Various major technology
players and institutions have teamed up to launch a not-for-profit group that
will create a standards framework for token-enabled ecosystems.
Members of the InterWork Alliance include the DTCC,
Calastone, Nasdaq, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS, alongside the likes
of Microsoft, IBM and Accenture, and other digital asset or blockchain
InterWork Alliance will collaborate on setting standards for
building distributed applications, including frameworks on token definitions
and contracts in non-technical terms, which developers can then code on
“A critical next step in the evolution of these exciting new
assets and their associated marketplaces will be the formation of universally
agreed standards and practices to ensure that players in the ecosystem can
connect in a secure and efficient manner,” Tim Grant, chief executive of SIX
Digital Exchange, commented.
InterWork Alliance president, Ron Resnick, added that companies
are looking to create token-based business models without having a platform
technology in mind. Although for this approach to work, standards must be
established around defining what a token is and how it operates
“By bringing great technology and innovative business leaders
together to deliver the market-driven specifications needed to facilitate
interworking, the Alliance can deliver a proven, standard approach that is
required to bring consumer trust into this space.”
Tokenisation is already underway in some sectors of the
financial services industry, with several milestones seen
in areas such as collateral management, securities settlement,
securities listing, and private markets.
At a recent digital asset conference, BNY Mellon custody product
manager, Kara Kennedy, said that the bank is exploring tokenisation with
its fund management clients with proof of concepts, and urged the industry to
consider opportunities around tokenisation more seriously.
“To negate looking forward to how this technology can transform
this market would be bad for our business,” Kennedy said. “We have to be
aware of these changes and how they can affect our market, because the
opportunity for this technology is significant, particularly in terms of the
potential efficiencies it can bring.”
Meanwhile, DTCC has launched a new project codenamed ‘Project
Whitney’ to explore the potential for asset tokenisation and digital
infrastructure to support private market securities.