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Crypto Coins vs Tokens: Understanding the Difference

Let’s understand crypto coins vs tokens. Cryptocurrency coins and tokens are digital assets, but they have some key differences. Let’s simplify the concepts using table and straightforward sentences and examples.

Crypto coins vs tokens:

Cryptocurrency Coins



Native currency of a blockchain network

Digital assets built on existing blockchain platforms


Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC)

ERC-20 tokens, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)


Mining process using powerful computers

Created through smart contracts on blockchain


Medium of exchange and store of value

Serve various purposes within blockchain ecosystems


Operate on their own blockchain networks

Rely on existing blockchain platforms


Have their own dedicated blockchain infrastructures

Built on established blockchain platforms


Finite supply, often predetermined

Variable supply determined by smart contracts


Primarily used as a medium of exchange or store of value

Serve different purposes within platforms, such as utility, security, or NFTs

Cryptocurrency Coins:

1. Coins are like digital money. Bitcoin (BTC) is a popular coin that operates on its own secure network called a blockchain. It was created to be a decentralized form of money, allowing people to send and receive value without banks.

  • Example: Imagine you have 1 Bitcoin. You can use it to buy things online or save it as an investment.

2. Coins have their own blockchain networks. They serve as a store of value and a means of exchange, just like physical money.

  • Example: You can buy a cup of coffee with Bitcoin or trade it for other currencies.

3. Coins like Bitcoin are often created through a process called mining. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex problems and confirm transactions. They are rewarded with new coins for this.

  • Example: Miners help secure the Bitcoin network and earn new Bitcoins for their work.

Cryptocurrency Tokens:

1. Tokens are like digital assets that exist on existing blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum. They don’t have their own blockchain. They use the infrastructure of the platform they are built on.

  • Example: Tokens are like tokens at an arcade. They work within the arcade’s system without needing a separate system for each type of token.

2. Tokens have various purposes. Some are utility tokens, which provide access to specific services or platforms.

  • Example: Imagine a token called MusicToken that lets you access a music streaming platform and pay for songs.

3. Other tokens are asset-backed tokens, representing ownership of physical assets like real estate or commodities.

  • Example: A token called RealEstateToken could represent a share of a property, allowing people to invest in real estate digitally.

4. Tokens can also be governance tokens, giving holders the power to make decisions in decentralized networks or platforms.

  • Example: Token holders can vote on proposals for changes in the rules or policies of a decentralized lending platform.

5. Tokens are created using smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements with predefined rules and conditions.

  • Example: Developers create smart contracts to define the number of tokens and how they can be used.

6. Tokens are often distributed through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales. In ICO people can buy tokens using established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

  • Example: During an ICO, you can buy tokens for a new social media platform with Bitcoin and be part of its early community.

7. Tokens are interoperable, meaning they can be easily transferred or exchanged between different wallets and platforms.

  • Example: You can send tokens to a friend’s wallet or use them on different platforms without much hassle.


Coins like Bitcoin function as digital money on their own networks, while tokens exist on existing platforms and serve various purposes. Coins are mined, tokens are created through smart contracts. Coins are used as money, while tokens provide access to services, represent assets, or enable governance. Both coins and tokens contribute to the growing world of digital assets and have their own unique roles in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Ruchi Tomar
Ruchi Tomar
A full time blogger from last 1 year. experienced in content writing.


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