TLDR: Cryptocurrencies are not limited to being mere currencies, as its name might mislead some people into believing otherwise. Today, tokens come with their own set of fundamentals, functions, value drivers, etc.
With the introduction of Bitcoin, blockchain technology was introduced as a medium to disintermediate money.
As the ecosystem began to gain recognition, few understood blockchain’s true value proposition: the disintermediation of trust.
Trust is a primitive that encompasses all of human coordination, meaning, it encompasses every industry and economic activity there is. Vitalik and his team implemented a crucial component over blockchain technology with the introduction of Ethereum: Smart contracts.
Smart contracts are nothing but code that enable the creation and execution of functions requiring trust, without trust: From issuing securities and conducting governance to facilitating lending/borrowing and managing supply chains.
Tokens went from being limited:
Tokens today come with various characteristics and perform various functions, which is why most “alt-currencies” (as the ignorant call it) are neither alternative to any other currency, nor are they currencies to begin with.
Food for thought: Calling any token that isn’t Bitcoin an alt-coin is like calling any stock that isn’t Apple an alt-stock.