Crypto Tokens and Token Systems

Jan Schwiderowski, Asger Balle Pedersen, Roman Beck

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Cryptographic tokens are one of the cornerstones of the new blockchain world but the knowledge about these digital objects is still limited. In this research, we argue that crypto tokens, cryptographically secured digital tokens connected to DLT systems, form socio-technical systems through their reciprocal relationship with their foundational DLT systems. We also argue that today’s crypto token systems evolved out of earlier physical and digital token systems, a socio-technical transition facilitated by changes in the wider socio-cultural, economic, and technical environment. Based on an extensive structured literature review as well as the application of text analytics methods to more than 506 blockchain whitepapers, we develop two results: a crypto token classification built around three crypto token archetypes, and a crypto token system taxonomy. Our findings are relevant for both blockchain researchers and practitioners alike by enhancing our understanding of complex blockchain systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • token
  • token system
  • Blockchain
  • taxonomy


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