Unified Token Taxonomy


Autonomous NEXT analyzed multiple taxonomies that categorize projects noting emerging common themes. We used these taxonomies to build the unified token taxonomy which seeks to incorporate elements of each taxonomy, and their means to breakdown a crypto asset into multiple use cases.

Our findings showed that: (1) Monetary instruments are the payment unit of crypto economic activity, with (a) coins like BTC attempting to be used everywhere for all use-cases, (b) protocol tokens like ETH attempting to be used generally within its protocol, and (c) we further break out coins by their monetary policy. (2) Application utility tokens where “Utility” correctly points out generalized functionality, i.e., something being useful, and is not limited to consumer or enterprise use cases but generally how software is powered when interactions provide surplus and are valuable.

The first split is between (a) tokens used in applications on public, decentralized networks, like Filecoin and (b) tokens or units of account used in applications on private, enterprise networks, like the UBS Utility Settlement Coin project, which we believe in the long run will be interoperable. Finally, (3) the category of financial instrument primarily refers to the coming wave of security tokens, which are akin to equity or real estate crowdfunding sitting on more modern, decentralized infrastructure. These assets have an established and clear role relative to capital tables of corporate entities. We expect a convergence of enterprise and public blockchains as consortia digitize existing capital markets, insurance and asset management, and thereafter become interested in crypto liquidity. Economic participation in decentralized applications (e.g., DAO, profit sharing, referrals) will inadvertently qualify as a financial instrument even if not explicit in the capital structure We include digital assets, such as tokenized commodities (e.g., a tokenized share of a painting) and digital collectibles (e.g., Cryptokitties), as a financial instrument when they function as a store of value and are legally structured as to become a regulated commodity.