ERC-20, ERC-721, ERC4626, and more…

Technology Jan 26, 2022

Key takeaways:

  • ERC-20: a token standard for fungible tokens
  • ERC-721: a token standard for non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • ERC-223: similar to ERC-20 but with added functionality
  • ERC-777: also similar to ERC-20 but with advanced functionality
  • ERC-1155: a standard that allows smart contracts to interface with multiple token types
  • ERC-4626: a newly proposed token standard for yield-bearing tokens


One of the many Ethereum development standards focuses on token interfaces. The token standards help ensure smart contracts remain composable. This ensures that when a new project issues a token, it remains compatible with existing applications.

First things first, what does ERC mean?

ERC is an acronym that stands for Ethereum Request for Comments. ERCs are interface-level standards for Ethereum and can include token standards, name registries, library/package formats, and more. Anyone can create an ERC, but it is the author’s responsibility to clearly explain their standard and foster support for it within the community.

Without going to the technical details, let’s look at the common ERC token standards and how they are different from each other. These standards define a required set of functions for a token type, allowing applications and smart contracts to interact with them in a predictable way.

Common ERC token standards

ERC 20 – ERC 20 is a standard interface for fungible tokens, meaning they have a property that makes each token be exactly the same as the other in type and value. For example, ETH is an ERC 20 token. One ETH is exactly the same as another and can be interchangeable. Please note any ERC 20 tokens can be listed and traded on SynFutures.

ERC 721 – ERC 721 is a standard interface for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), meaning the tokens are not interchangeable. ERC-721 tokens can be used to represent ownership over assets, artwork, game items, or anything else that needs ownership verification.

ERC 223 – A standard that defines a type of tokens similar to ERC 20 with added functionality. If ERC 20 tokens are sent to a smart contract not built to work with ERC 20 token standard, the tokens will be lost. ERC 223 ensures tokens are only sent to smart contracts with the proper setup.

ERC 777 – ERC 777 is another standard that is similar to ERC 20 but attempts to improve upon the ERC 20 standards with advanced features, for instance, operators can send tokens on behalf of another address and offer users more control over their tokens.

ERC 1155 – A standard interface that allows smart contracts to manage multiple token types. With the ERC 1155 standard, a smart contract may include any combination of fungible tokens, NFTs, or other types. One notable mention is that SynFutures is awarding its community members with ERC 1155 NFTs. Please join the community to win the special NFTs.

ERC 4626 – A newly proposed Ethereum token standard introduced on Twitter by Joey Santoro, co-founder of the Fei protocol, on Jan. 4th, 2022. ERC 4626 aims to standardize yield-bearing tokens, making it easier to integrate them into DeFi protocols. As of writing, the protocol is still under development.

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