What Are ERC20 Tokens? | CryptoWallet.com 
What Are ERC20 Tokens?
Beginner Ethereum

What Are ERC20 Tokens?

The Ethereum network is huge, with over 450,000 unique cryptos, hundreds of exchanges, and all kinds of crypto services.  

But how can you make something so large, diverse, and complex work together seamlessly?

This is exactly what the ERC20 Token Standard manages to achieve.

The ERC20 is a set of coding standards and practices that ensure that everything that goes on the Ethereum network works together. In some ways, the ERC20 is “the glue” that keeps the whole thing together.

But what is the ERC20 and what is it used for? And what sort of alternatives are available?

We’ll be covering all this and more throughout the article.

What Does ERC-20 Mean?

ERC20 is short for “Ethereum Request for Comments 20” and essentially sets the bar for would-be additions to the Ethereum blockchain.

When developers wish to take part in the Ethereum ecosystem, they need to make sure that what they’re adding to the network is suitable for the system. On a blockchain, the crypto assets on the chain have to have some things in common so that the network can run smoothly.

The ERC20 is that baseline.

The ERC20 ensures that each part of the chain can interact with things like smart contracts and NFTs and achieve consensus protocols. Without the level of standardization that the ERC20 brings and its highly versatile nature, the Ethereum system simply wouldn’t be able to operate. 

What Are ERC20 Tokens For?

There are 450,000 tokens on Ethereum, and each one of them meets the expectations of the ERC20 standard. However, while they have the ERC20 in common, they are by no means all the same.

ERC20 tokens can be used for stablecoins whose value is pegged to another asset, like fiat currency. Stablecoins like USDT, USDC, DAI, and TUSD all use ERC20.

Then there are ERC20 governance tokens, which allow for the democratization and operation of whole crypto services. Things like the Curve DAO, AAVE, and Compound are all governance tokens that use the ERC20.

Even meme coins use ERC20. Things like Pepe Coin, Big Eyes Coin, and Dogecoin are all using the ERC20.

Simply put, the ERC20 can be used for basically anything. While it is a standard of coding, it is also a highly versatile standard, meaning that the sky’s the limit in terms of use cases.

There are hundreds of thousands of ERC20 tokens, and by the time you read this, there will be even more.

For now, let’s go over three of the top ERC20 tokens.

  1. Ethereum

It might seem a little obvious, but of course, the Ethereum token (ETH) itself is ERC20. For a long time, ETH was the only real competitor in the crypto scene, with the lion’s share being devoted to BTC. Today, ETH remains one of the biggest coins around, with a market cap valued at north of $200 billion.

  1. USDC

One of the biggest stablecoins on the market, the USDC token, is considered one of the cornerstones of the crypto ecosystem. Pegged to the US dollar, USDC uses the ERC20 standard to allow for huge amounts of interoperability amongst the Ethereum chain, something of key importance to a stablecoin.

  1. WBTC

WBTC, or “Wrapped Bitcoin,” is an Ethereum bridge to the Bitcoin blockchain. Operating as a pegged para-chain, WBTC allows for a whole degree of speed and interoperability that simply isn’t possible on the outdated BTC architecture.

Alternatives to the ERC20 Standard

While the ERC20 is a hugely popular token standard, it’s not the only one.

For example, the ERC621 is another standard that fulfills many of the same basic properties as the ERC20 but allows for greater control over the overall token supply.

The ERC721 is an alternative that allows for total control of an entire collection of assets rather than just one fungible one.

And you have the BEP20, which is similar in many ways to the ERC20, with the main difference being that it uses Binance’s BNB token as its primary token and operates on the Binance blockchain.

How to Buy ERC20 Tokens

There are all kinds of ways to buy any of the thousands of ERC20 tokens out there, from direct debit to bank transfers to crypto swaps. The only trick is finding the exchange that suits your needs best!

At CryptoWallet.com, we offer a simple-to-use crypto exchange with an industry-leading amount of cryptos for you to choose from. Over 800 cryptos are now available, and thousands more are lined up for release. So if you’re looking for a great place to buy an ERC20, CryptoWallet.com probably has what you’re looking for.

To buy crypto on CryptoWalllet.com, all you need to do is sign up for our exchange here.

Registering couldn’t be easier, simply follow the on-screen instructions, link your wallet, or transfer funds via bank transfer, and you’re ready to unleash your crypto’s full potential.

How to Store ERC20 Tokens

Given that the ERC20 standard is widely used, there are thousands of wallets available that can hold them. CryptoWallet.com, for instance, has its own wallet service found here.

To store an ERC20 token, usually, all you have to do is purchase it on an exchange and either link your wallet or send tokens from that exchange directly to your wallet’s address.

At CryptoWallet.com, you can do all of this with a ton of extra perks that can make your crypto go that extra mile.

Take, for instance, our new CW Card.

With the CW Card, you can now spend any of the 800+ cryptos available as normally as you would with a regular debit card! Simply tap, scan, or swipe your card, and your crypto gets turned into fiat instantly at the point of service.

So if you’re looking for the package deal of an exchange, wallet, and crypto card with tons of ERC0 options all rolled into one, then you might want to check out our whitelist here for more information.

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Mohammad Humaid

Mo is an accomplished content marketer with expertise in Fintech, Blockchain, Web3, and SaaS. His professional journey includes a notable stint at Wise (formerly TransferWise) expanding the brand's footprints within European market. Presently, Mo is deeply engaged in shaping the vision of CryptoWallet, with the goal of making cryptocurrencies easily accessible and seamlessly integrated into everyday financial transactions.