Crypto Coins and Tokens Are Not Same

So you know what a cryptocurrency is, and maybe even what a blockchain is. Have you ever wondered why some of these assets are referred to as coins while others are referred to as tokens? On the surface, they may appear to be the same, but they aren’t as the distinction suggests. Tether and Shiba Inu are tokens, while Bitcoin and Ether are coins.

On a fundamental level, a coin and a token are extremely similar. They both represent value and have the ability to accept payments. Coins can be exchanged for tokens and vice versa.

The fundamental distinction between these two is their utility. You can accomplish things with tokens that you can’t do with coins. On the other hand, some marketplaces will only accept coins rather than tokens.

It’s worth noting that the majority of cryptocurrency users possess both coins and tokens.

Let’s go over some of the most significant contrasts between tokens and coins, so you’ll know what you’re talking about next time.

What is a Coin?

Bitcoin established the standard for what it means to be a coin when it first appeared. Crypto coins are distinguished from tokens, which are akin to real-world money, by a number of distinct characteristics.
The following characteristics define a coin:

It is based on a blockchain.

A blockchain records all transactions involving its native crypto coin.

The receipt for an Ethereum payment is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. The receipt is added to the Bitcoin blockchain if the same person pays you back with Bitcoin later. Each transaction is encrypted and can be accessed by any network member.

It performs the function of money.

Bitcoin was designed with the sole intention of replacing fiat money. Other coins, including ETH, NEO, and LTC, resulted from a dual appeal of transparency and anonymity.

Many large firms, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Tesla, now accept crypto coins for goods and services. Bitcoin has officially become an official currency in El Salvador, along with the US dollar.

It’s possible to mine.

There are two ways to earn crypto coins.

One method is mining on the Proof of Work system. Bitcoin hunters use this approach to increase their earnings. The issue is that there aren’t many Bitcoins left to mine; therefore, the process is becoming more difficult by the day.

The other method is Proof of Stake, which is a more modern approach to earning crypto coins. It uses less energy and is simpler to implement. Cardano is one of the most popular coins to use this technique.

What is a Token?

Crypto tokens, unlike coins, are a representation of an asset rather than a suggested medium of exchange. These ‘tokens’ can be kept for their face value, sold, or staked for interest. TetherUniswapChainlink, and Polygon are some of the most widely used tokens.

Tokens are typically constructed on top of an existing blockchain and are utilized with decentralized applications (DApps). While tokens benefit from an existing blockchain, they do so without the need for their own infrastructure.

Polygon, an Indian cryptocurrency platform, seeks to make Ethereum transactions faster and more affordable. Polygon isn’t the only one who makes use of it. By 2021, a substantial number of DApps will be running on the Ethereum blockchain, which enables smart contracts, so their tokens will be using the Ether coin internally.

Some tokens, such as Tether — a stablecoin backed by commercial paper, which is a company’s guarantee to repay a short-term debt — employ multiple blockchains to increase speed and lower user fees. As a result, unlike coins, tokens have the option of not being ‘tied’ to a particular blockchain, giving them more freedom and making them easier to trade.

DApps that employ tokens, for example, are believed to be easier to develop than DApps that use coins. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are examples of some of the intriguing applications of the same.

Now that we’ve gone over the similarities and distinctions between coins and tokens, let’s look at some real-world instances.

Bitcoin (BTC)EOS (EOS)
Ethereum (ETH)TRON (TRX)
Ripple (XRP)Tether (USDT)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)VeChain (VET)
Cardano (ADA)ICON (ICX)


You should now be able to tell the difference between a digital “coin” and a digital “token.” After all, it wasn’t all that perplexing, was it?

Coins are native to their own blockchain, but tokens are not. While other blockchains, such as Ethereum, NEO, and Waves, have been used to create tokens.

You should also be aware of the most typical applications for coins and tokens. Coins are frequently used as money; however, some coins have additional functions. They can be used to power applications, stake in a network transaction, or power smart contract and token transactions.

Tokens, on the other hand, serve a different purpose. If they were designed to be utilized in a dApp, the app would determine their purpose. They can be for things like voting rights in some circumstances. In other circumstances, they are utilized for dApp transactions (such as Civic) or to award users with discounts on costs, among other things (like Binance).

To assist you understand what we mean by each term, you’ve been given numerous examples of coins and tokens.

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