A common language for digital currencies

New standard for digital token identifier keeps everyone on the same spreadsheet.

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Tagged as Finance
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With the rise in popularity of decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, there is also an increased need for a common language to facilitate their safe and secure use. Digital token identifiers (DTIs) fulfil this role so long as they are the same for everyone. A new International Standard has just been developed to ensure that they are. 

ISO 24165-1, Digital token identifier (DTI) – Registration, assignment and structure – Part 1: Method for registration and assignment, defines the assignment and generation of a random, unique, fixed-length identifier for digital tokens in response to a request for registration that conforms to specified application guidelines.

The standard is complemented by ISO 24165-2, Digital token identifier (DTI) – Registration, assignment and structure – Part 2: Data elements for registration, which defines the data elements included in the registry record and used to establish the 1:1 relationship between a digital token and the identifier, assigned according to the method in ISO 24165-1.

Dominique Tanner, Chair of the group of experts that developed ISO 24165, said that with no standard to uniquely identify the tokens and no governing body, the industry has ended up with many duplicate tickers.

“Bitcoin, for example, has been traditionally identified as BTC, but XBT has also come into use,” he said.

“Users and serious players need a random, unique, unambiguous, publicly available and fixed-length identifier for fungible digital tokens. ISO 24165 is the answer to this need.”

The standard will be implemented by Etrading Software, the registration authority of ISO 24165, which will issue digital token identifiers and maintain them in a publicly accessible central register on their website.

ISO 24165, Parts 1 and 2, was developed by ISO subcommittee SC 8, Reference data for financial services, of technical committee ISO/TC 68, Financial services. The secretariat of ISO/TC 68/SC 8 is held by SNV, ISO’s member for Switzerland.

The standard can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.