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ERC 721 NFT Standard Explained

ERC-721 standard explained

Tokens are the essential features of blockchain development. Since they can be very powerful, if they, they must be standards to regulate them. More precisely, standards make sure that interoperability exist on a blockchain’s network, especially ensuring that all tokens can be transferred from one digital wallet to another.

Since Ethereum network is used with most NFTs, some standards are developed, the most popular ones are ERC-20, ERC721, and ERC-1155. In brief, the ERC-20 token standard regulates fungible tokens, ERC721 is a standard for NFTs, and ERC-1155 is the standard for semi-fungible tokens. Here, we aim to explain everything about ERC-721 standard in details.

What is ERC-721 standard?

ERC-721, which stands for “Ethereum Request for Comments 721”, refers to a token standard on Ethereum. The assets which are regulated with ERC-721 standard are “non-fungible tokens”, or NFTs. As you already know, “non-fungible” means unique assets which are tracked on blokchains, for example Ethereum. Since 2020, many showed interest in NFTs and people began considering high value of these tokens. Therefore, ERC721 tokens become a necessity to NFT market and it got more popular than before.

The ERC-721 standard allows an application to use the standard Ethereum API with NFTs in a smart contract. Put simply, the standards ensure that the NFTs can be transferred and tracked, ensuring that all transactions and ownership of an NFT is correctly recorded. ERC-721 tokens and NFTs are generally dynamic and diverse as they represent ownership of any virtual physical and digital assets. Some good examples invlude virtual collectibles, such as CryptoKitties, physical properties such as houses, etc.

It is also worth noting that an NFT contract itself doesn’t contain any data such as images of digital art or recordings of music. The image or the art piece doesn’t exist on the blockchain, but the token has an ID referencing the image existing in a digital market. Therefore, it could be said that each token has an ID and certain metadata, and this data contains a link to an image or asset hosted somewhere else, just similar to a house deed which does not contain the house; it only states that someone owns the property. And ERC-721 is here to regulate the digital asset.

How to Make an ERC-721 Token?

Having a better understanding of the ERC-721 token standard, it is time to take a closer look at the process of creating an ERC721 NFT. If you need to know more on NFTs, read here. NFT are not that difficult to produce, though it is helpful to know the process of creating a dApp which is used to mint NFTs.

One easy, enjoyable way is to use Moralis to make an ERC-721 token, the process consists of five steps:

  • Initializing Moralis and finding a smart contract.
  • Set up an HTML index file.
  • Create a login function.
  • Add an upload function.
  • Build a mint function.

5 steps above cab be taken to create a dApp that can mint more than a single ERC-721 token. Furthermore, working with Moralis through the process needs little to no prior development skills. But having some previous knowledge of JavaScript and Solidity can help the development of the process. These steps are quite straightforward and, for a closer look, you may read our article on NFTs.

How to Transfer ERC-721 Tokens?

How to Transfer ERC-721 Tokens

Moralis makes it possible to transfer several different types of tokens with a single line of code. This platform provides pre-developed functions that can help develop dApps or transferring tokens.

Moralis is a leading web 3 development platform that allows users to create, host, and grow great dApps in one place. It allows users to simply interface with an infinite number of external projects, chains, and technologies.

All the necessary information to transfer any types of tokens are available in Moralis documentation. It allows choosing from fungible, non-fungible, and semi-fungible tokens, however we look for transferring ERC-721 tokens, or NFTs. The code for NFTs from the documentation is:

Code for Transferring ERC721 Tokens:

// sending a token with token id = 1

const options = {type: “erc721”, 

                 receiver: “0x..”,

                 contractAddress: “0x..”,

                 tokenId: 1}

let result = await Moralis.transfer(options)

These few lines of code contain specific information which make it possible to transfer the NFT. This code first creates a new object to specify the type of token, which is ”ERC-721” here. Then, it specifies the receiver address, or where to transfer the ERC-721 token. Following this, it regulates the contract address along with the token ID. This information is available through the metadata of the NFT.

Finally, there comes the “Moralis.transfer” function to take the object and pass it as an argument. Taking the code, we simply can transfer ERC-721 tokens when using Moralis.

What is the difference between ERC-721 and ERC-1155?

What is the difference between ERC-721 and ERC-1155

ERC-721 standard made the Ethereum network more dynamic and allowed for new innovative solutions. Developers use ERC-721 standard to do a lot, for example make the real estate market more efficient or add bonds to the crypto market. However, ERC-721 standard is not the limit; it is still possible to make Ethereum more flexible.

ERC-721 token contracts are designed for creating only one specific type of NFT. Some experts, however, question if it limits the potential of a token. A good example of such limitations can go with concert and movie tickets as these NFTs come with a contract that contain seat IDs mapped to the seat’s buyers. The problem appears if there are more than one concert or event. In the case of multiple shows, it is necessary to deploy a new ERC-721 token contract for each new event, which is both time consuming and confusing.

Therefore, another token standard developed to solve this issue, “ERC-1155” standard, which answers the problem and makes it even more dynamic. ERC-1155 token standard makes it possible to have multiple different NFTs within one smart contract. More interestingly, ERC-1155 makes it also possible to add more NFTs as the process goes along. Therefore, users do not have to precisely decide ahead about the NFT they want to include while they deploy the contract. As you see, ERC-1155 tokens come to be a lot more dynamic and can deal with more features than the ERC-721 standard.

However, this dynamic feature has a drawback: an ERC-1155 token is a lot more complicated. Therefore, new developers are advised to start developing ERC721 tokens since they are significantly easier to deal with.


ERC-721 is actually developed to standardize non-fungible tokens. This standardization of NFTs allows developer community bring in a new ecosystem of digital content, games, and applications that use NFTs. It makes more flexible blockchains. In fact, ERC721 made it possible to own and experience things such as Decentraland, CryptoBeasties, Etheremon, and CryptoKitties.

This standard also develops an exceptionally straightforward way to not only create but also transfer ERC-721 tokens. Since it can be easily applied to platforms such as Moralis, it also makes it possible for users to transfer ERC721, ERC-20, and ERC-1155 tokens with just a single line of code.

About Tiffany Ellis

She is a smiley curious writer from the USA. She loves Cryptocurrencies, Arts an also NFTs.

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