ERC-721 and ERC-1155 – Head To Head Comparison
What Are These Ethereum's NFT Standards and How Do They Differ?
If you’ve been paying attention to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, you’ve probably heard of NFTs – non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital assets that are gaining popularity for their use in everything from art to gaming. However, with so many different NFT standards like ERC-721 or ERC-20, it can be confusing to understand the differences and choose the right one for your project.
In this article, we’ll compare several popular NFT standards head-to-head, including ERC-721 and ERC-1155, to help you understand the key differences and decide which standard is right for your needs. We’ll also touch on other important standards like ERC-20 and ERC-777, as well as newer standards like ERC-2981 and ERC-1967.
Let’s get started!
ERC-721 is a non-fungible token (NFT) standard developed on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017 by William Entriken, Dieter Shirley, Jacob Evans, and Nastassia Sachs. Unlike fungible tokens such as ERC-20, ERC-721 tokens are unique and indivisible, representing one-of-a-kind assets such as collectibles, digital art, and virtual real estate.
ERC-721 is important because it enables the creation and ownership of digital assets with provable scarcity and ownership, which was previously impossible in the digital world. Before ERC-721, there was no standardized way to create unique, non-interchangeable tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-721 tokens have been used for various applications, from gaming and virtual worlds to digital art and real estate.
The ERC-721 standard defines a set of functions that smart contracts must implement to create and manage non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-721 tokens can be traded and transferred between users, and their ownership is tracked on the blockchain.
ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard for creating both fungible and non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, developed by Enjin in 2018. It is unique because it allows for creating multiple token types in a single smart contract, which is more efficient regarding gas usage and contract complexity than creating separate contracts for each token type.
Compared to other NFT standards like ERC-721, ERC-1155 offers more flexibility in creating fungible and non-fungible tokens, making it well-suited for use cases such as gaming and collectibles where both types of tokens may be required. The ERC-1155 standard also enables the creation of batch transfers, which can greatly reduce gas costs and improve efficiency when transferring multiple tokens at once. Additionally, it includes built-in support for on-chain atomic swaps, which enables the seamless and trustless exchange of tokens between users.
The ERC-1155 standard is important for its ability to create multiple token types in a single contract, reducing gas costs and improving efficiency while providing flexibility for a wide range of use cases.
Head To Head Comparison of ERC-721, ERC-1155, ERC-20, and other NFT Standards
|NFT Standard||Type||Functionality||Gas Fees||Interoperability||Adoption||Smart Contract Complexity|
|ERC-721||Non-Fungible Token||Creates unique and indivisible tokens||High||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Widely adopted||Easy to use|
|ERC-1155||Multi Token||Creates both fungible and non-fungible tokens||Low to moderate||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Gaining adoption||More complex than ERC-721|
|ERC-20||Fungible Token||Creates interchangeable tokens||Low||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Widely adopted||Easy to use|
|ERC-777||Advanced Token||Adds advanced features like operator overloading and token hooks||Moderate||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Moderate adoption||More complex than ERC-20|
|ERC-998||Composable Non-Fungible Token||Enables nesting of non-fungible tokens||High||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Limited adoption||Complex for developers|
|ERC-2981||NFT Royalty||Enables the collection of royalties on secondary sales||Low||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Limited adoption||Easy to use|
|ERC-1400||Security Token||Enables compliance with securities regulations||High||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Limited adoption||Complex for developers|
|ERC-1967||Upgradeable Smart Contract Proxy||Enables smart contract upgrades without changing contract addresses||Low||Compatible with most wallets and exchanges||Limited adoption||Complex for developers|
Detailed Comparison of ERC-721 and ERC-1155 Ethereum’s NFT Standards
ERC-721 and ERC-1155 are two of the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) standards on the Ethereum blockchain. The main difference between the two lies in their functionality. ERC-721 is a standard for creating unique, one-of-a-kind assets on the blockchain. It’s best suited for use cases such as digital art or collectibles, where each asset must be distinct. On the other hand, ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard that allows for the creation of fungible and non-fungible tokens in a single contract. This makes it well-suited for use cases such as gaming, where both types of tokens may be required. Additionally, ERC-1155 supports batch transfers, which can greatly reduce gas costs and improve efficiency when transferring multiple tokens simultaneously.
ERC-721 is best for unique, one-of-a-kind assets, while ERC-1155 is better suited for use cases requiring multiple token types or batch transfers.
When it comes to gas fees, ERC-721 and ERC-1155 have some key differences. ERC-721 tokens are typically more expensive to transfer than ERC-1155 tokens due to their unique, one-of-a-kind nature. Each ERC-721 token requires a separate transaction, which can add up quickly when transferring multiple tokens. ERC-1155 tokens, on the other hand, support batch transfers, allowing transfer of multiple tokens in a single transaction. This can greatly reduce gas costs and improve efficiency, especially when transferring large tokens. In addition, ERC-1155 also supports “lazy minting” which allows new tokens to be minted and transferred without requiring a separate transaction for each one. This can further reduce gas costs and make ERC-1155 a more cost-effective choice for projects with high token transfer volumes.
Regarding gas fees, ERC-1155 has the advantage over ERC-721 for projects with a high volume of token transfers.
Flexibility in creating both fungible and non-fungible tokens
In terms of flexibility in creating both fungible and non-fungible tokens, ERC-1155 has a significant advantage over ERC-721. ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard that allows for creating of fungible and non-fungible tokens within the same contract. This means that developers can create a single contract that supports multiple token types, which can greatly simplify their project’s architecture and reduce development costs. Additionally, ERC-1155 allows for the creation of semi-fungible tokens, which have characteristics of both fungible and non-fungible tokens. This can be useful in creating tokens with varying rarity levels or unique attributes, such as collectibles or game items. In contrast, ERC-721 is a non-fungible token standard that is limited to creating only non-fungible tokens. While ERC-721 tokens have unique properties that make them ideal for certain use cases, they need more flexibility to make them more suitable for projects that require creating fungible and non-fungible tokens.
Regarding flexibility in creating fungible and non-fungible tokens, ERC-1155 is the superior choice.
Interoperability with other NFT standards and platforms
Both ERC-721 and ERC-1155 have different levels of interoperability with other NFT standards and platforms. ERC-721 is compatible with other ERC-721 tokens, which means it has limited interoperability with other NFT standards. It also has limited interoperability with decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and wallets. On the other hand, ERC-1155 has higher interoperability with other NFT standards and platforms. It allows for the creation of fungible and non-fungible tokens within the same contract, which means it can be used in a wider range of applications. Additionally, it is compatible with other ERC-1155 tokens, as well as ERC-20 tokens, which makes it more versatile for integrating into DEXs and wallets. In terms of interoperability, ERC-1155 has an advantage over ERC-721.
Level of adoption and community support
When it comes to the level of adoption and community support, both ERC-721 and ERC-1155 have gained significant traction in the NFT market. ERC-721 is one of the earliest NFT standards and has been widely used for creating unique, one-of-a-kind digital assets. Many popular NFT games, such as CryptoKitties, have used the ERC-721 standard. On the other hand, ERC-1155 is a newer standard that has gained popularity due to its ability to create both fungible and non-fungible tokens. The standard has been adopted by several major NFT projects, such as Enjin and My Crypto Heroes. However, ERC-721 still has a larger community and more extensive adoption due to its longer history.
In this regard, ERC-721 is currently more widely adopted and has a more extensive community of developers and enthusiasts.
Smart contract complexity and ease of use for developers
Smart contract complexity and ease of use are crucial factors to consider when comparing ERC-721 and ERC-1155. ERC-721’s smart contract is relatively simple, making it easier for developers, especially those with limited experience in developing smart contracts. However, this simplicity can also be a disadvantage, as it limits the contract’s functionality. In contrast, ERC-1155’s smart contract is more complex, offering a greater range of functions for developers to utilize in creating NFTs.
Developers can customize their tokens using the same contract, resulting in fewer smart contracts on the blockchain. This flexibility is possible because of the ERC-1155 smart contract’s multiple token designs, allowing developers to create both fungible and non-fungible tokens within a single smart contract. ERC-721, on the other hand, only enables developers to create non-fungible tokens. While this limitation makes ERC-721 more straightforward, it also hinders its flexibility.
ERC-1155’s smart contract’s complexity and flexibility make it more challenging to use for inexperienced developers but provide more options for creating custom tokens. In contrast, ERC-721’s simpler smart contract limits its functionality but is easier to use. Therefore, choosing between ERC-721 and ERC-1155 will ultimately depend on the specific needs of the project and the developers’ experience level.
Security and vulnerabilities
In terms of security and vulnerabilities, ERC-721 and ERC-1155 have different strengths and weaknesses. ERC-721 is a simpler standard and has been around longer, so its code has been audited more thoroughly. However, it still has some vulnerabilities, such as the possibility of a token being duplicated. On the other hand, ERC-1155 has a more complex architecture, but it has been designed with security in mind. Its batch transfer function reduces the number of transactions required to move tokens, reducing the risk of front-running attacks. Additionally, its fungible tokens are more secure than those of ERC-20, which can be vulnerable to reentrancy attacks. While ERC-721 is more straightforward, ERC-1155 is more secure due to its more advanced design and focus on security.
Scalability and transaction throughput
Scalability and transaction throughput are critical factors in adopting any blockchain-based technology. ERC-1155 is built with the concept of batch transfers, which reduces the number of transactions required to send multiple tokens. Batch transfers help in increasing transaction throughput and lowering gas fees. On the other hand, ERC-721 is less scalable, as each token has a unique identifier that requires a separate transaction to transfer or interact with. This results in higher gas fees and slower transaction processing times.
In terms of scalability and transaction throughput, ERC-1155 is a more efficient standard compared to ERC-721, as it allows for batch transfers and reduces the number of transactions required for multiple token transfers. Therefore, developers looking to create blockchain-based games or applications that involve the transfer of multiple tokens may prefer ERC-1155 due to its higher scalability and more efficient use of gas fees.
Use cases and applications
ERC-721 and ERC-1155 are both NFT standards on the Ethereum blockchain, but they have unique use cases and applications. One of the most popular use cases for ERC-721 is in the gaming industry. Games like CryptoKitties and Axie Infinity use ERC-721 tokens to represent unique and collectible game assets. These assets can be traded or sold on marketplaces, and their rarity and uniqueness make them valuable to players and collectors alike.
On the other hand, ERC-1155 is ideal for gaming platforms that require both fungible and non-fungible tokens. This standard is appropriate for play to earn games that require you to earn in-game rewards which you can use to purchase other items within the game. For example, Enjin’s platform uses ERC-1155 tokens to represent in-game items and currency that are compatible across different games.
In terms of technical comparison, ERC-721 tokens are easier to implement. However, ERC-1155 tokens are more efficient regarding gas usage and allow for greater flexibility in creating fungible and non-fungible tokens. Both standards have their own unique strengths and applications. ERC-721 is more commonly used for individual, non-fungible items, while ERC-1155 is better suited for gaming platforms that require both fungible and non-fungible tokens.
Future development roadmap and updates
In terms of future development, both ERC-721 and ERC-1155 are actively getting regular updates and improvements by their respective communities. ERC-721 has seen less frequent updates recently, as it has already established itself as a popular NFT standard. However, ongoing efforts are still to improve its functionality, such as the proposal for ERC-721x, which would add batch transfer capabilities.
ERC-1155 is a relatively new standard and is still undergoing active development. The Enjin team, who proposed the standard, continues to work on improving it and adding new features. One notable example is their recent proposal for ERC-1155 v2, which aims to make the standard even more efficient and flexible. Both standards have a bright future. They are going to evolve and improve in the coming days. However, given the active development and proposals for new features, ERC-1155 may have a slight edge regarding its potential for future growth and adoption.
Which One Should You Choose? ERC-721 or ERC-1155
When choosing between ERC-721 and ERC-1155, it’s important to consider the type of asset you are creating. ERC-721 is ideal for unique, one-of-a-kind assets like art, collectibles, or real estate. It ensures that the asset is truly one-of-a-kind and provides strong assurance of ownership and exclusivity. If you want to create a fungible asset like gaming tokens or in-game currency, ERC-1155 may be more efficient. It allows for creating both non-fungible and fungible tokens within the same smart contract, saving gas fees and providing easier management.
It’s worth noting that ERC-1155 is a more recent standard and may not be as widely supported by platforms and wallets as ERC-721. However, the popularity of ERC-1155 is growing, and many developers are choosing it for its efficiency and flexibility. Ultimately, the choice between ERC-721 and ERC-1155 depends on the specific requirements of your NFT project. It’s important to consider factors like ownership assurance, gas fees, and interoperability when making your decision.
The ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards have paved the way for a new era of digital asset ownership and trading. Both standards have their own unique strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for different use cases. ERC-721 is the better choice for creating unique, one-of-a-kind assets, while ERC-1155 is more efficient for creating fungible assets like gaming tokens. As the NFT market continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see further developments and updates to these standards, as well as the emergence of new ones. It’s an exciting time for the world of NFTs, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.