Bringing Order to the Token Universe — ITSA adopts CAIP-19 Standard

How to distinguish forks

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most popular cryptocurrencies out there. Success always attracts imitators, so it’s no surprise that some of their biggest competitors are forks based on almost identical source code, such as Litecoin or the Binance Smart Chain. The fact that the code of Ethereum and that of the Binance Smart Chain are very similar increases compatibility, but at the same time, also the probability of making a mistake since the structure and terminology are very similar.

A table of ITIN integration in the forked blockchains
Figure 1: ITIN implementation on forked blockchains

Tokenbase adopts CAIP-19 standard

Chain agnostic improvement proposal 19, short CAIP-19, is an open-source standard that defines a way to identify a type of asset (e.g., Bitcoin, Ether, ATOM) and an asset ID (for a non-fungible token) in a human-readable, developer and transaction friendly-way. Currently, each wallet or exchange needs to create its own registry of types of assets and their associated metadata, for example, Trust-Wallet or CoinMarketCap. By providing a unique asset type and an asset ID, developers can reduce the risk of confusion between different assets. For better understanding, we have prepared an example that illustrates the identification of a CryptoKitties NFT.

  1. For the exact identification of the NFT, we must first define its ecosystem. In this case, we know that the KryptoKitties NFTs are located on the Ethereum blockchain. Therefore, the identification starts with EIP155 as the common denominator for all EVM-compatible blockchains.
  2. In the next step, we need to find the matching ChainID and link it to the ecosystem. For the Ethereum mainnet, the ChainID is 1, so we get EIP155:1.
  3. Now we have to select the token standard. For fungible tokens, it is usually the ERC-20 standard; for non-fungible tokens, the ERC-721 standard. Since the KryptoKitties are NFTs, the CAIP standard needs to be extended by ERC-721, so we obtain EIP155:1/ERC-721.
  4. Afterwards, the NFTs’ smart contract address must be appended, which gives us EIP155:1/ERC-721:0x06012c8cf97BEaD5deAe237070F9587f8E7A266d.
  5. Lastly, we need to add the token ID since the CryptoKitties NFTs are a multi-token contract. So there is one smart contract address for over 2 million CryptoKitties NFTs. If we add the token ID, we get EIP155:1/ERC-721:0x06012c8cf97BEaD5deAe237070F9587f8E7A266d/771769.
A chart of the CAIP-19 integration with a multi-token contract in five steps
Figure 2: CAIP-19 identification with a multitoken contract
Example CAPI-19 Tokenbase entry
Figure 3: Tokenbase interface showing the Bitcoin identification according to CAIP-19

The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V.

The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V. is a not-for-profit association of German law that aims at promoting the development and implementation of comprehensive market standards for the identification, classification, and analysis of DLT- and blockchain-based cryptographic tokens. As an independent industry membership body, ITSA unites over 100 international associated founding members from various interest groups. In order to increase transparency and safety on global token markets, ITSA currently develops and implements the International Token Identification Number (ITIN) as a market standard for the identification of cryptographic tokens, the International Token Classification (ITC) as a standard framework for the classification of cryptographic tokens according to their inherent characteristics. ITSA then adds the identified and classified token to the world’s largest register for tokens in our Tokenbase.

  • The International Token Identification Number (ITIN) is a 9-digit alphanumeric technical identifier for both fungible and non-fungible DLT-based tokens. Thanks to its underlying Uniform Token Locator (UTL), ITIN presents a unique and fork-resilient identification of tokens. The ITIN also allows for the connecting and matching of other media and data to the token, such as legal contracts or price data, and increases safety and operational transparency when handling these tokens.
  • The International Token Classification (ITC) is a multi-dimensional, expandable framework for the classification of tokens. Current dimensions include technological, economic, legal, and regulatory dimensions with multiple sub-dimensions. By mid-2021, there will be at least two new dimensions added, including a tax dimension. So far, our classification framework has been applied to 99% of the token market according to market capitalization of classified tokens.
  • ITSA’s Tokenbase currently holds data on over 4000 tokens. Tokenbase is a holistic database for the analysis of tokens and combines our identification and classification data with market and blockchain data from external providers. Third-party data of several partners is already integrated, and API access is also in development.


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Bringing Order to the Token Universe — ITSA adopts CAIP-19 Standard — Article cover image



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International Token Standardization Association

International Token Standardization Association


The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) is a not for profit organization working on holistic market standards for the global token economy.