A Comparative Analysis of ERC-721 and ERC-1155



Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have shaken up the concept of digital ownership and authenticity.

But how do they actually work? Behind the scenes of each unit lie special standards (protocols) that explain how these unique digital assets can be created, managed, and sold on blockchains.

Two of the most important protocols are ERC-721 and ERC-1155, each with its own features, advantages, and limitations.

In this article, we’ll explain what makes ERC-721 and ERC-1155 exceptional, examine their differences, and help you decide which one is best for you.

What Are NFT Standards?

NFT standards are basically a set of rules that dictate the development, transfer, and management of non-fungible tokens on blockchain networks. Following a certain protocol means developers can ensure their digital collectibles are accepted and can be traded across the whole decentralized system.

Overview of ERC-721

ERC-721 is a framework for token development on Ethereum. Each unit made under this framework is special; it has its own ID, which makes it different from the rest.

ERC-721 offers some great perks. Firstly, it lets you securely transfer digital possessions without needing a middleman.

With smart contracts, you can directly exchange ownership between Ethereum addresses, making transactions between people much easier. Plus, ERC-721 can include extra details like their name, description, and origin.

However, ERC-721 has its downsides too. One big issue is the high fees you have to pay to make or trade these assets. When the Ethereum network is busy, these fees can be pretty steep, which might put off smaller artists and buyers from getting involved.

Understanding ERC-1155

ERC-1155 is a protocol on the Ethereum blockchain that allows for the development of both fungible and non-fungible tokens within the same contract.

This flexibility allows developers to manage a diverse range of assets, from rare collectibles to interchangeable in-game items.

By collecting multiple token types into a single contract, ERC-1155 minimizes the gas costs associated with deploying and interacting with NFTs, making it more affordable for developers and users alike.

But ERC-1155 offers more than just being efficient and scalable. It works well with other Ethereum frameworks and can connect with decentralized exchanges, wallets, and other tools.

Following these established rules also makes it easier for various NFT platforms and apps to work together, making it a good deal for creators, collectors, and investors.

Nevertheless, ERC-1155 is not without its challenges. Since ERC-1155 is so flexible, it might take some time for developers to get the hang of it, especially if they’re used to other specifications. And if it’s not used carefully, all that flexibility could lead to misuse or abuse.

ERC-721 vs. ERC-1155: Comparative Analysis

In comparing ERC-721 and ERC-1155, we can break down their differences to understand which might suit your project best.

Uniqueness and Flexibility

ERC-721 focuses on making each token unique and represents the claim of something special you can’t copy. It’s great for things like one-of-a-kind digital art or rare collectibles.

ERC-1155 is more flexible. It lets you build NFTs that can be either exclusive or interchangeable.

Gas Efficiency and Scalability

When it comes to saving resources and handling lots of operations, ERC-1155 is often more efficient. It can bundle many types of tokens together in one contract, saving on costs.

ERC-721, while simpler for individual transactions, might become less efficient as the number of transfers increases.

Interoperability and Ecosystem Integration

ERC-721 has been around longer and is widely supported across many platforms. You’ll find it used in various NFT marketplaces and applications, making it easy to work with.

ERC-1155 is newer but gaining popularity, especially in gaming and digital asset spaces. While it’s not as widely supported yet, platforms like Enjin are using it for in-game items and virtual possessions.

As more platforms adopt ERC-1155, its compatibility and integration with various systems will likely improve.

New NFT Frameworks

As the world of digital collectibles keeps growing, new standards are popping up to handle the complexity of tokenizing digital valuables.


ERC-998 lets you create complex ownership setups where NFTs can represent groups of other immutable or fungible units. This opens up new options for decentralized finance, gaming, and digital collecting. With ERC-998, you can mix, split, and exchange assets in all sorts of creative ways.


ERC-721A suggests a way to trade tokenized valuables directly between people without needing a middleman. It uses atomic swaps, which means either both parties get what they want from the deal or nobody gets anything.


EIP-3074 aims to make buying and selling crypto collectibles on Ethereum cheaper by introducing batched transfers. Instead of doing one operation at a time, it lets you do lots of transactions in one go. That means less money spent on fees and less clogging up the blockchain.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an NFT Protocol

Choosing the right standard for your project can be tough, but here are some easy tips to help you decide.

First, think about what you’re tokenizing. Are you dealing with exclusive things like digital art? If so, ERC-721 might be best. If you need more flexibility, ERC-1155 could be better.

Then, consider how much it’ll cost to do transactions. ERC-1155 often saves on gas because it can do multiple transfers at once, while ERC-721 focuses on single operations.

Also, check if the protocol can be used in lots of different places. ERC-721 is well-supported, while ERC-1155 lags behind a bit, especially in gaming.

Finally, see if there are enough tools and help available. ERC-721 has been around longer, so there’s more support.

Future Trends and Developments

The future of NFT protocols looks bright. Soon, we can expect various frameworks to work together better, making it easier to move tokens around and use them on various platforms.

Also, we might find solutions to problems like possessing tokens being too expensive or not working well at large scales. This could mean more ways to own and make money from digital art or collectibles.


ERC-721 and ERC-1155 play a key role in shaping the future of digital ownership and asset management. They give clear rules for making, handling, and moving unique digital items, helping keep trust and transparency.

By knowing the ins and outs of different protocol types, developers can come up with exciting new projects that people love and open up new possibilities for artists, collectors, and business owners.

Ready to explore the possibilities of blockchain or seek high-quality NFT development services? Contact SCAND today to discuss your project needs and discover how our expertise can bring your ideas to life.


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