The InterWork Alliance has merged with the Global Blockchain Business Council, becoming an initiative within the GBBC to continue to build its blockchain-agnostic frameworks and standards. 

The IWA was founded in June 2020 by Neo, Microsoft, Accenture, and other industry partners. The association was established to create a series of blockchain-agnostic frameworks that would standardize token definitions and contracts. The IWA’s primary goal was to accelerate enterprise adoption by developing frameworks that businesses could integrate into their processes. The frameworks (for example, the Token Taxonomy Framework) are built to be non-technical and use standard business terms to reduce the complexity and cost of building systems that work with tokens.

The GBBC is an international industry association aiming to further the adoption of blockchain technologies by engaging with regulators, business leaders, and changemakers. It is a Swiss-based non-profit organization that launched in 2017, and is composed of more than 330 institutional members. 

The GBBC’s main strength is in helping shape policy, with access to regulators and policymakers in key areas. Meanwhile, the IWA has built token taxonomy, analytics, and application frameworks, but has yet to scale at a macro level to drive adoption. John deVadoss, NGD Enterprise lead and former Chair of the IWA’s Tools Steering Committee, sees this as a mutually beneficial merger:

The idea being: we want to ensure that the work that is going on with the open protocol standards, schemas, tools, can be at the macro level. We can maximize the utility, maximize the value, maximize the impact.

Upon the merger, deVadoss and other principal IWA Chair members will serve in new roles as the Leadership Council for the IWA Initiative. In deVadoss’ new position, he will also serve on the Board of the GBBC.

Ultimately, the merger is intended to help blockchain technology achieve mainstream adoption. Since joining the Neo ecosystem, deVadoss has used movie theater releases as a metaphor, where mainstream adoption is the movie. In 2019, deVadoss said, “We haven’t seen anything yet. The way they say it is… ‘The trailers play, but the movie is so far away.’”

Today, deVadoss believes that the blockchain industry is at the point where the audience is in the movie theater and the previews are just about to begin. 

deVadoss also noted that he believes the industry has moved into an early adoption mindset, which could lead to many new stories about enterprise adoption over the next three to nine months. He believes that the GBBC and IWA merger will help foster more adoption across verticals. He said, “There is no other organization doing what the IWA is doing today. There is nobody else who is focused on open standards, protocols, and schemas for tokenization.”

The full announcement can be found at the link below: