nft

ERC-721 vs. ERC-1155: The Great Contract Debate

ETH MOBILE 2
Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

These days, Twitter is abuzz with a divide as wide as the grand canyon on whether one should mint an NFT on a contract nicknamed the “gold standard,” aka ERC-721 or a contract labeled “lazy minting,” aka ERC-1155.

It seems nearly everyone has a strong opinion on this matter. So let’s delve into what the difference is between the two and why it does or does not matter.

ERC-721:

ERC-721 was the first standardized interface for creating NFTs. It’s the most widely used. It is immutable, transparent in ownership and security. Hence it is Non-fungible, a true NFT. It can’t be divided and represents a single asset that is in interchanged. It’s great for creating and tracking unique NFTs. Although transferable, trying to transfer an entire collection with it can be slow and inefficient.

However, the biggest issue with ERC-721 is that when gas fees are high, it can cost an artist a tidy sum in Etheruem to mint an NFT. Therefore, when you need to mint NFTs en masse, it doesn't make much sense to use this contract.

ERC-1155:

ERC-1155 is a unique token that supports non-fungible (NFTs) and fungible tokens. It’s faster and more efficient to use in batch token transfers. Developed by Enjin, it is called, “the next generation multi-token standard.”

ERC-1155 can use a single contract to make various types of NFTs. Gas fees are cut by 90%, making it an affordable way for anyone to start minting on blockchain. The only real draw back is that the NFT is harder to track in terms of ownership—to save data stored on blockchain ERC-1155 has specifications on the Etheruem logs that have less robust information.

They both appear to be great contracts that can be used for non-fungible tokens, so why the big debate?

Is it just personal preference?

Which one should a new artist choose?

In a nutshell, it simply comes down to your use case for them, that’s all.

So while you may wonder what to do, there is no right or wrong answer. Some collectors will only choose to buy an NFT minted on ERC-721 and others will not have a preference about the issue. Your use case will usually determine which one is the best fit for minting your NFT.

As an artist in this space, I mint on both. I understand newcomers being drawn to platforms using ERC-1155 as they are open, easy and affordable. Many support their decisions if they choose this minting standard and believe their work should not be viewed as lesser than those who have been in this space longer and choose to mint only on ERC-721.

As a community, we should be a welcoming space for all to grow in. Artists should never be shunned for which contract they decide to mint with. In support and solidarity for all who wonder if choosing the “lazy minting” was the right thing to do or not, I minted my own Anatomy Shapes Collection on OpenSea under such a contract.

Regardless of what you choose to use, above all, remember to have fun. 

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