Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) And Microsoft Launch Customizable Token Taxonomy Initiative

Microsoft And Ethereum Group Launch Token Customization Project

As much as crypto tokens can be used all over the world, they are not universal in their properties and thus, and not appropriate for all functions. This poses a unique challenge for businesses which make use of blockchain to carry out various functions. They are often in a situation where they look at a specific smart contract, blockchain and so on and seek to appropriate those features for their own unique business needs.

Taking this into consideration, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Microsoft have teamed up to bring together all the major blockchain providers under a single project that will help businesses create the crypto tokens they need specifically.

This movement is being referred to as the Token Taxonomy Initiative and is being hosted by the EEA which focuses mainly on providing uniform standards among Ethereum technology users. Participants in this initiative include Ethereum, Hyperledger, R3 and Digital Assets’ DAML.

Meeting A Need

The initiative was officially announced on April 17, 2019, and includes Accenture, Banco Santander, Blockchain Research Institute, Clearmatics, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, EY, IBM, ING, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Komgo, Microsoft, R3, and Web3 Labs, among others.

The framework, according to the EEA executive director, is open to both tech enthusiasts and others alike. It comprises of workshops and a Github repository where findings and test data is available.

“We are doing this for the greater common good. Standardizing tokens across all networks could hold the key to one of the greatest economic opportunities in modern history,”

he said.

How It Came About

The initial idea for the project came from Marley Gray, the principal architect at Microsoft. He got the inspiration from two different sources. The first source was the fact that he and his team were repeatedly having to deal with questions about software licenses and how they could be tokenized and added to smart contracts. The second source was his involvement in Microsoft’s Azure platform and during that time he came in contact with many people in the industry who were trying to tokenize commodities such as barrels of oil.

As such, a lot of time was spent by Gray and his team repeatedly explaining how these processes worked. The workshop was then designed to help explain this to those who need the information as well as to aid them in customizing the tokens and smart contracts to fit their own needs.

“The idea is to use a workshop with business people to describe a token completely that services their business requirements. That token itself is composed of reusable components so another group can use those same components to define a slightly different token without redefining all the things that initial group did – so it creates this framework,”

Gray said.

How It Works

The project offers the hierarchy of properties for tokens such as transferable and non-transferable, subdivided and none subdivided, mintable and burnable and so on. Anyone who wishes to make use of project may grab and drop a token and then begin to customize based on the available behaviors. The end result is that a business person may customize the token to suit their needs with ease and no code writing is necessary for this to work.

“An individual [token] behavior could point to a snippet of code for a particular platform, i.e. DAML for some particular behavior would link me to a particular piece of DAML code, or the same for Solidity, or Chaincode,”

he said.

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