IBM, ING, Microsoft, Nasdaq, R3 in launch of new token standards body

3 iunie 2020

The InterWork Alliance (IWA) formally launched operations with more than 30 organizations participating. The vast majority are enterprise focused. The aim is to enable organizations to adopt tokenized assets by agreeing to distributed business models in a platform agnostic manner.

The initiative is targeting the tokenization of all sorts of assets. That includes cryptocurrencies and security tokens, but also real estate, loyalty points and other assets. The aim is not just to define the token but also the contractual agreements and clauses that underpin the digital asset.

“Companies want to be able to create token-based business models without having a platform technology in mind. For this approach to work, standards are urgently needed around defining what a token is and how its contractual behaviors will work,” said InterWork Alliance President Ron Resnick (formerly of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance). 

Launch members include AccentureAmberdataBlockchain Technology Partners, Calastone, ChainlinkDEKRA, Digital Asset, DLA Piper, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC),Envision BlockchainHACERAHedera Hashgraph, IBMINGMicrosoftNasdaqNeo Global Development,R3SIX Digital Exchange (SDX)TokensoftUBSWeb3 Labs, and others.

Launch Associate members joining to support the IWA’s activities include 2TokensBlockchain Research InstituteBritish Blockchain Association (BBA)Cloud Security AllianceDID AllianceGlobal Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)Global Digital Finance (GDF)Hyderabad Blockchain DistrictHyperledgerInternational Token Standardization Association (ITSA), Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Cascadia Blockchain Council and others.

When our customers want to come together to solve problems in their sectors, they often want a neutral forum where they can work out collaborative frameworks and approaches that let them focus on business outcomes rather than technology implementation details. The IWA will play a critical role in helping business leaders across industries collaborate effectively,” said Marley Gray, principal architect, Microsoft, and the InterWork Alliance Chairman.

It provides a forum where industry participants can take real-world use cases as diverse as improving carbon market efficiency or trade finance efficiency, and use technology-agnostic token and contract definitions to foster interoperability and drive widespread adoption – that’s the big picture of what we need to do in the Alliance.”

The InterWork Alliance will provide the frameworks needed for businesses to create standardized token definitions and contracts in non-technical, business terms, and then turn them over to developers for coding on any platform of choice. The Alliance’s focus areas include:

. The Token Taxonomy Framework: provides a common language and toolset that enables multiple parties to agree on the definition of a token and how its value can be exchanged or used

. The InterWork Framework: allows businesses to compose multi-party contracts from clauses that directly correlate to the token standards, enabling communication protocols to be defined and connected to framework components regardless of the eventual technology deployment

. The Analytics Framework: enables organizations to derive additional business value from a privacy-preserving analysis of multi-party contracts, and shared data schema for value-add AI services and market-driven data reporting

Tokenized assets and the distributed applications that drive changes to those assets are highly composable. By identifying and standardizing the component attributes and behaviors of tokens and the contractual clauses that drive them, the ability for distributed applications to interwork with each other across disparate technology platforms will improve dramatically. It will also make it easier for individuals, businesses, and regulators to clearly understand – and help define – what tokenized systems are actually doing.

Here’s what some of the InterWork Alliance members have to say about the mission:

Accenture – “There has been incredible innovation in the development of digital tokens for everything from securities, currencies, artwork, property—even carbon credits—with all relevant information such as specifications, ownership, rights and obligations stored with the token. Accenture is proud to be one of the founders of the InterWork Alliance and collaborate in the open standards development community for blockchain and multi-party systems that will enable ecosystems to move faster, with greater consistency and confidence,” said David Treat, senior managing director at Accenture, an InterWork Alliance member.

IBM – “The InterWork Alliance offers a way to classify tokens and contracts using a common language to describe them. The Alliance will help establish a foundation not only for technology and business but for the changing tokenization landscape as well. A platform-neutral alliance is critical for the entire industry, and IBM sees this as another important movement toward more open industry standards to help organizations build the token networks of tomorrow,” said Nitin Gaur, director of IBM WW Digital Asset Labs, an InterWork Alliance member.

ING – “Digitization and tokenization of assets are imminent. The InterWork Alliance will help us to exchange experiences and best practices and to define standards with our partners. By working together, we can best achieve our common objective to profit from the gains of this enabling technology,” said Mariana Gomez de la Villa, program director, Distributed Ledger Technology, ING, an Interwork Alliance member.

Nasdaq – “As digital asset networks and organizations worldwide continue to get more traction, including the further development of green digital assets, interoperability between these networks is becoming increasingly important. By having international standards in place around definitions, workflows and approaches, this creates a foundation for efficient collaboration and smooth interoperability in the token-powered ecosystems. The IWA will be critical to ensure open standards are widely adopted in the global industry to ensure the success of digital assets, including emerging green and distributed ledger networks within the capital markets and beyond. We welcome the opportunity to join this important endeavor,” said Johan Toll, head of Digital Assets, Nasdaq, an InterWork Alliance member.

R3 – “As token-based business models gain more prominence, it is very important to have a set of industry standards to help guide the industry’s development. The InterWork Alliance represents an excellent opportunity for businesses to come together and have their voices heard in setting these standards. R3 is delighted to be part of the Alliance, and we look forward to working together to break new ground in token-enabled ecosystems,” said Todd McDonald, R3 co-founder of R3, an InterWork Alliance member.


The Token Taxonomy Framework (TTF), which is part of the InterWork Alliance, was initiated by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). But neither the EEA nor ConsenSys are on the membership list.

While a token standards organization is needed, the number of blockchain associations has proliferated. The cost of membership isn’t just a matter of money but rather spreading scarce resources thinly. As we adapt to the COVID-19 recession, some sort of rationalization is inevitable.

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Gabriela Nistor – director general adjunct BT

Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale in 2020?