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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
The following in alphabetical order is a summary of token types, which applies to Ethereum as well as other programmable blockchains.

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

2. 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.

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

4. Collectible Token
A digital collectible. See NFT.

5. Currency Token
A cryptocurrency with value determined from buying and selling the tokens on a crypto exchange.

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

7. Fan Token
Fans of sports teams and music groups support their favorite entertainment. See fan token.

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

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

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

11. Utility Token
Access or pay for a service.

12. Voting Token
Voting rights in a digital or legal system.




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.