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ERC-721 or Ethereum Request for Comments 721 is a data standard for creating non-fungible tokens. That means each token is unique and cannot be divided or directly exchanged for another ERC-721 token.

The ERC-721 was proposed by William Entriken, Dieter Shirley, Jacob Evans, and Nastassia Sachs in January 2018 to help in tracking and transferring non-fungible tokens within smart contracts.

The token standard became very famous because of a blockchain game called ‘CryptoKitties‘ developed by Canadian studio, Dapper Labs. In this game, you can collect virtual cats and even breed them.

What are ERC-721 tokens?

The ERC-721 is the token standard used for creating NFTs. It’s unique and has a different value compared to another token from the same smart contract due to its rarity and visuals

The token can be used on platforms like Uniswap, Rarible, and AtomicMarket, etc. that offer lottery, access keys, tickets, collectible items, numbered seats for concerts and sports matches. Its uniqueness paves the way for many amazing use-cases and possibilities.

There are some other famous tokens like ERC-20 and ERC-1155 but they are different from ERC-721. Here’s how:

  • ERC-20 vs ERC-721 πŸ‘‰πŸΌ they’re the total opposite of each other. ERC-20 is used to create similar tokens while ERC- 721 is used to create entirely different tokens.
  • ERC-1155 vs ERC-721 πŸ‘‰πŸΌ the former token i.e. ERC-1155 is very versatile as it enables the efficient transfer of fungible and non-fungible tokens in a single transaction. ERC-721 token standard, however, works for non-fungible tokens only.

NFTs have 50 different use cases that seem to be lumped into one. I think we expect the majority of the [crypto] projects to make use of NFTs.

Raj Gokal, the co-founder of Solana on the  ERC-721’s NFT concepts

ERC-721 functions

The ERC-721 token has several functions that enable it to be owned, traded and managed. These functions are able to:

  • Return the number of NFTs in the owner’s account
  • Return the owner of the NFT specified by tokenId
  • Approve another address to transfer the given token ID
  • Get the approved address for a token ID
  • Set or unset the approval of a given operator
  • Tell whether an operator is approved by a given owner
  • Transfer the ownership of a given token ID to another address
  • Safely transfer the ownership of a given token ID to another address

ERC-721 token has created waves in the blockchain space and people love its NFT use-case. The token standard has also helped catapult the NFT market to billions of dollars in worth.

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