What are Coins vs. Tokens?

In the brave new world of cryptographic assets, it can be confusing to determine what is what. When talking about cryptocurrency, the terms “coin” and “token” are often used interchangeably, even though this is not quite correct. There are several subtle differences between coins and tokens.

Coins – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero etc.

  • Are highly divisible and can be traded
  • Have their own blockchain network
  • Can be earned as rewards for mining or maintaining the network

Tokens – Golem, 0x Protocol, Gemini Dollar

  • Do not have their own blockchain network
  • Cannot be earned for mining or network maintenance
  • Can be earned for providing specific on-chain services

Assets Cryptokitties, Property Titles

  • Are not divisible but can be traded
  • Cannot be earned for mining or network maintenance
  • Can represent real-world items