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About Blockchain

What Are Tokens?

A token is a digital asset created on top of a blockchain. Each token is completely unique with individual properties (creation date, entire ownership history...).

 3 min · 

Beginner

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Visualize the entire Ethereum network as a vast system of ‘nodes’. These nodes represent users’ computers, which are all connected together. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) acts almost as a living entity, similar to how natural organisms, such as fungi, connect using a network of underground mycelium for thousands of miles across the forest. 

Continuing with this analogy: if Ethereum is the mycelium connecting the forests through its underground network, then Ethereum tokens and decentralized applications (Dapps) are the trees that flourish because of it Endless trees can grow in the Ethereum forest, each with its own unique properties, ecosystem and ability to seed new life. This standardized communication between all EVMs is called “interoperability”.

There has always been a problem validating true digital ownership since the days of Napster, infamous for enabling mp3 audio file sharing at the end of the 90s. They cut out the middleman and the record labels but also offered zero protection for the artists. Finding ways for content creators and publishers to retain clear and indisputable ownership of digital media has been an ongoing challenge ever since.

Enter Non-Fungible Tokens. Each token is unique and holds immutable data and proof of ownership. A Non-Fungible Token is a digital asset which has been created on a blockchain, most notably held on the Ethereum network but also on other blockchain projects such as EOS, Stellar and Tron who have their Non-Fungible Token standard. 

Each Token is unique and has individual properties, including a ledger of all activities such as its creation date, and entire ownership history. Large files can also be attached as well as images, and audio. In the near future, there will be more options, from full HD movies to property deeds. Each one has cross-platform interoperability and can be traded on marketplaces and exchanges or used in their own environment such as in games and virtual worlds.

One Token, Different Standards

ethereum tokens NFTs
Ethereum, Tokens and Non-Fungible Tokens

One of the most exciting original concepts behind the Ethereum blockchain is the ability to build decentralized applications and issue tokens on it. Several projects such as Stellar, EOS and Cardano started as ERC-20 on Ethereum before migrating to their own blockchain. To ensure that the token can be identified by all wallets and any application that wants to use it, it is important to create a technological standard that will be recognized in a uniform and unanimous way across the network. 

Ethereum

On Ethereum, the standard that is recognized and voted on by the community is called Ethereum Request for Comments or ERC. It follows the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP). The number following the ERC is the number of the proposal that has been submitted to the Ethereum community.

Here are the three main ones:

  • ERC-20: the Fungible Token, famous for being used for ICOs.
  • ERC-721: the Non-Fungible Token, famous for being used by CryptoKitties.
  • ERC-1155: the Semi-Fungible Token, famous for achieving the mass distribution of both ERC-20 and ERC-721 in a single smart contract.

EOS

EOS was built as a ‘software’ to create decentralized applications (Dapps) and to offer the possibility to track every transaction with a very low latency rate. The fungible token standard is by design EOS. After its launch, a new standard was born in the EOS ecosystem: dGoods. This standard was made to facilitate the exchange of Non-Fungible Tokens on this blockchain. Unfortunately, very few video games ended up using it.

WAX

After its initial coin offering (ICO) on Etheureum in early 2018, Wax decided to create its own blockchain using the EOSIO ecosystem. EOSIO is also the infrastructure of EOS, and it can be duplicated to create a new blockchain based on the same technology. The strength of the WAX blockchain resides in the fact that it’s designed to support NFTs with as much ease as EOS offers for Dapps.

TRON

Tron appeared in 2017 with the goal of becoming an ‘Ethereum killer’ by offering something similar to Ethereum but with faster transactions. Almost all Dapps using the Tron blockchain are being used for gambling games. Towards the end of 2020, Tron released a Non-Fungible standard.
Here are the two standards used on the Tron blockchain:

  • TRC-20: Fungible Standard, used mostly for high-risk gambling
  • TRX-721: The Non-Fungible Standard

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