What are crypto reflection tokens and coins?

Blockchain /
Alex Lielacher

The crypto market has experienced massive growth in the past year, partly due to the rise of DeFi innovations enabling investors to earn an income on their crypto holdings.

Innovations such as staking, yield farming, and liquidity mining have attracted billions to the decentralised finance market. Another lesser-known innovation that stems from the growth in DeFi is crypto reflection tokens.

In this guide, find out exactly how reflection tokens work and why token holders are interested in the hold and earn mechanism.

What are crypto reflection tokens?

Reflection tokens are cryptocurrencies that reward holders by employing a mechanism in which transactions are taxed and a percentage of the tax charged is redistributed to holders of the token.  

One of the reasons behind the tokenomics of reflection tokens is to prevent large price drops new cryptocurrencies often face from whales during their price discovery phase. 

Also, since holders are rewarded with new tokens, the mechanism incentivises investors to hold onto their tokens long-term. Because of this, reflection mechanisms are seen as an effective way of keeping investors loyal to a project. 

While DeFi tokens typically allow investors to earn an investment income through staking, liquidity mining and yield farming, reflection tokens are gradually becoming another way to earn yield on crypto assets. 

Tip: Whale is a cryptocurrency term that refers to individuals or entities that hold a large amount of a specific coin. Whales hold enough of the crypto coin that they have the potential to manipulate the valuation of the cryptocurrency. 

How do reflection tokens work?

With reflection tokens, every transaction in the network is taxed. Most crypto reflection mechanisms tax 10% of every transaction, which is usually distributed among all holders, a liquidity pool, and sometimes a coin burn wallet. 

With this reflection mechanism in place, investors can gain more tokens by “HODLing” the token, while also benefiting from a potential price appreciation that may occur through coin burns. 

The reflection mechanism is decentralised and trustless as it's managed by a smart contract that automatically distributes tokens across the wallets of all holders, a liquidity pool, and a burn wallet. All that holders have to do is 'hold and earn', and ensure they manage their wallets carefully. 

The whole process is transparent as every wallet that receives a part of the fee can be publicly audited on the blockchain.

The hold and earn funtionality offers users the benefit to earn yield without having to stake their tokens, while addressing the issue of excessive price movements and selling pressure. Some more key issues it addresses are: 

  • No staking 
  • Buyback and burn mechanism 
  • DeFi yield generation 
  • Security is ensured through the smart contract 
  • Fair distribution of earned tokens

Pros and cons of reflection tokens

While reflection tokens look promising because of their interesting crypto income earning mechanisms, they also have downsides. Let’s dive into the benefits and drawbacks on these innovative new tokens.


  • The mechanism of reflection tokens increases the number of ways investors can earn in DeFi as holders can earn rewards on their tokens while using it for staking and other ways of earning passive income. 
  • The yield-generating token distribution process is easy, secure and transparent via the usage of smart contracts. There's no central party or interface to claim fees as the whole process is automated. 
  • It can prevent the frequent occurrence of massive price dumps and whale manipulations in newer crypto projects to some degree. 
  • Reflection mechanisms can be used to conduct automatic coin burns and buybacks, hence reducing supply and increasing price valuation. 
  • The cryptocurrency market outlook can be quite volatile. When cryptcurrencies are experiencing a significant downward trend during a bear market, reflection token holders have a clear advantage thanks to the passive hold and earn rewards.


  • Most projects currently utilising reflection mechanisms are meme coins and don’t have a sound business model. 
  • Reflection tokens are still a new concept and haven't been tested well enough. 
  • The high transaction fees of most reflection tokens make them a bad choice for transactions.

List of crypto reflection tokens

Below are some of the popular crypto projects using reflection tokens:

Safemoon (SAFEMOON)

Safemoon is one of the earliest cryptocurrencies to implement a reflection mechanism. The project, which was launched in the first quarter of 2021, has garnered over 2.5 million holders with over 585 trillion coins in circulation and a market cap upside of $2 billion. 

Safemoon's reflection mechanism is aimed at reducing volatility by encouraging investors to hold onto their tokens. The mechanism uses a smart contract that charges a 10% fee for every transaction. Half of the fee is split among holders, according to their token balance, while the other half goes to Safemoon's liquidity pool to ensure there's liquidity for buyers and sellers. Review the SafeMoon tokenomics to understand how the key mechanics work.

Tiki Token (TIKI)

TIKI is a next-generation reflective token on the Binance Smart Chain. The project enables investors to earn BNB just by holding tokens in their wallets. Its reflection mechanism charges a 15% fee for every buy/sell. 10% of the fee is converted to BNB and automatically redistributed back to holders with a minimum balance of 10,000 TIKI, while the remaining 5% goes to the liquidity pool on Pancakeswap to maintain a price floor. 

To reduce price swings and break the control of whales, TIKI restricts sales to less than 0.1% of the total supply as any transaction above the limit is denied. On top of that, an additional 3% is charged on sell orders. According to Tiki Token's website, holders can also stake their tokens via BankerDoge while earning more rewards in TIKI and BNB.

Reflect Finance (RFI)

RFI is a reflective token on the Ethereum network that enables token holders to earn passive income. The project applies a 1% fee for every transaction that's automatically split and distributed among holders. In RFI, 100% of the fees generated goes directly to holders. The percentage each holder receives is proportional to the amount of RFI tokens they hold. 

In addition, RFI holders can also use their tokens for yield farming or staking as the RFI smart contract can determine the rewards earned by each holder even when the funds are pooled together.

Rainbow token (RAINBOWTOKEN)

Rainbow token is a hyper-deflationary DeFi token launched on the Binance Smart Chain, with 7 different protocols, including reflection. 

It is still very early in the development process of RAINBOWTOKEN, only launching in August 2021. The team situated in the UK is trying to bring real utility in a market filled with meme coins. A decentralised token launch platform called BiFrost is another service the team has built, allowing developers to launch new token projects to users seamlessly. 

The Rainbow token team is working on an NFT play-to-earn game that will be introduced into their ecosystem, the project is currently titled "Project: IRIS". 

Other reflection tokens include HODL 2.0, GhostFace and Everdot.

Recommended reading: What are liquidity pools and how do they work?

What's the difference between reflection tokens and hyper-deflationary tokens?

While the tokenomics of several cryptocurrencies - reflection tokens included - are deflationary, another class of cryptocurrencies known as hyper-deflationary tokens goes even further.  

By using a smart contract that burns a certain percentage of every transaction, hyper-deflationary tokens ensure that their circulating supply is constantly reducing. Another method employed in these tokens is to conduct regular buybacks to reduce supply. 

In hyper-deflationary tokens, the fees charged are usually sent to a burn wallet, meaning the tokens are wiped out of existence. Holders do not receive transaction fees as a reward. Rather, they gain from the price increase caused by the burn. 

Some crypto projects combine both mechanisms to build potentially attractive tokenomics models for token holders.

Are reflection tokens safe to trade?

While there’s no direct answer to this question, the rule of thumb before trading any tokens is to do due diligence by conducting thorough research about the project.  

Reflection tokens provide a new way of earning passive income that is yet to stand the test of time. Most of the cryptocurrencies using reflection mechanisms are new, considering they haven't been around for more than a year. 

Making a decision to trade reflection tokens should be based on a trader’s risk tolerance level - are they ready to take on the risk of investing in a fairly new promising model or do they prefer to observe the long-term effect on the market before investing any money?  

Since reflection tokens are a very new asset in the cryptocurrency space, the amount of crypto scams and potential rug pull projects need to be a concern. Whatever traders decide, DYOR. Always remember that every crypto investment has its share of risks.

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We hope that our guide on crypto reflection tokens helps traders understand the potential investing and trading opportunities. Keep up to date on evolving blockchain trends here!

Alex Lielacher

Alex Lielacher

Alex Lielacher is a banker-turned-bitcoiner who exchanged the bond trading desk for a laptop in a co-working space to provide engaging and educational content for leading companies in the cryptocurrency industry. 

As a former Corporate Bond Trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Fixed Income Salesperson at Australia & New Zealand Bank, Alex brings his knowledge from traditional finance to crypto finance to provide unique insights into this fast-growing new financial market. 

With 5+ years of experience in the Bitcoin industry, Alex is a prolific writer and content marketer with a deep understanding of the subject matter who has worked with countless leading crypto companies, including Iconic Funds, NairaEx, Relai, and Trust Wallet.

In addition to running Africa’s leading bitcoin media publication, BitcoinAfrica.io, he was also the Managing Editor at Bitcoin Market Journal and has contributed to a wide range of crypto media publications such as Bitcoin Magazine, Brave New Coin, and Cryptonews.com.

Find him on: LinkedIn | Twitter

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