What is ERC-1155? How does it work?


  • Ability to issue multiple NFTs in one smart contract.
  • Popular ERC-1155 NFTs are Enjin, Decentraland, Sandbox.
  • Benefits include batch transfers, gas efficiency, enhanced functionality, etc.
  • Some projects already using ERC-1155 are Sandbox, Decentraland, Enjin, etc.

ERC-1155, a multi-token standard, represents a significant evolution in the Ethereum token standards, primarily known for its predecessors ERC-20 and ERC-721.

Developed by Enjin’s Witek Radomski and introduced in 2018, ERC-1155 was created to overcome the limitations of its predecessors by enabling a single smart contract to manage multiple token types, both fungible (like ERC-20) and non-fungible (like ERC-721).

This innovative approach brought about more efficiency and flexibility in token management on the Ethereum blockchain.

How Does It Work?

ERC-1155 operates on the principle of a single smart contract that can represent an unlimited number of both fungible and non-fungible tokens. Each token within the contract is identified by a unique ID, and this ID determines whether a token is fungible (interchangeable) or non-fungible (unique). The standard includes functions that allow for efficient batch transfer and approval of multiple token types, significantly reducing the transaction and gas costs compared to ERC-721.

Applications of ERC-1155 Multi Token Standard

ERC-1155 has wide-ranging applications, particularly in gaming, digital art, and decentralized finance (DeFi). It enables game developers to create both unique items (like rare weapons) and fungible items (like in-game currency) within the same contract. The standard also supports batch transactions, making it more gas-efficient.

Gaming Industry

ERC 1155 revolutionizes the gaming sector by enabling a more streamlined and cost-effective way to handle in-game assets. It allows for the creation, storage, and trading of various items like weapons, skins, and currencies within a single contract, enhancing the gaming experience. Games can utilize ERC 1155 to facilitate easy asset exchanges, create unique items, and even enable cross-game asset interoperability.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

For DAOs, which often operate primarily on-chain, ERC 1155 provides a versatile framework to manage their diverse token needs. It supports the creation of fungible tokens for voting rights, semi-fungible tokens for tiered memberships, and non-fungible tokens for unique rewards or recognitions, all within a single contract environment.

Digital Art and Collectibles

This standard offers artists and collectors unprecedented flexibility in minting and trading digital art. Creators can issue limited editions, series, or variations of their artworks as semi-fungible tokens, enabling them to cater to different market segments while maintaining the uniqueness of each piece.

Tokenized Real-World Assets

Tokenized Real-World Assets
Tokenized Real-World Assets

ERC 1155 is ideal for tokenizing and managing real-world assets like real estate, precious metals, or collectibles on the blockchain. This token standard simplifies the process of buying, selling, and trading these assets by representing them as either fungible or non-fungible tokens, making transactions more efficient and accessible.

Reward and Loyalty Programs

Businesses can leverage ERC 1155 to create dynamic reward systems that offer various types of tokens, such as points, badges, or exclusive items. This approach allows for more engaging and versatile loyalty programs, with the ability to easily manage and distribute rewards through a single smart contract.

Educational Credentials

Educational institutions can use ERC 1155 to issue verifiable and immutable credentials, certificates, or badges as tokens. This application ensures the authenticity of academic achievements and facilitates the easy sharing and verification of credentials.

Several institutions have already been issuing blockchain-based degrees.

With ERC-1155’s technology, the main degree can be issued as a single main token and other non-core certificates can be issued as other tokens.

Healthcare and Medical Records

In healthcare, ERC 1155 can be used to tokenize and securely manage patient records and medical data. This application ensures data integrity and provides a secure way for patients to control and share their medical information with healthcare providers.

Data such as prescriptions, medical reports and other data can be recorded as NFTs.

There is also a possibility of issuing soulbound NFTs to make sure prescriptions stay with the patient and can not be misused by anyone.

Supply Chain Management

ERC 1155 tokens can represent assets at various stages of the supply chain, offering a transparent and efficient way to track the production, shipment, and delivery of products. This can help in reducing counterfeits, ensuring product authenticity, and improving supply chain efficiency.

Each token generated with an ERC-1155 Token

Environmental and Sustainability Projects

Carbon Trading with NFTs
Carbon Trading with NFTs

For projects focused on environmental conservation and sustainability, ERC 1155 can facilitate the creation of carbon credits, environmental assets, and sustainability tokens. These tokens can represent a commitment to certain environmental actions or achievements, fostering greater accountability and engagement in sustainability initiatives.

Some real life environment based applications are:

  • Carbon Trading
  • Checking Origin of Fuel Supply
  • Carbon Off-setting

Benefits and Challenges Associated with ERC 1155 Tokens


  • Efficiency: Reduces transaction and gas costs.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various applications in gaming, art, and DeFi.
  • Multi-token Standard: ERC 1155 combines the features of ERC-721 (NFTs) and ERC-20 (fungible tokens) standards, enabling a more flexible and efficient way to create and manage digital assets.
  • Batch Transfers: It supports transferring multiple types of tokens simultaneously in a single transaction, significantly reducing gas costs compared to transferring tokens individually.
  • Reduced Redundancy and Efficiency: By allowing various token types within a single contract, ERC 1155 reduces the need for deploying multiple contracts for different asset types, saving space and resources on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Enhanced Functionality: This standard includes features like safe transfer functions, which allow tokens to be reclaimed if sent to the wrong address, and simplified approvals, reducing the need for users to approve individual token contracts separately.
  • Versatile Use Cases: ERC 1155 is ideal for gaming ecosystems, where it can represent a mix of in-game currencies, weapons, and unique collectibles. It’s also suitable for NFT marketplaces, blockchain-based rewards, and more.


  • Complexity in Implementation: The flexibility and multifunctionality of ERC 1155 mean that the standard is more complex to implement correctly compared to more straightforward standards like ERC 20 and ERC 721. This complexity can lead to a steeper learning curve for developers, especially those new to blockchain and smart contract development.
  • Interoperability Concerns: While ERC 1155 tokens are designed to be versatile, their unique structure can pose interoperability issues with platforms and wallets that are not yet equipped to handle the multifaceted nature of these tokens. Ensuring compatibility across different services and marketplaces can be a challenge.
  • Adoption: Relatively newer, hence less adopted compared to ERC-721. Educating users about the benefits and functionalities of ERC 1155 tokens is crucial for widespread adoption.

Several projects have adopted ERC-1155 due to its versatility. Popular examples include:

  • Enjin: Pioneering NFT projects on the ERC-1155 standard.
  • Decentraland: A virtual world where users can create, experience, and monetize content and applications.
  • The Sandbox: A virtual world that allows players to build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences.

How to Create an ERC-1155 NFT

Creating an ERC-1155 NFT involves the following steps:

  1. Set up an Ethereum development environment (e.g., using Truffle or Hardhat).
  2. Write the smart contract code for the ERC-1155 token, leveraging existing open-source implementations like OpenZeppelin.
  3. Deploy the contract to the Ethereum network.
  4. Mint tokens by calling the contract’s minting function, specifying the token ID and metadata.

NFT Staking

NFT staking, a concept gaining popularity, allows ERC-1155 token holders to ‘stake’ their tokens in a smart contract to earn rewards. This process often forms part of a broader DeFi strategy, enabling token holders to earn passive income. The staking mechanism varies from project to project, with some offering staking rewards in the form of additional NFTs, tokens, or other incentives.

Buying NFTs on CYAN is a simple 2 step process. We have made it super simple to buy NFTs on our website. You just need to connect wallet and approve the transaction.

Sorting and Filtering in Cyan's NFT Shop
Sorting and Filtering between NFTs in Cyan’s NFT Marketplace
  • Connecting Wallet: No account creation needed; users can connect their wallets directly via the “Connect Wallet” option, supporting MetaMask, Wallet Connect, Unstoppable Domains, Rainbow, and Rabbit.
  • Buying Process:
    • Wallet connection not required for browsing the Shop page.
    • Over 107 Ethereum and 10 Polygon collections available for browsing in grid or list view.
    • Filters help select desired traits and pricing. Selecting an NFT opens financing terms for down payment and loan duration, with an option for automatic repayments.
    • Automatic Repayments deduct funds from either the user’s wallet or a Cyan Wallet, where NFTs on loan are held.
    • A Cyan Wallet is created upon the first purchase or loan, where purchased NFTs are stored until the loan is repaid.

CYAN also features easy NFT Loans (a.k.a. Buy Now, Pay Later) that help you pay for your purchases in multiple transactions and also allows users to sell the NFTs in just 1 click if they do not want the loan repayments anymore.


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