ITSA publishes “fork-resilient” token identifier documentation

To date, an ecosystem of more than 5,100 publicly traded crypto tokens and over 245,000 Ethereum tokens has emerged. However, due to the lack of holistic market standards, this wave of new tokens may confront market participants with ambiguity and uncertainty, exposing retail investors to avoidable risks and deterring institutional funds.

Acknowledging the market‘s need for more standardization in order to grow and mature, the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) has developed the International Token Identification Number (ITIN) as a unique identifier, which covers all blockchain-based cryptographic tokens, regardless of the type of token it is.

The ITIN is a 9-digit technical identifier for both fungible and non-fungible DLT based cryptographic tokens. It is both unique and fork-resilient and allows for the connecting and matching of other media and data to the token. ITSA published the International Token Identification Number (ITIN) framework documentation on GitHub under a creative commons license. The documentation is in mark-down form and can be accessed under the following repository: ITIN Repository.

ITSA believes that publishing our ITIN documentation as an open market standard for the unique and fork-resilient identification of tokens is key in our mission to increase transparency and safety in global token markets. Our public GitHub repository allows stakeholders and market participants not only to learn about the International Token Identification Number but also to easily participate in the further collaborative development of the ITIN market standard.

Any identifier needs a strong foundation that copes with the particularities of the ecosystem it is intended for. To build a strong and sustainable foundation for the ITIN, and to consider the characteristics particular to the decentralized world, ITSA is introducing the Uniform Token Locator (UTL).

The UTL is a novel identification and referencing standard capable of uniquely identifying all types of tokens across different ledgers and is resilient to chain splits. Just like information on the World Wide Web (WWW) is identified by a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), tokens are identified through the UTL. ITSA maintains a register mapping UTLs to ITINs. Other organizations can also use the UTL and map it to their shortened identifier.

ITSA is a not-for-profit association of German law and an independent industry membership body. The European Central Bank has specifically mentioned the ITIN in a paper on the use of DLT in post-trade processes.


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