In the blockchain world, there are two main types of tokens: utility tokens and governance tokens. Utility tokens give holders access to a specific product or service, while governance tokens give holders voting rights on the future of a project.

What are Utility tokens and Governance tokens?

The onset of DAOs, DeFi, and NFTs, together with tokenization’s start in the crypto sphere, brought to light the various uses for various token kinds. The debate between governance tokens and utility tokens has really gained popularity recently. Tokens have drawn attention because of the various businesses, platforms, and innovative solutions that have resulted from tokenization and recent advances in the crypto world. Intriguingly, by thoroughly comprehending both, you can find greater scope for comparing governance tokens with utility tokens.

Utility Tokens

The term cryptocurrency has been used to describe nearly any sort of digital asset. However, there are numerous unique assets, such as utility tokens, that are not what you would expect to find with cryptocurrencies. Utility tokens are a form of crypto token that is meant to serve a specific use case in a certain ecosystem. Essentially, utility tokens provide users the ability to do certain operations on a specific blockchain network or decentralized application. The utility token versus governance token distinction is clarified by the definition of utility token and its primary aim.

Utility Tokens

It is also worth noting that utility tokens are specific to the respective ecosystems. On the Brave Browser, for example, a Basic Attention Token, or BAT, functions as a unique utility token. BAT may only be used to tip content creators via the Brave browser or other applications that support BAT wallets. You must also recognize that, like other utility tokens, BAT has no other use other than speculation on its value. Furthermore, utility tokens are pre-mined, manufactured in a specific quantity, and distributed proportionally by the project’s team.

Utility Tokens In Work

Utility tokens are distinguished from governance tokens by their core definition. The distinction between governance and utility tokens, on the other hand, would be insufficient without knowledge of how utility tokens work. Utility token holders are granted specific rights, such as the ability to use or claim ownership of a product or service.

The utility associated with utility tokens may also enable owners to vote on particular issues or pass initiatives. With the security of an exchange value for the services they provide, ownership of utility tokens also ensures the advantage of decentralized storage. Through the provision of rewards for particular acts, utility tokens also help to enhance the user experience. Access to exclusive decentralized or blockchain-based services, for instance, may be provided through utility tokens.

Utility Token Challenges

The discussions on “What is the difference between a utility token and a governance token?” will introduce you to the issues with utility tokens. I will also introduce you to the issues with utility tokens. It will also lead you to problems related to utility tokens. A detailed description of the problems for utility tokens could help you grasp the distinctions between them.

Utility tokens have been regarded as advantageous instruments for earning profits and securing funding for new rising enterprises. Utility tokens, on the other hand, provide a number of dangers. The 2017 ICO boom fueled the popularity of utility coins. The broad usage of utility token systems propelled them to prominence while also playing a key factor in their demise.

If the project fails, the utility tokens will lose their value. The distinction between governance and utility tokens is also clear in the fact that utility token owners have no say in decision-making. Utility tokens may also face liquidity issues if the project fails to raise the necessary funds for development. Furthermore, utility tokens play no role in pushing Bitcoin adoption because they are focused on particular privileges within the relevant crypto ecosystem.

Utility tokens have frequently been related to trust challenges, as well as the need for ongoing audits in new initiatives. The majority of the utility tokens were created with unrealistic ambitions in mind. Another important impediment to utility tokens is the lack of regulation. Because utility tokens lack an inherent mechanism for gaining value, they must rely on the project to provide any meaningful utility to consumers.

Governance Tokens

Massive communities are at the heart of the development of new technologies and platforms built on the principles of decentralization. Tokenization has enabled the development of numerous unique ways for expressing organizational structure and proving ownership. The communities that support the new blockchain-based solutions are made up of people from all over the world with a wide range of backgrounds and skill sets. International communities strive to discover and create innovative concepts while exchanging value.

Governance Tokens

Communities struggle with coordination, decision-making, and, most importantly, governance token difficulties at the same time.  The distinction between a governance token and a utility token would strongly stress the governance tokens’ principal function. For a useful comparison with utility tokens, let’s learn more about governance tokens.

Governance tokens represent voting rights and ownership in decentralized protocols, as the name implies. Governance token holders have complete control over a protocol’s future direction. Governance tokens, for example, can aid in the representation of voting rights for spending budgets, new alliances, or the installation of new features. Governance tokens are essential for decision-making in DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, because there is no clearly defined leadership.

Governance Tokens In Work

“What is the difference between a utility token and a governance token?” will also take you in the direction of how governance tokens work. In the case of traditional business structures, shareholders, executives, and a board of directors were in charge of making decisions about the organization’s future course.

DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, do not concentrate decision-making power in a single group. DAOs, on the other hand, make decisions through a specifically structured governance process that includes community votes and ideas. DAO governance tokens are the common factor in all of them, regardless of the governance schemes used.

The governance tokens have particular distinguishing characteristics that come with the existence of blockchain. The governance tokens provide immutable ownership as well as transparent distribution. As a result, governance tokens are ideal for decentralized decision-making. The distinction between governance tokens and utility tokens becomes evident when you consider how governance tokens are used.

Any person or group of members on a DAO can pass a proposal for voting, and governance token owners can vote. It’s also worth noting that a governance token holder’s voting power is precisely proportional to the number of tokens they control. Certain DAOs, on the other hand, employ novel voting procedures, such as quadratic voting, to assure equitable voting power.

Governance Token Highlights

The particular features of governance tokens are the next crucial point to consider in a utility token vs governance token comparison. Surprisingly, governance tokens are a form of utility token. Before delving deeper into the specifics of utility tokens, you should be aware that they provide access to protocol-related products or services.

Tokens with utility functions may also grant access to exclusive rights. The special rights in the context of governance tokens would be the ability to influence the course of a protocol in the future. Compound and Uniswap are two DeFi protocols that have demonstrated how their utility tokens have assumed the roles of governance tokens.

In a way, governance tokens can be viewed as the main utility token for DeFi protocols. Additionally, governance tokens could act as the forerunners of actual decentralization. However, the thin line between governance tokens and utility tokens distinguishes the two on the basis of voting rights. Voting power on a particular blockchain network or decentralized protocol is offered via governance tokens.

By giving users ownership and influence over the relevant platform or protocol, governance tokens differ dramatically from utility tokens. Additionally, some protocols pair governance tokens with unique characteristics and powers, which could provide promising advantages for token holders.

Challenges with Governance Tokens

The issues surrounding governance tokens must also be taken into consideration when attempting to answer the question, “Can you explain the difference between a utility token and a governance token?”Voting rights, ownership and control over the protocol, and special privileges can all be good indicators of governance tokens.” There are other big problems related to governance tokens that you should be aware of as well.

To avoid whales abusing their voting rights, governance tokens must develop equitable and open distribution systems. To ensure that all users receive the right distribution of governance privileges, DAO initiatives need fair launches.

Pros and Cons: Utility Vs Governance Token

Utility tokens


  • They can be used to access a specific product or service, which can give them real-world utility.
  • They can be used to reward users for participating in a project, which can help to incentivize adoption.
  • They can be traded on exchanges, which makes them liquid and accessible to investors.


  • The value of utility tokens is tied to the success of the product or service that they are used to access. If the product or service is not successful, the value of the token will decrease.
  • Utility tokens can be easily cloned, which can lead to market saturation and decreased value.
  • The regulatory landscape for utility tokens is still evolving, which can create uncertainty for investors.

Governance tokens


  • They give holders voting rights on the future of a project, which can give them a say in how the project is developed, funded, and managed.
  • They can be used to incentivize participation in a project, as holders of governance tokens are more likely to be invested in the project’s success.
  • They can be used to create a more democratic and decentralized decision-making process.


  • The value of governance tokens is not as easily determined as the value of utility tokens. The value of governance tokens is based on the perceived value of the voting rights that they confer, which can be difficult to quantify.
  • Governance tokens can be subject to manipulation by whales, who can hold a large number of tokens and use their voting power to influence the outcome of votes.
  • The regulatory landscape for governance tokens is still evolving, which can create uncertainty for investors.

Difference between Utility tokens and Governance tokens

FactorsUtility TokenGovernance Token
PurposeGives access to a product or serviceGives voting rights on the future of a project
ValueDetermined by demand for the product or serviceDetermined by the perceived value of voting rights 
IssuanceTypically issued by a company or organizationTypically issued by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)
LiquidityCan be traded on exchangesCan be traded on exchanges, but liquidity may be lower 
Regulatory statusVaries depending on the jurisdiction         Varies depending on the jurisdiction


Utility tokens primarily serve as access keys to a platform’s products or services, offering transactional functionality within the ecosystem. On the other hand, governance tokens grant holders the power to influence decisions and changes within the platform, emphasizing community involvement and protocol evolution. While utility tokens offer practical value for users, governance tokens empower participants to shape the platform’s direction. Understanding the distinctions between these token types is essential for informed engagement in blockchain ecosystems, whether through active usage or participation in governance processes.


Q. What are the governance token?
A. Governance tokens are digital assets issued by blockchain projects to token holders, granting them the right to participate in decision-making processes related to protocol upgrades, parameter changes, and other governance matters. Holders can vote on proposals, influencing the project’s future direction and development.

Q. Is Ethereum a governance token?
A. No, Ethereum (ETH) is not primarily a governance token. It is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and is used for transactions, smart contracts, and gas fees. Ethereum’s governance decisions are made through network upgrades and improvement proposals, rather than by holding ETH.

Q. Are governance tokens fungible?
A. Yes, governance tokens are typically fungible, meaning individual tokens of the same type are interchangeable with one another, as they hold equal value and functionality within the ecosystem’s governance processes.

Q. What is the first governance token?
A. The first governance token is commonly attributed to “MKR” (MakerDAO), which was introduced in 2017. MKR holders have the power to propose and vote on changes to the MakerDAO protocol, influencing decisions related to its stablecoin, DAI, and other platform parameters.

Q. What are good governance tokens?
A. Some examples of prominent governance tokens include Compound’s COMP, Aave’s AAVE, Uniswap’s UNI, MakerDAO’s MKR, and Synthetix’s SNX. These tokens grant holders the power to participate in decision-making and influence the development and direction of their respective decentralized platforms.