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Definition: Ethereum token


A representation of something in the digital or physical world that resides on the Ethereum blockchain. Managed by a smart contract, which is a program on Ethereum, a token can represent just about anything. It can be fungible such as a cryptocurrency, and there are plenty of them, most of which are worthless, or it can be non-fungible such as a work of art (see NFT). The Ethereum standards for creating tokens are defined in Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC) documents such as ERC-20 and ERC-721. See crypto token.

Ethereum and Non-Ethereum Token Types
Following is a summary of token types, which applies to Ethereum as well as blockchains with a similar architecture.

Currency Token
A cryptocurrency with value determined via private trade.

Resource Token
A resource earned or produced such as a storage or CPU token representing resources in a network.

Asset Token
A representation of any asset whether digital or physical; for example, a digital image or document (see NFT) or physical object such as real estate, vehicle, amount of energy.

Access Token
Grant access to a digital or physical property, such as a forum, website or hotel room.

Equity Token
Shareholder equity in a digital organization; for example, a DAO or corporation. See DAO.

Voting Token
Voting rights in a digital or legal system.

Collectible Token
A digital collectible. See NFT.

Identity Token
An avatar or legal identity such as a national ID.

Attestation Token
Certification by an authority such as a birth certificate or college degree.

Social Token (Social Media Token)
A way to power content creators, both individuals and groups.

Utility Token
Access or pay for a service.




Excerpted from an Excellent Book
Most of the token explanations above were abbreviated from "Mastering Ethereum," a must-read for every future Ethereum developer. As blockchains are a dynamic subject, terms are used interchangeably, and any token may be called by several names as well as represent several functions.