To create a token on Ethereum, we use ERC20 token interface to design our token smart contract that captures functions required like mint(), tranfer(), balanceOf(), etc.

Similarly, do we have any smart contract or interface that captures all these functions for Ether on Ethereum?

How different is this compared to Bitcoin?

Thank you for your help and time!

  • You don't need an interface for that, because no smart contract is required for it. May 21 '20 at 20:46
  • @goodvibration - When we develop a custom a blockchain, how the functionality of cryptocurrency is reproduced or simulated?
    – Muni V K
    May 21 '20 at 20:48

The difference between Ether and Token:


Ether is the basic payment unit on the Ethereum blockchain.

Using the private key of a given public address, we can transfer ether from this address to any other Ethereum address, even if no account or contract with that address has been created.

The only exception to this is that if a contract does exist on the destination address, then it must implement a designated function to receive the funds, otherwise the transfer will revert.

We can read the ether balance of any public address; there is no need for a private key, nor for any coding infrastructure in case the address is that of a contract.


Using the basic payment unit (ether) along with contract-programming, we can implement other types of payment units.

These payment units are commonly known as Tokens.

As with ether, we’d like to be able to transfer tokens from one address to another.

But in contrast with ether, this functionality is not “embedded into the system”.

We need to deploy a contract which implements token-transferring infrastructure.

A good analogy for this:

  • Ether-transferring is already supported at the hardware-level
  • Token-transferring should be implemented at the software-level
  • I've used the terms account and contract here, but for the record, the official terminology is that account = "externally-owned account", and contract = "smart-contract account". So as you can see, both are referred to as accounts (where in the answer above I have referred to them as addresses). May 21 '20 at 21:17

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