what are 'coins' in cryptocurrencies?

Blockchains integrate financial incentives in order to stay self-managing and autonomous free from centralized intermediaries. For this reason Blockchains are mostly merged with a digital currency enabling the exchange and storage of value. We distinguish between we two main categories of Blockchain values: coins and tokens

Even though the terms are quite often used interchangeably, the categories do have different functionalities. While coins only act as an exchange of value and medium of transfer, tokens offer much more functionalities. The most famous example of a coin is obviously Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, developed for peer-to-peer (p2p) transactions within a decentralized network.

In contrast the Ethereum network uses ERC-20 tokens. These are not only exchanges and stores of values but moreover can be used for executing smart contracts and running Dapps.

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