UPDATED 22:53 EDT / JUNE 02 2020

interwork BLOCKCHAIN

New InterWork Alliance that includes IBM and Microsoft aims to standardize distributed applications

A new nonprofit group called the InterWork Alliance launched today to create standards frameworks for token-enabled ecosystems.

The platform-neutral alliance includes among its members a large collection of big technology companies, financial institutions and blockchain startups, including IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Accenture plc. Marley Gray, principal architect for Azure blockchain and a Microsoft board member, is the alliance’s inaugural chairperson. Ron Resnick from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is the president.

The Interwork Alliance has been established to standardize distributed applications. Alliance members accept that these co-called dApps have the potential to disrupt global economics, but the wide-scale availability of different platform types has stalled web-scale adoption of tokenized assets.

Standardization, the alliance argues, would allow companies to be able to agree on distributed business models without choosing a platform first. The InterWork Alliance will set the standards for building distributed applications, including appropriate frameworks for tokenizing items of value, writing contracts over those tokens and privacy-preserving analytics of multiparty data.

The standards include frameworks needed for businesses to create standardized token definitions and contracts in non-technical business terms and then turn them over to developers for coding on any platform of choice.

“Companies want to be able to create token-based business models without having a platform technology in mind. For this approach to work, standards are urgently needed around defining what a token is and how its contractual behaviors will work,” Resnick said in a statement. “The Alliance was created to serve as the organization where this essential work happens. By bringing great technology and innovative business leaders together to deliver the market-driven specifications needed to facilitate interworking, the Alliance can deliver a proven, standard approach that is required to bring consumer trust into this space.”

Other members of the alliance include Amberdata Inc., Blockchain Technology Partners Ltd., Calastone Ltd., SmartContract Chainlink Ltd., DEKRA Automonil GmbH, Digital Asset Holdings LLC, DLA Piper LLP, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Envision Blockchain Solutions, HACERA, Hedera Hashgraph, ING Groep NV, Nasdaq, Neo Global Development, R3 HoldCo LLC, SIX Digital Exchange, Tokensoft Inc., UBS Group AG, Web3 Labs Ltd., among others.

Associate members of the group include 2Tokens, Blockchain Research Institute, British Blockchain Association, Cloud Security Alliance, DID Alliance, Global Blockchain Business Council, Global Digital Finance, Hyderabad Blockchain District, Hyperledger, International Token Standardization Association, Washington Technology Industry Association, Cascadia Blockchain Council and others.

The alliance, already large at launch, is inviting other interested companies and organizations to join it. The alliance’s first webinar, Introduction to the InterWork Alliance — Simplifying the World of Token-Powered Digital Interchange, is scheduled for June 22.

Image: Interwork Alliance/Facebook

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