Microsoft, Nasdaq and Others to Set Global Tokenization Standards

Microsoft, IBM, Hyperledger and other technology and financial organizations have formed an alliance to develop global standards for tokenized ecosystems.

Microsoft’s principal architect, Marley Gray, and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s former executive director, Ron Resnick, on Tuesday launched the InterWork Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at bringing global standards to the token-based ecosystem.

At launch, the IWA included more than 28 blockchain, technology and financial organizations from around the world, including Microsoft, Chainlink, Hyperledger, IBM, Nasdaq, Accenture and others.

The IWA indicated that startups presently working on tokenized ecosystems are mostly focusing on their individual solutions and marketing their platforms to other businesses.

Setting global standards, it said, will help focus this wide-scale innovation to make a collective impact on businesses. Resnick, IWA’s president, stated:

“For this approach to work, standards are urgently needed around defining what a token is and how its contractual behaviors will work.”

Helping businesses with a common framework

InterWork Alliance plans to work on three different frameworks of global standards for tokenized ecosystems. First, the Token Taxonomy Framework will provide a common language and toolset so that multiple parties can agree on the same terms that define a token and its use. 

The InterWork Framework will help businesses compose multiparty contracts from standard, globally recognized clauses set by the IWA. Lastly, the Analytics Framework will help businesses analyze multiparty contracts and utilize artificial intelligence services and market-driven data reporting.

With these, the IWA will eventually work on interoperability between decentralized applications from different blockchain networks. 

Standardization for wider adoption

Organizations involved with the IWA are highly optimistic about how bringing global standards to the token ecosystem will further the adoption of distributed business models.

Gray noted that providing industry participants with token standards for a variety of distributed technology use cases can help foster interoperability and drive widespread adoption. 

Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger — an IWA member — said:

“Standards play a critical role in the evolution and adoption of any emerging technology. Distributed applications and token-based services will require established frameworks that assure solutions interwork on the business level, regardless of underlying technology platforms.”

“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,” said Nitin Gaur, the director of IBM WW Digital Asset Labs.