What is a Blockchain Token? Intro to Cryptographic Tokens

Tiempo de lectura: 3 minutos

What is a token and the difference between cryptocurrency coins and tokens

Is the token a crypto?, What is a token and what is it for?… Tokens arrived long before the Internet, only now its use has expanded towards a more revolutionary conception and the new definition causes some confusion. Now we explain to you what a token is, what it is for and the difference between token and crypto.

What is a token?

In the world of blockchain technology, a token is a unit of value issued by an organization. Tokens are the representation of a financial value or digital asset.

The tokens can represent from currencies (crypto), to any fungible or negotiable assets.

Is not a new concept

In a broad sense, the token is an object with a given value only within a context. An example are the casino chips. These chips are pieces of plastic that are not worth anything outside the casino walls, in this context it is precisely where their value is agreed and they end up being the representation of something.

So, historically tokens have been objects used as coins with value within a given environment. Another example can be found in music festivals, the vast majority of festivals work only with their own token with value within the precincts.

Therefore, the value of a token is which its creator decides.

Blockchain technology

The special feature of tokens is that they are based on a third-party blockchain; required from a blockchain -not own- to work. In addition, tokens allow designers to decide their object, content and consequences.

The most common means for creating tokens is the Ethereum platform, from which smart contracts are executed. On this decentralized platform, developers design their applications or contracts on a personalized blockchain.

In the Ethereum ecosystem, tokens are known as ERC-20; It is one of the most used tokens in the crypto world.

However, is possible to make a type–token distinction since their differences are very noticeable among them:

1.- Security Tokens

Security tokens are essentially digital, liquid contracts for fractions of any asset that already has value, like real estate, a car, or corporate stock.

2.- Utility Tokens

Those who don’t generate expectations of obtaining economic benefits. Oriented to offer a concrete utility in a platform or application, which gives rights to the use of certain products or services.

3.- Equity Token

An equity token is a type of security token that functions as a traditional share, in either the underlying company, third-party asset or venture and takes its value from the company’s success or failure.

What is the difference between Tokens & cryptocurrencies?

Once the question about what is a token is resolved, it is important to clarify the following -and also important- question: What is the difference between tokens and cryptos?

We summarize it by highlighting differences and similarities.

Difference cryptocurrency and token explanation Bitnovo


  • Both are units of value, accepted by a community.
  • Both are part of a blockchain.


  • Cryptocurrencies work with their own independent blockchain. In addition, they can be mined.
  • Tokens are created on existing blockchains and are not mineable.
    In addition, tokens can be used for a multitude of issues since they can represent all kinds of assets.

To recap: the main difference between tokens and cryptocurrencies is that tokens, as a unit of value, is a concept that can cover cryptocurrencies (as payment tokens); but not vice versa.

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