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This document defines a new IANA registry to keep track of identifiers for currencies or currency-like commodities lying outside the traditional scope of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 4217 alpha-3 standard, such as digital currencies and commodities, currencies issued by countries (nation-states) with limited international recognition, private or commercial currencies, and accounting units for local exchange and trading systems (LETS). Such codes are already in use; the registry simply codifies their existence.

Benefits for Implementers
  • Ensure that your systems remain forward-compatible by supporting both conventional currencies via the ISO4217-A3 standard, and emerging currencies and currency-like commodities, for example:
    • Digital cryptographic currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple and Tonal Bitcoin
    • Various carbon trading commodities, suitable for environmentally responsible / green businesses
    • Commercial currencies such as widespread in-game currencies used by various virtual environments
    • Future currencies and commodities
  • Enable greater global financial connectivity
    • Digital currencies promise a greater market for goods and services that exceeds the traditional credit card or payment processor account-based online payments marketplace. Broaden your market by allowing developing world consumers to pay you directly, cutting out friction and overheads at your online point of sale.
      • Lower overheads
      • Faster settlements
      • Greater liquidity and lower capital tie-up
      • Irreversible customer transactions (forget dealing with credit card chargebacks, high merchant account fees, and other current-era financial infrastructure issues) .. very suitable for the global provision of digital goods and services.
Walter Stanish,
Nov 25, 2012, 6:12 PM