ELA is the native token used in the Elastos smart web. It has multiple use cases:
Secures the network through staking
Provides a unit of account - ELA is used for processing transactions and storing data
Acquiring a validator or governance seat
Serves as a medium of exchange
Securing the Network
Elastos is a hybrid proof-of-work (PoW) and delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) network, which means that resistance from various attacks partially comes from staking ELA. Staked ELA represents the decentralized infrastructure of servers that maintain the network and process transactions for applications and users on ELA. Rewards for providing this service are received in ELA.
Providing a Unit of Account
ELA is used to price computation and storage on the Elastos infrastructure. The network charges transaction fees in ELA to process changes and transactions.
To become a validator on the Elastos blockchain(s) or a member of the Cyber Republic Council (CRC), a minimum amount of ELA is required.
Medium of Exchange
ELA is readily available on the protocol level, so it can be used to transfer value between various Elastos blockchains, bridges, applications and accounts. This means that applications can use ELA to charge for various functions, like access to data or other complex transactions. Entities can also easily exchange ELA between each other, without the need for trusted third parties to clear and settle transactions.
For a deeper dive on ELA economics check here.