The standard that governs how new cryptographic tokens can be launched on top of the ethereum blockchain has been been finalized.
Revealed today by the open-source project’s developer team, the ERC-20 standard establishes a common set of rules for tokens issued via ethereum smart contracts, and currently serves as the basis for the many tokens that have been released through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The standard has now been formalized on the ethereum GitHub page, meaning that going forward, all tokens built on ethereum should conform to the standard.
ERC-20 was previously unenforced, but it had been readily adopted by token developers since its introduction in late 2015. The standard ensures that ethereum-based tokens perform in a predictable way throughout the ecosystem, such that decentralized applications and smart contracts are interoperable across the platform, and that all tokens follow a fixed standard of security.
A token is a script running on top of the ethereum blockchain, with an associated database keeping track of ether payments. The term has gained widespread use in ICOs, most of which already use ERC-20 tokens.
The development comes as the roadmap for ethereum’s next major upgrade, Metropolis, becomes clearer. Developers revealed last week that a new testnet will be launched a week from now.
Pending the success of that process, ethereum’s actual upgrade could come as early as October.