So we initially have this question: How should I understand what I am buying when I buy a crypto coin?
Q #1 Profits:
Does it give me rights or a claim to some profits (operating profits) of the protocol similar to a dividend in a stock?
Q #2 Assets & Equity:
Do I own the protocol application (asset) similar to how a stockholder owns the machines of a company?
Q #3 Control:
Do I control the asset (voting power) similar to a stockholder who owns voting stock?
A1: It all depends on the protocol and how it is designed. You need to read about each protocol to answer these questions. Read the medium blog for the protocol. Read its whitepapers. Read the telegram and discord and engage in those chat groups to ask clarifying questions if needed, but be aware that you might be getting incorrect information from other investors who also misunderstand the protocol. Mostly, I prefer to rely on primary sources — the protocol medium blog and the github / code of the protocol itself. Sometimes asking in the telegram can be a shortcut if you are in need of the quick answer now and follow up later to confirm with your own research from the primary sources later.
A2: By default, I would say NO. Currencies are currencies, they are not stocks. However tokens can be made to function like shares of a stock, and the smart contract of the protocol might give token holders shares of revenues or profits like a dividend for a stock, but often they do NOT give the token holder an ownership of the asset (equity) like owning a stock gives. Often they do give governance voting power (if they are a governance token).
That doesn’t mean they are a scam or less valuable than a stock!
It means it will function like a commodity inside an ecosystem (a market) and you should look for demand use cases for that token that will cause USERS to buy it and use it, not just investors to buy it hoping it will increase in value.