ERC-721 is a (NFT) standard on the blockchain that implements an application programming interface (API) for tokens within . The ERC-721 standard was developed and implemented to track digital ownership of non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. With that, developers can easily deploy NFTs and verify their compatibility with the ecosystem. [1][2][3]


ERC-721 consists of a set of functions developers can implement in to create, manage, and transfer . The standard helps facilitate NFT creation, which ranges from art to gaming, collectibles, and more. ERC-721 smart contracts can maintain a record of token ownership to allow secure token transfers between users. [3]


The ERC-721, which stands for "Ethereum Request for Comments 721," was created by William Entriken, Dieter Shirley, Jacob Evans, and Nastassia Sachs in January 2018. Dieter Shirley first proposed the ERC-721 specification as an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), a process for introducing new standards to . ERC-721's acceptance in June 2018 moved it to Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC), a standard process for Ethereum applications. In May 2019, after the standard's acceptance, Nike, a shoe manufacturer company, received a patent to utilize the standard to create NFTs for authenticating its sneakers after filing the patent application. Likewise, in February 2020, , a 3D virtual world browser-based platform, was built using ERC-721 NFTs to represent land and virtual objects.[1][2][6][7]


The ERC-721 token has many benefits, including interoperability, programmability, ownership, fractional ownership, rarity and uniqueness, cross-platform compatibility, intellectual property rights, etc. [3]


ERC-721 ensures the easy interaction of NFTs with various dApps, marketplaces, and wallets on the network for utility and accessibility enhancement. [3]


With the help of the ERC-721 standard, creators can build additional functionalities such as in-game utilities, royalties, etc., into their NFT projects. [3] ERC-721 functionalities can help to: [1][8]

  • Transfer tokens from one account to another.
  • Get the current token balance of an account.
  • Get the owner of a specific token and the total supply of tokens available on the network.


Users can own, transfer, and securely manage unique digital assets with transparency and verification of ownership records. [3]

Fractional ownership

ERC-721 tokens can be fragmented into smaller, tradeable fractions. This enables a broader audience to invest in valuable assets. [3]

Rarity and uniqueness

s built with the ERC-721 represent distinct items with unique properties, making them valuable for creators and collectors. [3]

Cross-platform compatibility

By leveraging the ERC-721 standard, NFTs can seamlessly function across various platforms and applications, expanding their range of potential use cases. [3]

Intellectual property rights

ERC-721 NFTs protect intellectual property. The standard provides creators and artists with an immutable record of their work. It also tracks the usage and resale of their work. [3]

Use Cases

The ERC-721 can be used in the digital art industry, gaming, virtual worlds, , music and media, etc. [3]

Digital art and collectibles

NFTs have brought about a revolution in the digital art industry. Artists have the ability to monetize their creations through unique tokens when utilizing platforms that make use of the ERC-721 standard for their artwork. Several platforms, such as , , Art Blocks, and more, employ the ERC-721 standard. [3]


ERC-721 tokens are widely used in most blockchain-based games, making in-game assets unique. [3]

Virtual worlds

Land parcels, buildings, and other assets in virtual worlds, such as those seen in , are represented by ERC-721 tokens. [3]

Music and media

ERC-721 tokens can be used by musicians as well as content creators to tokenize their work, allowing fans to own unique pieces of content like videos, exclusive merchandise, limited edition albums, etc. [3]

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