Difference between a “coin” and a “token”

December 18, 2017

In the video below, George Levy, Blockchain Institute of Technology, explains the difference between a cryptocurrency coin and token.

Some define a coin as something that is used strictly as a means of electronic payment, and a token is anything else,. But George focuses on how the coins are defined in their evaluation. He opens the famous site: http://CoinMarketCap.com, and there there are tabs at the top labled “All”, “Coins”, and “Tokens”.

In George’s definition, a coin is a cryptocurrency which operates independently of any other platform. In other words, it has it’s own blockchain. Examples are BitCoin, BitCoin Cash, and Ethereum.

A token requires another blockchain (or “platform”) to run or host it. So for example, OmiseGO is built entirely on the Ethereum blockchain. Other examples of tokens that run on Ethereum are Augur and Golem. Other platforms include: NEO, Omni, Nxt, and Waves.

What he doesn’t mention is that Ethereum has a standard called an ERC-20 token, which you can learn more about here.


Neal Walters

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Neal Walters