Understanding Ethereum tokens : ERC1155, ERC20, and ERC721

Posted By : Ajay Singh Jodha | 27-Aug-2021

What is ERC


ERC stands for "Ethereum Request for comment"

It is a standard for creating and publishing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. People can invest in smart properties or tokenized assets created with smart contracts.

ERC is just a standard which is just a template or format that other developers agree to follow. Developers follow the same standard because it makes writing code easier, more predictable, and reusable.

So ERC20 is a standard for creating fungible tokens over Ethereum blockchain,

ERC721 is standard for creating non-fungible tokens over Ethereum blockchain and,

ERC1155 is standard for creating


What is ERC 721 token?


In January 2018, William Entriken, Dieter Shirley, Jacob Evans, and Nastassia Sachs proposed ERC721 (Ethereum Request for Comments 721). It is a Non-Fungible token standard that implements an API for tokens in smart contracts.


ERC 721 is a distant cousin of the ERC20 token in the Ethereum ecosystem.

ERC721 is token standard on Etherirum for NON-FUNGIBLE Tokens (NFTs).

Fungible means mutually interchangeable, it is the ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other individual goods or assets of the same type for example money(INR, USD, etc) is a prime example of a fungible commodity whereas Movie tickets are a good example of non-consumable tokens. A movie ticket is not a ticket for any movie at any time. This is a very specific movie and at a very specific time. So let us take an example in blockchain terms Bitcoin is fungible because any Bitcoin can replace another Bitcoin. On the other hand, every NFT is unique. One NFT cannot replace another.

It can be tokenizes anything unique. This can mean anything from a person’s birth certificate to a moment in history, art, or even rare items in video games.


What is the ERC 1155 token?


In earlier days ERC20 and ERC721 tokens need to implement a new smart contract for each new "category" token but after now ERC1155 can be described as a standard token that can operate like an ERC20 or ERC721 token, or a token stored at the same address at the same time. The best way to describe ERC1155 is to compare it to a vending machine and you can get any type of biscuit, chips, etc from one interface.


The idea is simple and aims to create a smart contract interface that can represent and control any number of fungible and non-fungible token types.


Why Prefer ERC1155 over ERC721 and ERC20


To understand the advantages of ERC1155 we need to understand the limitations of ERC721 and ERC20.


ERC-20 token lacks the way to react to its transfer events. As a result, when users accidentally send tokens to the wrong address, ERC20 tokens will always be trapped in the contract.


ERC-721 tokens also have their own limitations, For example, if you have a set of 10 NFTs that you want to transfer to someone else, the transfer will require you to perform 10 different transactions.


Advantages of ERC1155:


Batch transfer

The ERC1155 standard allows a large number of native transfers of tokens contained in smart contracts. In this way, for example, if we have a series of NFT tokens or fungible tokens (or both), we can transfer multiple of these tokens in the same operation, so that a single operation makes this transfer effective.


Secure token transfer

ERC-1155 token provides a feature for secure token transfer. The standard smart contract contains a function that verifies whether the transaction has been completed, and if it is not completed, it reverts to return control of the token to the issuer.


Use Case: Games


Fungible tokens do not have a unique identity and can be replaced by other identical tokens, just like tokens act as currency. In contrast, non-fungible tokens have unique identities and are irreplaceable. The ERC1155 token standard supports the creation of fungible, semi-fungible, and non-fungible tokens in a single token standard.


As games usually have both types of items fungible and non-fungible.

Let's understand this with an example. In the game, there may be replaceable items "basic armor" (one that others can fit), semi-replaceable limited edition clothing (because they can be worn by a few users), and unique irreplaceable weapons. This is where the ERC1155 token standard comes in, as the developer doesn’t need to deploy separate contracts for fungible and non-fungible tokens.

ERC1155 token will be perfect for this use case because ERC1155 provides Batch transfer, Secure token transfer, and provide a single contract for fungible and non-fungible tokens.



ERC20: https://docs.openzeppelin.com/contracts/3.x/erc20

ERC721: https://docs.openzeppelin.com/contracts/3.x/erc721

ERC1155: https://docs.openzeppelin.com/contracts/3.x/erc1155


About Author

Ajay Singh Jodha

Ajay is a MEAN stack developer and has basic and core programming skills with the knowledge of technologies in Web Development. He is a quick learner and has a keen interest in learning new technology

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