I understand how Consensus protocols work. They are essentially rules that nodes follow in order to validate transactions and blocks. It seems as if all tokens are their own protocols.

So what are protocols, and protocol tokens?

If DogeCoin and Litecoin are forks of Bitcoin, does it mean they are using the Bitcoin Protocol? Or do they have their own blockchain?

2 Answers 2


The bitcoin code creates a network, which follows a consensus protocol.

The bitcoin code can be forked, and parameters tweaked, in order to create similar, but separate and distinct networks (such as dogecoin, litecoin, etc). Each network will maintain it's own blockchain.

In cryptocurrency, the word 'token' is generally used to describe a special type of non-fungible cryptocurrency asset. It is essentially like a special 'earmarked' piece of cryptocurrency, that can be specifically tracked on the network. A token does not have it's own blockchain, it exists on some parent cryptocurrency blockchain. As an example, the ethereum network hosts many tokens, such as TRX, REP, or BAT. The bitcoin network can also support tokens, through the OMNI protocol.

Tokens follow the protocol rules of their parent chain, but could have additional token-specific rules programmed into them as well.


A security protocol (cryptographic protocol or encryption protocol) is an abstract or concrete protocol that performs a security-related function and applies cryptographic methods, often as sequences of cryptographic primitives. A protocol describes how the algorithms should be used. A sufficiently detailed protocol includes details about data structures and representations, at which point it can be used to implement multiple, interoperable versions of a program.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.