ERC-721 vs ERC-1155: A Guide to NFT Standards
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. What are NFT standards?
  2. Exploring the ERC-721 standard
  3. Exploring the ERC-1155 standard
  4. Differences between ERC-721 and ERC-1155
  5. Use cases of ERC-721
  6. Use cases of ERC-1155
  7. How to choose the right NFT standard?

If you've been dipping your toes in the world of NFTs, you might have come across two terms—ERC-721 and ERC-1155. These are types of NFT token standards that shape how these tokens function. But what are the differences between them, and which one might be the best fit for you? In this guide, we'll explore the fascinating world of NFT token standards: ERC-721 vs ERC-1155, and help you make an informed decision.

What are NFT standards?

Imagine NFT standards as the rulebook that defines how Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) behave on the Ethereum blockchain. These standards are important because they ensure that NFTs work in a predictable way across different platforms.

The most commonly used NFT standards are ERC-721 and ERC-1155. Here's a quick rundown of what they are:

  • ERC-721: This was the first standard developed for NFTs. It's like the grandparent of NFT standards. The CryptoKitties game, which you might have heard about, uses this standard.
  • ERC-1155: This is a more recent standard and it's a bit like a Swiss Army knife. It can handle both NFTs and fungible tokens (like cryptocurrencies). It's used in games like War of Crypta and MyCryptoHeroes.

Now, you might be thinking: "Great, but why do I need to understand these standards?" Well, just like knowing the rules of a board game makes playing more fun, understanding NFT standards can help you make the most of your NFT experience. So, buckle up as we dive deeper into the intriguing world of NFT token standards: ERC-721 vs ERC-1155.

Exploring the ERC-721 standard

Let's take a closer look at ERC-721, the trailblazer of the NFT token standards. ERC-721 allows for the creation of unique, non-replaceable tokens. Each token minted using this standard has an identifier that distinguishes it from every other token—think of it as a unique serial number on a collector's item.

One of the cool things about ERC-721 is that it allows each token to carry unique metadata. This metadata can include details like the name, description, or image of the token. So, if you were creating an NFT art collection, you could use ERC-721 to give each piece of art its unique information.

But remember, being unique comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, ERC-721 tokens can't be bundled or split. That means if you were trading your NFTs, you would have to do it one at a time. It's like selling your comic book collection one comic at a time—can be a bit tedious, right?

Before you decide whether ERC-721 is the NFT standard for you, let's examine its sibling, ERC-1155, in the next section. Understanding the differences and similarities between these two NFT token standards: ERC-721 vs ERC-1155, will help you make an informed decision.

Exploring the ERC-1155 standard

Now, let's turn our attention to ERC-1155, another player in the world of NFT token standards. If ERC-721 is like a one-of-a-kind collector's item, then ERC-1155 is like a versatile, multi-tool Swiss army knife.

ERC-1155 allows for the creation of both fungible and non-fungible tokens. You might wonder, "What does that mean?" Well, fungible tokens are like your typical coins—they're all the same and can be swapped without any difference. Non-fungible tokens, on the other hand, are unique, like each piece of art in a gallery.

The magic of ERC-1155 is that it allows you to create both types of tokens in a single contract. That's like being able to sell unique art pieces and identical coins from the same shop—pretty handy, right?

Another advantage of ERC-1155 is that it allows for batch transactions. Remember how we mentioned that trading ERC-721 tokens can be like selling comic books one by one? With ERC-1155, you can bundle your tokens together and trade them all at once—like selling a whole box of comics in a single go!

However, just like everything else in life, ERC-1155 isn't perfect. For instance, each token doesn't carry its own metadata, unlike ERC-721. So, while ERC-1155 offers flexibility and efficiency, it may not be the best choice if uniqueness is your main focus.

In the next section, we'll dive into the differences between these two NFT token standards: ERC-721 vs ERC-1155 to help you choose the one that fits your needs.

Differences between ERC-721 and ERC-1155

Having explored the individual characteristics of ERC-721 and ERC-1155, it's time to put them side by side and spot the differences. Let's think of this as a friendly game — Team ERC-721 vs Team ERC-1155. Who will be your MVP in the arena of NFT token standards?

First off, let's look at the type of tokens each standard supports. ERC-721 supports only non-fungible tokens. It's like a boutique store where every item is unique and different. On the other hand, ERC-1155 supports both fungible and non-fungible tokens. This is like a supermarket that sells both unique items and common household goods.

Secondly, ERC-721 and ERC-1155 handle metadata differently. In ERC-721, each token carries its own metadata. That's like every item in your store having its own unique tag. On the contrary, ERC-1155 doesn't attach individual metadata to each token. So, if your tokens are like items in a store, they wouldn't have individual price tags in an ERC-1155 contract.

Finally, there's a difference in how the two standards handle transactions. ERC-721 handles transactions one at a time — like selling items one by one. But ERC-1155 allows for batch transactions. It's like having a special offer where customers can buy multiple items in a single transaction.

So, in the face-off of "NFT token standards: ERC-721 vs ERC-1155", it's not about who wins, but about which team suits your game plan better. Ready to make your pick?

Use cases of ERC-721

So, you've decided to learn more about ERC-721? Good choice! ERC-721 has some pretty neat use cases. Picture these scenarios.

Imagine you're an artist who creates one-of-a-kind digital artworks. You want each piece to be unique and owned by one person only. ERC-721 is your friend here. This NFT standard can help you tokenize your artworks, ensuring that each piece is unique and owned independently.

Now, let's say you're a game developer creating a universe full of unique characters. You want each character to have a specific set of traits and abilities. ERC-721 can help you create unique tokens for each character, making each one special in its own way.

Or perhaps you're in the real estate business and want to tokenize properties. Each property is unique, right? With ERC-721, you can create tokens that represent individual properties, making property ownership transfer as easy as sending a text message.

From art to gaming to real estate, ERC-721 is making waves in various industries. So, are you ready to ride the wave of "nft token standards: erc-721 vs erc-1155" and dive into the world of ERC-721?

Use cases of ERC-1155

Now, let's switch gears and talk about ERC-1155. This NFT standard also has some pretty cool applications. Let's dive right into some of the standout use cases.

Think you're a game developer again, but this time, you're creating a game with a mix of unique characters and common items. ERC-1155 has got you covered! This NFT standard allows you to create both unique and fungible tokens within the same contract. Your characters can be distinct, while items like health potions or coins can be identical and interchangeable.

Imagine you're a music producer who wants to sell albums and individual tracks digitally. With ERC-1155, you can tokenize your albums as unique tokens and your tracks as fungible tokens. This way, you can sell a limited number of copies of your album while allowing unlimited purchases of individual tracks.

Or let's say you're the owner of a sports trading card company. ERC-1155 can help you create unique tokens for rare cards and fungible tokens for common cards. This way, you can maintain the scarcity of your rare cards while allowing for the mass production of common cards.

From gaming to music to trading cards, ERC-1155 is revamping the way we do business in the digital world. So, are you excited to explore the "nft token standards: erc-721 vs erc-1155" in the context of ERC-1155?

How to choose the right NFT standard?

So, you're probably wondering: "With these two impressive NFT standards, ERC-721 and ERC-1155, how do I pick the right one for my project?" Well, the answer depends on your specific needs.

If your project involves creating unique, non-fungible tokens where each one has its distinct value, ERC-721 could be the best fit. It's perfect for projects like unique art pieces, real estate properties, or one-off collectibles. It's like a art gallery where each piece is unique and valued differently.

On the other hand, if your project needs a mix of unique and fungible tokens, ERC-1155 might be the better choice. This protocol allows you to create both unique tokens (like rare game characters or limited edition albums) and fungible tokens (like game resources or digital tracks) within the same contract. It's like a supermarket—some items are one-of-a-kind, while others are identical and interchangeable.

At the end of the day, choosing between "nft token standards: erc-721 vs erc-1155" comes down to understanding your project's requirements and figuring out which one fits the bill. Remember, each standard has its strengths and use cases, so go with the one that aligns with your project's vision.

And there you have it! You're now ready to make an informed decision on the right NFT standard for your project. Good luck and happy tokenizing!

If you're intrigued by NFT standards and want to further explore the world of non-fungible tokens, we highly recommend the workshop 'Intro to NFTs' by Andrea Orejarena. This workshop provides a comprehensive introduction to NFTs, their significance in the digital art world, and how you can get started with creating and selling your own NFTs.