TTI Issues Initial Taxonomy Framework


Token Taxonomy Initiative today announced the publication of the Token Taxonomy Framework (TTF) V 1.0, which enables businesses and developers to universally understand and define what a token is in non-technical terms, regardless of how it is implemented.

Users of the TTF can create a new type of token from a set of reusable, cross-industry components, including existing token definitions, creating a specification that includes all of the business ingredients for any implementation. Using standardized terms and definitions to both understand and build token-based systems, the TTF enables businesses and developers to universally design the next-generation of token-based business goods and services – without requiring an understanding of industry jargon or coding. View the TTF V 1.0 and draft specification documents on the TTI website at https://tokentaxonomy.org/resources/.

Token Taxonomy Initiative members include Accenture, Adhara, Banco Santander, Blockchain Research Institute, Clearmatics, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, Envision Blockchain, EY, Hedera Hashgraph, IBM, Intel, ioBuilders, Itau, J.P. Morgan, Komgo, Microsoft, R3, and Web3 Labs, among others. Supported by taxonomy documentation and a set of tools that facilitate token definition workshops that contribute to a shared GitHub repository, the framework enables businesses to develop a clear definition and scope of the token concept, including use cases, taxonomy and terminology, and a specification neutral to the underlying technology – whether or not the token is hosted on a blockchain platform.

“Whether it’s a ticket, supply chain documents, stocks, property titles, loyalty points, or other as-yet unthought-of blockchain-based products and services, token use should be able to flow across platforms. If we want to take full advantage of what collaborative platforms have to offer, cross-platform transactions have to be able to communicate with one another. Standards are where that starts, and this Framework makes unlocking the untapped potential of tokens on the blockchain possible,” said Marley Gray, chair of the Token Taxonomy Initiative, EEA Board member and principal architect, Microsoft.

Companies and organizations are spending a lot of time trying to determine how best to tokenize products and services, especially identifying the shared properties and desired behavior sets needed for implementation on existing blockchain platforms. Using the framework, businesspeople can describe a token that completely services their business requirements, while developers can see the types of backend requirements needed to standardize the token across different blockchain networks. The resulting token specification is a readable document that anyone can understand and download for documentation or education.

“In practical terms, a business user or consortium can select a base type of token and choose from contributed lists of behaviors and properties and assign them to the token, just as you might drag and drop icons on a screen. The framework enables a business person to create a token visually using a design tool without writing any code whatsoever and allows them to tell developers, ‘I want one of these,’” said Gray.

One Framework for Multiple Platforms

The framework’s template approach and token workshop facilitation tools make exploration and innovation as easy as possible. By using rich metadata, the framework facilitates automation-like code generation, verification, and certification that business users don’t need to understand but is extremely valuable to developers. Using the GitHub repository, teams can map business requirements to specific blockchain code or solution implementations allowing for discovery and use in ways that help to increase time to market and expand the user base. Specifically, the TTF framework provides:

  • A common set of concepts and terms that can be used by business, technical, and regulatory participants so they can speak the same language
  • A composition framework for defining and building tokens
  • A Token Classification Hierarchy (TCH) that is simple to understand
  • Tooling meta-data using the TTF syntax to be able to generate visual representations of classifications, and modeling tools to view and create token definitions mapped to the taxonomy – enabling linking with implementations for specific platforms
  • A definition of tokens and their use cases across industries
  • Example and real-world token specifications that are reusable, with parts portable across definitions from Adhara, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), IBM, ioBuilders, Microsoft, and R3. Specific examples include:
    • Adhara’s and ioBuilders’  EMoneyToken standard is being used in production payments and settlement systems
    • Digital Asset will apply TTF standards to assets tokenized with DAML smart contracts
    • Microsoft announced TTF support in Azure Blockchain Tokens, which simplifies the ability to define, create and manage compliant tokens based on TTF standards.
  • Links to coded examples in a variety of languages to accelerate the movement from token definition to token implementation, regardless of platform

“Tokens have the potential to disrupt global economics and radically change how commerce will be transacted. The Token Taxonomy Initiative’s framework defines a standard taxonomy making it easier for all to create tokens to serve their respective business use cases,” said EEA Executive Director Ron Resnick. “While various implementations and taxonomies exist for tokens, the industry is currently lacking a venue for all participants to work together to describe how tokens can eventually interoperate across the multiple and disparate systems that make up a typical enterprise infrastructure. The TTF is now that venue. Plus, the EEA will be launching an EEA Token Working Group that will leverage the TTF framework to extend our global standards work.”

About the Token Taxonomy Initiative

The Token Taxonomy Initiative’s mission is to address the need to develop common definitions and scope for a business-grade standard for tokens with interchangeable currency-like properties or unique assets. Members of the initiative include Accenture, Adhara, Banco Santander, Blockchain Research Institute, Clearmatics, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, Envision Blockchain, EY, Hedera Hashgraph, IBM, Intel, ioBuilders, Itau, J.P. Morgan, Komgo, Microsoft, R3, and Web3 Labs, among others. EEA members can participate in the TTI by simply emailing the EEA Secretariat at secretariat@entethalliance.org. To learn more about the Token Taxonomy Initiative, please reach out to info@tokentaxonomy.org or visit https://tokentaxonomy.org.

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