Ethereum Enterprise Alliance making more inroads on token standards

Posted: 14 February 2019 10:49 am
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Standards are key when you're picturing networks within networks within networks next to each other.

The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) plans to form a "token task force" sometime in the first half of 2019, executive director Ron Resnick said to CoinDesk.

The task force will be focused on hammering out specifications for Ethereum tokens.

"It's going to be focused on support for fungible ERC-20 and non-fungible ERC-721 tokens," Resnick said.

Open for business

The EEA works towards useability of the Ethereum blockchain for business applications, and token standards are an important part of this. Ironing out standards for both fungible and non-fungible tokens would help open up a lot more real world business applications.

A large part of the EEA's job involves liaising with companies to understand their business blockchain needs, and it's reasonable to assume that clarity around token standards and better interoperability are much-requested features.

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Beyond additional usability, Resnick sees the development as a way to "build better confidence in the public world" after "the speculative craziness of what happened in crypto".

To date, the idea of creating a token has been justifiably associated mostly with raising eye-watering amounts of money to build something that never gets completed. Formalisation could help the space move beyond that idea, and see businesses exploring tokens of different kinds as a practical tool.

Essentially it aims to detach the idea of creating a token from fundraising, and to encourage institutions to start exploring tokens as a useful tool.

Some of the most obvious applications are in supply chain tracking and the creation of non-fungible tokens to individually track different shipments, or even individual items within that shipment.

Resnick expects additional standardisation to be extremely valuable going forwards, especially as if and when more businesses start using tokenisation for its intended purpose. The EEA's vision is one of interoperability between public and private versions of Ethereum, and standards are an important part of that.

If you want to move tokens across networks, and ensure different versions can talk to each other, you need to cement some standards.

It's worth noting that ERC-20 and ERC-721 aren't the only standards on Ethereum, and that the EEA has been working to unify them in a workable way for a while now.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH.

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