blockchain is a decentralized system, where data is protected by the numerous computers that connect to its network and run a node. The computers connected to the network secure the blockchain by validating blocks. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts use many sets of words interchangeably, and the most inter-used set of words is ‘coin’ and ‘token’. Tokens can cryptocurrencies VS tokens be more than cryptocurrencies – they can be digital representations of just about anything. When they classified the types of tokens currently available, FINMA was careful to point out that each token could fall into more than one category. Equity Tokens – if a token represents some stock or equity in the company that issues it, it’s an equity token.

difference between coin and token

Additionally, everyone has used a token at least once in their life even if not in this form. When you sell the car, you transfer the value of the title to another person. Do note that staking programs for tokens work quite differently from that seen in Proof of Stake coins. Cryptocurrency projects that wish to properly decentralize their management adopt a Decentralized Autonomous Organization approach to governance. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are a loosely organized collective with a ‘flat’ hierarchical structure that is centered around a shared cause or mission.

Token vs Coin: Examples of Coins

Its holders can receive special benefits, such as part of the profit or the ability to partake in some decision-making processes. Unlike traditional securities, tokens can provide market participants with transparency, instant settlement, and other substantial benefits that come with being a crypto. A crypto token is a cryptocurrency that’s created or programmed on an existing blockchain.

difference between coin and token

While some saw a lucrative opportunity to make money relatively quickly, others followed a more patient approach by reading and understanding the business. Being a new industry, it involves a lot of new terms to refer to digital assets and people often use them interchangeably. Tokens can be used to digitally buy or sell real-world assets like gold, real estate, or shares of a company. One of the largest crypto exchanges considers all tokens to be altcoins, yet refers to all crypto assets as tokens. As a result, tokens exist as application-specific tokens within a coin’s broader cryptocurrency/blockchain network, like Dai existing within Ethereum’s ecosystem. To sum it up, the way to tell if you’re dealing with a crypto coin or token is to find out whether the cryptocurrency has a blockchain or not.

Uses for crypto coins

Coins and tokens are often misinterpreted as the same thing. To better understand this concept, let’s compare it to fiat currencies. The US Dollar, for example, is a fiat currency that is not backed by any physical commodity. The US Dollar is also a centralized currency, which means that it is managed by a central authority .

  • All altcoins have their own standalone, independent networks as well.
  • However, no physical coins move when you send and receive them.
  • For example, miners on the Bitcoin blockchain earn bitcoin as their reward, while gas fees on Ethereum are paid in ETH.
  • Founded in 2014,Liquidis one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-fiat exchange platforms serving millions of customers worldwide.
  • As you can see, the Civic token works in a way that is more than just monetary.

They are a bit of a misnomer, as most of them are actually ERC-20 tokens (i.e., they operate on the Ethereum blockchain through a smart contract). The name lends itself to their primary function of being a medium of exchange. For example, the popular ERC-20 token Dai is part of the MakerDAO dApp on Ethereum.

The most important types of tokens

Other popular tokens include USD Coin, Chainlink, Wrapped Bitcoin (a version of Bitcoin that is compatible on Ethereum’s blockchain) and Uniswap. Let’s look at Tether , the most popular token at the moment, as an example. This is a stablecoin, which means it tries to match itself to the value of a fiat coin. It’s useful for people who aren’t ready to risk the volatility that you’ll find with all other forms of crypto, yet they still want acrypto wallet. They can be used for transactions, have created new markets, and may have more use cases in the future. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions.

difference between coin and token

When developers are creating their token, they can decide how many units they want to make and where these new tokens will be sent when they are created. They will pay some of the native cryptocurrency on the blockchain they are creating the token on at this point. Investing in crypto assets can be a little hairy for newcomers.

What are altcoins?

This may be partly because terminology in the crypto universe is not always as straightforward as would be desired. And while they are both units of cryptocurrency, coins and tokens do have different functionalities. Understanding the difference between a coin vs a token is important for any cryptocurrency enthusiasts planning to dive deep into the crypto world. The in-depth description of coins and tokens in this article should help you to avoid confusion with crypto terms. All crypto coins without exceptions run on their own blockchains. Lastly, tokens can offer utility beyond simply being a tradable asset.

What Are Crypto Tokens, and How Do They Work?

People often use cryptocurrency when referring to the industry as a whole. Although some conflate this term with coins, cryptocurrency should include any coins and tokens on a blockchain network. In other words, if you see these digital assets listed on reputable crypto price aggregator sites like CoinMarketCap, they are cryptocurrencies.

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