General Assembly 2021: What’s next for ITSA?

On October 1, 2021, ITSA held its general assembly, elected a new executive board and decided on a new strategic alignment for 2022 that will facilitate the acceptance of ITSA’s market standards on a global level. For the upcoming year, the focus will be on the security token market and the continuously expanding DeFi sector. The regulatory requirements for security tokens are high, creating the need for profound market standards such as ITIN and ITC to clearly identify and classify the respective assets. The DeFi sector, on the other hand, has been growing at a rapid pace since its emergence, shaping a completely new type of financial services. However, the rapid expansion and the increasing interchain operability has led to an opaque and hard to navigate market that requires transparency to protect consumers and to help institutions to get a grip on the newly offered services. Therefore, ITSA will engage with both markets to acquire the necessary feedback to evolve the standardization projects and to distribute them among market participants.

ITIN and Tokenbase integrated in several use cases

Figure 1: Automated product information sheet with ITIN and ITC assignment

If you want to learn more about ITIN and Tokenbase, check out our Github repository and our public Tokenbase website. The Github repository can be accessed via https://github.com/itsaglobal/itin and the Tokenbase via https://api.itsa.global/search-tokens.

ITC expanded by four dimensions

For the economic dimensions, the ITC working group decided upon the Type of Maximum Supply and the Mode of Origination. The Type of Maximum Supply distinguishes between flexible and fixed maximum supplies. Ethereum’s move to burn the base fee of every transaction has created a deflationary force, which counters the inflation of the newly issued Ether tokens that have been awarded to the miners for the creation of new blocks. Since the introduction of the burn process, Ethereum’s issuance of new tokens has drastically slowed down and even created deflationary tendencies on particular days. The more dynamic approach regarding the maximum supply of tokens showcases how the market develops and novel economic concepts find use. The second economic dimension, the Mode of Origination, focuses on the primary issuance of a token. While a first analysis of the top 50 tokens by market capitalization has proven that token sales are the most prominent form for token allocations, alternative types like airdrops or the wrapping of tokens have surged with the expansion of DeFi and the increasing interoperability of ecosystems like Avalanche, Solana and Fantom.

The new technological dimension Consensus Mechanism focuses on the consensus type for the underlying ledger. Yet, Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake have been among the most prominent consensus mechanisms due to their high level of security and decentralization. However, apart from Proof-based Consensus Mechanisms, Voting-based Consensus Mechanisms like Cosmos’ Tendermint, Honey Badger’s BFT and Fantom’s aBFT enjoy growing acceptance. Voting-based consensus mechanisms are not entirely new, they have been used since the 1980s. Nevertheless, the quest for more scalability has created an emerging interest in their functionality which convinced ITSA to offer clarity in that regard.

Last, we have the legal dimension Taxes, which follows the OECD guidelines for the taxation of virtual currencies and differentiates between Conventional Assets Tokens and New Asset Tokens. Conventional Asset Tokens entail tokenized securities such as equity and debt but also Pegged-Payment Tokens like Tether or USD Coin. New Asset Tokens on the other hand comprise the asset class of true cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin. Bitcoin, however, could now also be seen as a Conventional Asset Token since it has become legal tender in El Salvador, making it an official foreign exchange for third countries.

For next year, ITSA will engage in talks with its members to decide on newly added dimensions and Categories/Subcategories/Classes/Subclasses. If you are interested in contributing to the process of developing the ITC, you are always welcome to participate in the ITC working group. To do so, send an email at team@itsa.global. The current version of the ITC can be accessed via the following link: https://bit.ly/3uHfxc5.

ITSA’s new Executive Board

Figure 2: The newly elected Executive Board of ITSA

Prof. Philipp Sandner is head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC) at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. His expertise includes blockchain technology in general, crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the digital programmable Euro, tokenization of assets and rights and digital identity. The FSBC advises financial organizations, industrial corporations and startups concerning their blockchain activities.

Prof. Agata Ferreira is an assistant professor at the Warsaw University of Technology and a guest professor at a number of other academic institutions. She studied law in four different jurisdictions, under common and civil law systems. Agata practiced law in the U.K. financial sector for over a decade in a leading law firm and in an investment bank. She is a member of a panel of experts at the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and a member of an advisory council for Blockchain for Europe.

Constantin Ketz has been the driving force behind ITSA since its inception. He laid the groundwork for the ITIN and ITC and shaped the association’s image fundamentally. His expertise includes public policies, tokenized securities, market standards and DeFi. He is active in the ISO working group and represents ITSA in the product advisory committee of the Digital Token Identifier Foundation. In addition, he is co-founder of the technology-driven securities structuring, issuance and servicing platform Cadeia Capital.

Peter Eulberg is CEO & Co-Founder of Anyblock Analytics, a blockchain solution provider that helps businesses to integrate blockchain in their business processes by providing methods, tools and data. Moreover, his company has been a founding association of the popular Ethereum sidechain xDai chain and has supported ITSA in building the necessary IT infrastructure. His expertise will be beneficial for the strategic alignment of our projects as well as their implementation.

Nils Bundi is CPO & Co-Founder of atpar, a provider of frictionless API to a complex set of technologies which reduces time to market to an absolute minimum. Atpar’s services help to automate and scale the servicing of digital securities across asset classes. Nils is the driving force behind the ITIN and developed the technological foundation of the Uniform Token Locator. His expertise enabled the success of the ITIN as a globally applied identifier.

Klaus Himmer is Co-Founder of CryptoTax. As assistant manager at KPMG Germany, he advised banks, investment management companies and other financial service providers on questions of product and corporate taxation. Since 2017 Klaus Himmer has been a tax expert at the Blockchain Center of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as well as an active member of several national and international industry associations. In addition, he works as a tax associate at Flick Gocke Schaumburg and is an advisor at Blockchain Founders Group.

Benjamin Horvath is managing director of BLOCKROCKET, an accelerator for blockchain startups that offers an exclusive ecosystem to help startups, corporates, and investors to leverage the potential of blockchain technology, through shared co-working spaces across multiple cities in the DACH region. He is an integral part of Berlin’s venture capital space and has successfully funded several blockchain startups that shape today’s blockchain ecosystem.

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

  • 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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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.