ITSA now supports Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

Berlin, August 5, 2021 — The International Token Standardization Association released a list with the top 10 BEP-20 tokens by market capitalization in the Tokenbase. BSC tokens are compliant with the BEP-20 standard. Since BEP-20 and ERC-20 are almost identical, BSC is compatible with both. BSC is a hard fork of the Go Ethereum (Geth) protocol, which is why there are a number of similarities between Ethereum and BSC. However, BSC developers have made significant changes in some key areas. The largest change is BSC’s consensus mechanism, which allows for cheaper and faster transactions. In consequence, the BSC-based DeFi project PancakeSwap has reached over 200,000 active daily users and a daily trading volume of over 300M$, ranking it second after UniSwap V3.

Authors: Christian Viehof, Maximilan Bruckner

The rise of Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain was launched in September 2020 as a parallel blockchain to Binance Chain. It enabled the creation of smart contracts and a staking mechanism for the native token of both blockchains, Binance Coin (BNB). BSC is an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible chain, which means that the network uses similar logic to the Ethereum blockchain. However, the main difference is decentralization. BSC is quite centralized and employs a proof-of-stake authority consensus mechanism. Instead of having validators across the network like Ethereum, BSC only utilizes 21 validators that are chosen from the network and are responsible for the validation of new blocks. Having only 21 validators on the network makes it highly centralized in comparison to other blockchains. In its eleven-month existence, a lot of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects have been built on it, the most popular being the decentralized exchange (DEX) PancakeSwap with its token CAKE.

Figure 1: Total trading volume of the most prominent DEXs (Source:

Like many other DEXs, PancakeSwap is built on an automated market maker (AMM) system, which relies on user-fueled liquidity pools to enable trades. Rather than dealing with an order book and finding someone else who wants to swap the tokens you have for the ones you want, users lock their tokens into a liquidity pool via smart contracts. That allows you to make the swap you want, and users who keep their coins in the pool earn rewards in the form of CAKE all the while. PancakeSwap is part of the rising wave of DeFi services that enable crypto traders to conduct transactions with trade tokens without a middleman taking a significant cut of the funds. In terms of daily volume, PancakeSwap is reportedly the second-largest decentralized exchange behind Uniswap while having by far the most active users as can be seen in figure 1.

Binance Smart Chain list added to Tokenbase

As blockchain technology and adoption advances, the need for interoperation between different platforms is ever more necessary. Token bridges will be an essential way of networking the different blockchains. The current developments in cross-chain interoperability validate the ITIN’s underlying assumption that each token needs to be identified on a token layer instead of an asset layer. Binance Coin and wrapped Binance Coin for example represent the same asset but they still look different from a technological perspective. Binance Coin (BNB) is the native token of the Binance Chain and the Binance Smart Chain while wrapped Binance Coin (wBNB) is an application layer token that runs on top of Ethereum and Tron and is connected across the networks via the Binance Bridge.

Our recent article about USDC also showcased why it is important to identify tokens on a token layer instead of an asset layer, as each of those USDC tokens runs on a different blockchain with an individual token address creating the need for additional identifiers. The Binance Smart Chain Tokenbase list, as seen in figure 2, will be updated and expanded over the upcoming months. The Binance Smart Chain and in particular PancakeSwap, just like USDC, prove that identifiers such as the ITIN will be a necessity for future digital assets, especially as interchain operability and the expansion of liquidity pools progresses.

Figure 2: Tokenbase list with top 10 BEP-20 tokens by market capitalization (Source:

The classification of PancakeSwap (CAKE) according to the ITC:

Figure 3: The PancakeSwap (CAKE) Tokenbase entry (Source:

Economic Purpose (EEP): PancakeSwap is listed as a Settlement and Governance Token (EEP22TU03) due to its design as a means of collateral combined with governance functionality.

Industry Type (EIN): The issuer of PancakeSwap is active in the field of Decentralized Exchanges, Markets and Market Making (EIN06DF01).

Technological Setup (TTS): PancakeSwap runs under the Binance BEP-20 Standard (TTS42BN02) as an application layer token on top of the Binance Smart Chain.

Legal Clam (LLC): PancakeSwap does not entitle its holder to any legal claim or rights against the issuer, therefore it is listed as a No-Claim Token (LLC31).

Issuer Type (LIT): The dimension “Issuer Type” provides information on the nature of the issuer of the token. In the case of PancakeSwap, the issuer has been assigned to the subcategory Application Layer Protocol (LIT62AL), which captures issuers of tokens represented by application layer protocols implementing an application layer token on top of a distributed ledger while running autonomously without being owned or governed by a legal entity.

Regulatory Framework (EU) (REU): The dimension “Regulatory Status EU” provides information of the potential classification of a token according to the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA, Regulation Proposal COM/2020/593 final). PancakeSwap qualifies as an Utility Token (REU52) according to the definition provided in Article 3 (5) of Regulation Proposal COM/2020/593 final.

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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Christian Viehof is an Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He completed his Bachelor in Economics at the University of Bonn, the Hong Kong University and the London School of Economics and Political Science with a focus on Behavioral Economics and Finance. Currently pursuing his Master of Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via and connect with him on Linkedin, if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any open questions.

Maximilian Bruckner is Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He has a strong international background with significant time spent in Spain, South Africa, and Canada. Currently pursuing studies at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via and connect on LinkedIn if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any other open questions.



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.