ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard that creates a smart contract interface to represent and control any number of fungible and non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum network. The standard has the functionalities of both the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards, making it more efficient at correcting obvious implementation errors. 
ERC-1155 can store multiple items in a single smart contract, and the items can be transferred to one or more recipients in a single transaction. Its functions, including mass transfers as standard, multiple tokens in the same contract, integrated token type detection, and secure token transfer, have helped to overcome ERC-20 and ERC-721 limitations. 
Fungible token standards like ERC-20 and non-fungible token standards like ERC-721 require a separate contract to be deployed for each token collection. This, in turn, causes redundancy in bytecode on the Ethereum network, limiting certain functionality through the process of separating each token contract into its respective permission address. When the need to create thousands of token types arose for blockchain game protocols and game developers, it was necessary to implement a new functionality standard to support them. ERC-1155 is the token standard created to solve the limitations. The standard, used for minting fungible and non-fungible assets, helps transfer multiple token types at once, minimizing transaction costs. As much as ERC-1155 is not specific to games as it is suitable for many other applications, its major focus is to enable a single smart contract to govern an infinite number of tokens. 
ERC-1155, authored by Witek Radomski, Andrew Cooke, Eric Binet, James Therien, Philippe Castonguay, and Ronan Sandford, was introduced to the public in June 2017. The first version of the ERC-1155 multi-token standard was pushed to Ethereum’s Github repository and opened for comments and feedback. The standard received incredible support from the community, with over 50 revisions and 400 comments. On June 17, 2018, it progressed to final status and became an official Ethereum token standard. 
The proposal for ERC-1155 got started when Enjin, a non-fungible token (NFT) platform, began building "Monolithic Token Contracts," and they realized the existing standards, ERC-20 and ERC-721, were not flexible enough for the kinds of gaming items being built. Enjin then noticed that ERC-1155, which was still under Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) at that time, had some incredible benefits and use cases for gaming and other blockchain industries and could transform their project into a reality. EIPs are a critical step that specifications must pass through for community review and revision before becoming a standard. In response, they pushed for the standardization of the proposal to allow them to build their own smart contracts. The ERC-1155 standard, since it was launched, has paved the way for quicker adoption in exchanges, wallets, games, and every other project utilizing tokenized blockchain assets. 
Features of ERC-1155
- Support for an infinite number of tokens, unlike ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, which require a new smart contract for each token type.
- A safe transfer function that allows tokens to be reclaimed if sent to the wrong address.
- Support for semi-fungible tokens, such as concert tickets, in addition to fungible and non-fungible tokens
- A streamlined process that eliminates the need to "approve" individual token contracts separately, resulting in fewer transactions to sign.
- Support for atomic swaps of any amount of tokens in just two simple steps with no intermediate party involved and absolute security from fraud.
- A reduction in gas fees of about 80–90% when minting new tokens.
A multitude of in-game assets such as weapons, currencies, and skins are governed by ERC-1155. With ERC-1155, assets can be stored and used more efficiently in a single smart contract. 
Digital Art and Collectibles
Digital art and collectible tokens with different editions, rarity levels, and properties can be created and managed by ERC-1155, benefiting artists and collectors from the standard's flexibility and efficiency. 
Projects using ERC-1155
Below are lists of organizations using the ERC-1155 standard: 
- Axie Infinity
- The Sandbox
- Horizon Games
- Gods Unchained
- Parallel Alpha
Did you find this article interesting?