We’ll explore the wide worlds of science, health and technology with content from our science squad and other places we’re finding news. Stephen McKeon, The Conversation

Stephen McKeon, The Conversation People are just becoming acquainted with the idea of digital money in the form of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, where transactions are recorded on a secure distributed database called a blockchain.

And now along comes a new concept: the blockchain-based token, which I’ve been following as a blockchain researcher and teacher of courses about cryptocurrency and blockchain tokens. In the last 18 months, digital developers have raised more than US$20 billion through a funding process called “initial coin offering” – many of which use tokens.

There are two common categories of them: “utility” tokens and “security” tokens. Utility tokens are essentially cryptocurrencies that are used for a specific purpose, like buying a particular good or service.

For example, if you want to store information online, the most common way today is to become a customer of a hosting service like Google Drive, Dropbox or Amazon Web Services. You reserve a certain amount of storage space on those companies’ servers and pay for it with dollars, euros, yen or other national currencies.

But there is another way. The Filecoin network, for instance, expects to provide similar cloud storage services without itself operating buildings full of massive servers. Read more from pbs.org…

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