What is difference between token and coin?

The world of cryptocurrency can be an intimidating and confusing realm for those new to the scene. With so many terms being thrown around, it is crucial to understand the differences between them. Two such terms, “coins” and “tokens,” are often used interchangeably, but they are not identical. This article aims to clarify What is difference between token and coin and distinctions between these two key players in the cryptocurrency world by examining their unique characteristics, functions, and examples.

What is difference between token and coin?

Coins: Cryptocurrency coins are digital currencies that have their own blockchain, a decentralized ledger recording transactions. Coins are created through a process called “mining,” where users dedicate computational resources to verify transactions and maintain the integrity of the blockchain. The most famous example of a coin is Bitcoin (BTC), the first and most widely recognized cryptocurrency.

Tokens: Tokens, on the other hand, are digital assets created on an existing blockchain, rather than having their own. They derive their value and security from the underlying blockchain. Tokens often represent a variety of utilities, such as access to a service, voting rights, or company shares. Ethereum (ETH) is a popular blockchain platform that hosts numerous tokens, with its native currency being Ether.

Purposes and Use Cases

Coins: Coins are primarily used as a medium of exchange for goods and services, similar to traditional fiat currencies. They function as a store of value and can be sent, received, and held by users within their respective ecosystems. Some popular examples of coins include Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR).

Tokens: Tokens offer a diverse range of functionalities and can represent various types of digital assets. They can be classified into several categories, such as utility tokens, security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Examples include Basic Attention Token (BAT), which rewards users for viewing ads, Chainlink (LINK), which connects smart contracts to real-world data, and CryptoKitties, a popular NFT-based game.

Creation and Distribution

Coins: Cryptocurrency coins are created through a process called mining, which involves solving complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. Miners are rewarded with new coins for their efforts. Different coins use different consensus mechanisms or “proof systems,” such as Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS), to ensure network security and distribute coins fairly.

Tokens: Tokens are typically created and distributed through initial coin offerings (ICOs), initial exchange offerings (IEOs), or other types of token sales. These events allow projects to raise funds by selling tokens to early supporters, who hope that the tokens will appreciate in value as the project develops. Unlike mining, token creation and distribution do not require the same level of computational resources.

Regulatory Framework

Coins: As digital currencies, coins are subject to financial regulations in various jurisdictions. They may be treated as property, currency, or securities, depending on the region and specific coin. Regulatory authorities worldwide are continually working to develop appropriate guidelines for digital currencies, with some countries imposing stricter regulations than others.

Tokens: Tokens often face a more complex regulatory landscape due to their diverse nature. Security tokens, which represent ownership in an asset or a share of a company, fall under securities laws and are subject to strict regulations.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Coins: Coins often benefit from increased stability and wider adoption due to their native blockchains, making them attractive to investors and users. However, scalability can be a challenge for some coins, as they may struggle to handle a growing number of transactions without compromising network security or speed. Coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum are continually working on improving their scalability through various solutions, such as the Lightning Network and Ethereum 2.0.

Tokens: Tokens offer versatility and innovation, as they can represent a wide range of assets and utilities. They can also be more easily customized for specific use cases and industries. However, tokens are dependent on the underlying blockchain for their security and functionality, meaning that any issues affecting the blockchain can also impact the tokens. Additionally, the sheer number of tokens available can make it challenging for investors to differentiate between promising projects and those that may not succeed.


In summary, coins and tokens are two distinct types of digital assets in the cryptocurrency universe. While coins operate on their own blockchain and primarily function as a means of exchange, tokens are built on existing blockchains and can represent a variety of assets and utilities. Understanding the differences between coins and tokens is essential for anyone looking to participate in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency, whether as an investor, developer, or user. By recognizing the unique characteristics, functions, and examples of each, one can make more informed decisions in this rapidly growing digital landscape.