The Ethereum blockchain and cryptocurrency world is complicated, but it gets easier to understand when you’re aware of the basics – like ERC token standards. These standards determine how everything built on the Ethereum blockchain works, but they tend to be inflexible and must stick to their predetermined function. As a result, many different ERC token standards or protocols exist.
Two of the most common protocols are the ERC-1155 and the ERC-1337. These standards aid financial transactions and purchases made on decentralized apps (dApps) or cryptocurrency exchanges. But how do these two differ? And what exactly is an ERC token standard, anyway? Keep reading to find out.
What Are ERC Token Standards?
An ERC token standard is two things: an interface (something that allows you to interact with the blockchain) and a set of rules. It can also be described as a bundle of features with smart contracts that enable it to execute functions within a predetermined set of tasks. Because individual token standards tend to be relatively rigid and must be compatible with other protocols, developers constantly create new smart contracts and standards.
If you’re interested in learning more about different kinds of token standards, check out our other comparisons:
How ERC Token Standards Are Developed
ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, a term borrowed from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This “request for comment” results from committee drafting and review by everyone who wants to be involved – which hints at the development process behind an ERC token standard. So how exactly do standards emerge from the Ethereum blockchain?
The answer is the Ethereum Improvement Proposal or EIP. These EIPs are technical design documents that provide a detailed list of functions for a new feature on the Ethereum blockchain. Also included are the rationale and code necessary for implementation. Once a developer submits their EIP for evaluation by everyone else in the community, it can be approved or denied.
There are many kinds of EIPs, and ERC token standards fall under the Standards Track EIP category. This slice of EIPs encompasses any change that impacts the majority of Ethereum implementations. ERC token standards, in particular, are application-level conventions that can be powerful tools for improving the overall user experience.
What Is The ERC-1155 Token Standard?
The ERC-1155 token standard is known as the multi-token, “fungibility-agnostic” standard because of its ability to manage several token types at once. That means an individual contract can hold any combination of assets: non-fungible tokens (NFTs), semi-fungible tokens (SFTs), and fungible tokens (FTs).
How Does The ERC-1155 Token Standard Work?
Instead of assigning every asset transfer to a single transaction, the ERC-1155 protocol batches several assets together to save on costs and make everything more energy and time-efficient. This was built to improve the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards, with each only covering one part of the ERC-1155’s functions. Specifically, the ERC-20 protocol is a set of standards for fungible tokens, with the ERC-721 focusing on non-fungible tokens.
These older protocols also hold a large amount of redundant bytecode, requiring more power from the systems involved in the transaction.
The Main Disadvantage Of The ERC-1155 Token Standard
While the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this protocol may sound unmatched, it does come at a (relatively small) price. Because the ERC-1155 standard batches different assets together, some of the metadata is lost in the process. As a result, users will be unable to locate or “query” the owners of specific NFTs. But why is this the case?
As we mentioned earlier, every protocol follows a set of rules carried out by smart contracts. Each function is hard-coded into the standard, with everything looping into a neat flowchart. Because this protocol seeks to cut down on redundant processing, it simplifies the steps necessary to make a transaction and batches assets into one smart contract. That said, this simplification is where the info-trimming comes into play.
The ERC-1155 protocol has a very high upper limit of assets that can be contained within one smart contract to accommodate these large transactions. To save on space, it records only the most essential bits of data, which means that users won’t be able to find the original owner of a single NFT. Doing so would require a tremendous amount of power given the sheer volume of assets within a smart contract – which is in direct conflict with its efficiency goal.
Implementations Of ERC-1155
The ERC-1155 is a flexible protocol, which means it can lay the foundations for many kinds of dApps and projects. Here are some of the most popular implementations of this token standard.
Enjin And Minecraft
The ERC-1155 protocol finds its best use case in blockchain gaming ang gamified dApps, and the development platform Enjin is leading the charge. Enjin has enabled the development of a blockchain plugin for the popular game Minecraft, which allows it to have working economies based on in-game NFTs.
In 2021, Adidas released the Into The Metaverse campaign, which allowed users to purchase NFTs and FTs that can be used to claim and redeem physical goods. The ERC-1155 protocol enables the large transactions of Into the Metaverse Phase 1, and the burning and airdropping of new tokens in Phase 2.
What Is The ERC-1337 Token Standard?
The ERC-1337 Token Standard enables and supports a subscription-based model for blockchain businesses – making it Web 3.0’s answer to one of the most effective monetization channels from the past. That means companies can operate on the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, or individual creators can sell limited access to a monthly collection of content.
As of May 2022, the ERC-1337 is still in its proposal phase.
How Does The ERC-1337 Token Standard Work?
The ERC-1337 token standard seeks to replicate the same processes traditional service providers use. Namely, the user “signs” and inputs their transaction data into a system that allows the merchant to bill them monthly. Let’s break this process down.
Let’s say you subscribe to a fictional blockchain MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) similar to an Ethereum-based World of Warcraft. If the project accepts yearly subscriptions broken into monthly payments, then you’d be pre-signing 12 transactions. One will go through at signing, with the subsequent 11 billed at later dates.
This is possible because the smart contracts behind ERC-1337 are designed to interface with your Ethereum wallet, which simplifies the payment process. Additionally, it provides a simple interface for users to manage their ongoing subscriptions, allowing folks to cancel payments at any time. This provides users with a familiar system while owners receive a consistent cash flow and insight into their sales.
The Disadvantages Of The ERC-1337 Token Standard
The disadvantages of the ERC-1337 aren’t linked to the code itself. Instead, the drawbacks boil down to the inherent costs of using a subscription model, especially if it’s the only source of income for your dApp. Without getting too deep into detail, dApp owners will have to watch out for customer satisfaction and provide value for their money.
Implementations Of ERC-1337
While the main impetus of ERC-1337 is to support subscription-based business models in the Ethereum blockchain community, it hasn’t seen any implementation as of May 2022. This is because the protocol is still in its proposal phase. But what are the intended implementations of this token standard? Keep reading to find out.
Developers may choose to use this token standard as an avenue for gaining monetary support from their followers. That way, supporters of a program or specific developer can contribute without being too involved in the project.
While no such services exist just yet, the primary use case for ERC-1337 would be for subscription-based projects on the blockchain.
What Are The Major Differences Between ERC-1155 vs. ERC-1337?
Although the ERC-1155 and ERC-1337 protocols are both token standards, they’re actually very different. All protocols are supposed to inhabit a specific space and address various functions, so they must play different roles to coexist. So how do these two protocols differ from each other, exactly?
The ERC-1155 token standard was built to simplify significant transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. It does this by batching crypto assets into a single smart contract. This helps save on gas fees and is, therefore, more power-efficient than other token standards designed to handle one process at a time. On top of all of this, this protocol is “fungibility agnostic”, meaning it can manage NFTs, FTs, and SFTs simultaneously.
On the other hand, the ERC-1337 focuses less on the transaction itself but rather the regularity of billing for subscription models. Up until the implementation of the ERC-1337 protocol, every transaction made on the blockchain needed to be authorized before it could take place. With this standard, developers can execute more traditional subscription services.
In short, ERC-1155 makes batch transactions easier, while ERC-1337 opens the possibility of blockchain-based subscription services.
The ERC-1155 standard is a popular protocol that’s been used to interface with many Ethereum wallets and support transactions within digital worlds and blockchain games. Its best use case is in NFT marketplace builds since gas fees and transaction costs continue to be the main issue for users. The most popular implementation of ERC-1155 is the Minecraft plugin developed by Enjin.
So what about the ERC-1337 protocol? Truthfully, there hasn’t been much development because it hasn’t emerged from its proposal stage. However, the token standard has a lot of potential.
Final Thoughts On ERC-1155 vs. ERC-1337
Token standards determine everything about a project, from how users interact with it to how transactions are managed. Because of this, choosing the correct protocol is essential when building a dApp or blockchain project of your own. So how do the ERC-1155 and ERC-1337 standards match up?
In short, the ERC-1155 is a flexible tool that’s great for marketplaces and blockchain games, while the ERC-1337 will likely suit subscription services when it emerges from its proposal stage into actual implementation.
These aren’t the only two token standards available for developers. So if you have a dApp or blockchain project in the works, check out Tokenfy to see how we can help your idea become reality.