What is an Utility Token?

The meaning of utility token is a type of cryptocurrency that can be used as a medium of exchange within an ecosystem. It is not intended to serve as an investment instrument, but rather its purpose is to provide access to services or products within the particular platform it has been created for. Utility tokens are usually issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs) and are designed to offer various benefits such as discounts on services, exclusive access to a certain platform or asset, voting rights in certain systems, and more. While some utility tokens have seen their value appreciate over time, this should never be considered when investing in one, as only their utility should be taken into account. Investors who purchase utility tokens should always do so with the understanding that it may become worthless at some point and that their investment may not yield significant returns. Furthermore, utility tokens are subject to regulatory compliance and the laws of each jurisdiction must be taken into account when purchasing one. For these reasons, it is important to always conduct thorough research on any potential ICO before investing. In conclusion, utility tokens can be a great way to access certain services or products within a specific platform or system but it is important to understand their purpose and the associated risks before investing in them.

In addition to the risks associated with investing in utility tokens, there is also a risk of fraud. Since utility tokens are not regulated by governmental securities laws, they can be targeted by unscrupulous actors who may attempt to mislead investors or embezzle funds. Therefore, it is important that anyone considering investing in a utility token should do their due diligence to ensure that the issuing entity is legitimate and trustworthy. This can be done by researching the team behind the project, examining reviews of previous ICOs conducted by them, and ensuring that any documentation related to the token sale is in order.

Simplified Example

A utility token is like a video game token. Just like in a video game, you can use the tokens to buy different things or access certain parts of the game. In the same way, a utility token can be used to buy goods or services or access certain features on a platform or website.

History of the Term "Utility Token"

The term "utility token" is thought to have originated in the early 2010s during the surge in initial coin offerings (ICOs). It was employed to draw a distinction between tokens utilized for financing project or service development and those granting access to specific use cases. While there is no singular entity credited with coining the term "utility token," it is frequently linked to Ethereum and the introduction of the ERC-20 standard in 2015. The ERC-20 standard comprises rules governing the creation and issuance of utility tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.


Platform Tokens: A platform token is a type of utility token that provides access to a specific platform or ecosystem. For example, a token that grants access to a decentralized exchange (DEX) or a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform is a type of platform token. These tokens are often used as a means of payment for platform services and may also provide additional benefits, such as discounts or rewards.

Utility Tokens for Digital Services: Utility tokens can also be used to access digital services, such as content platforms or online marketplaces. For example, a token may be used to purchase access to premium content on a platform, or to pay for services provided by a decentralized service provider.

Token-Based Loyalty Programs: Utility tokens can also be used in token-based loyalty programs, where tokens are earned as a reward for customer engagement or spending. For example, a token may be earned by making purchases on an e-commerce platform, which can then be redeemed for discounts or other benefits. In these cases, the token is used as a way of tracking customer engagement and providing rewards, serving as a utility token within the loyalty program.

  • Economic Utility: The satisfaction or usefulness that a consumer derives from a product or service.

  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO): A form of crowdfunding that has become increasingly popular in recent years.