Witek Radomski — co-founder and CTO of Enjin Coin — has developed ERC-1155, a new standard for defining video game tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
Radomski’s journey to improve the gaming experience began 12 months ago in June 2017, when he created code for the first non-fungible token. It was released on GitHub two months later, and it led to the creation of the ERC-721 token, which is widely considered the standard for blockchain-based gaming and digital art. Several decentralized applications (DApps) have implemented the ERC-721 onto their platforms to create a wide array of gaming collectibles.
Unfortunately, ERC-721 was found to exhibit several limitations, and Radomski knew he had to take the standard to the next level.
“The non-fungible tokens being used today have defined a new class of user-owned virtual items,” he explained. “However, there are many problems with the existing token model. It is very expensive and inefficient to deploy large databases of items that mainstream game developers use.”
Radomski explains in a blog post that the new ERC-1155 protocol allows for an infinite number of both fungible and non-fungible items to be deployed through a single contract. It is also lightweight and easy for most networks to handle.
“If this does take off, the gaming industry alone will require tens of millions of new items — but the application of this standard is by no means limited to the games market,” he commented. “ERC-1155 tokens could be used to certify all forms of ownership, tangible or digital.”
In the past, individual tokens were defined by single contracts. In addition, item swapping between game players would often require as many as four separate steps because Ethereum’s network approves and processes each traded item separately. ERC-1155 could alleviate wait times between swaps by grouping multiple items together, so several trades could potentially occur at once and cut down the once four-step process to two steps. This would also reduce both congestion and gas costs on the Ethereum blockchain.
Prior to the introduction of ERC-721 tokens, ERC20 tokens were predominantly used in gaming, though they were later deemed inefficient as they were minted by the millions for use as currency. Each token was virtually identical, which meant each one contained repeat data. You also could not add a provenance, history or identity to any coin.
ERC-721 tokens allowed users to create unique, one-of-a-kind coins, but ERC-1155 works to combine the best of both ERC20 and ERC-721 by giving game developers a choice in whether they mass produce a specific kind of token or build unique metadata that cannot be replicated.
ERC-1155 has been posted to Ethereum’s GitHub as a discussion thread. Executives are looking for feedback from users before submitting it as a “pull request.”
“After a year of working to develop ERC-1155, this is a very proud day for my team,” Radomski explained. “We hope to see some amazing inventions born out of this token standard, so if any projects need assistance implementing it, they should feel free to contact us at Enjin.”
Founded in 2009 and stationed in Singapore, Enjin is a gaming company that boasts two core products: Enjin Coin and the Enjin Network. Enjin Coin is built for developing blockchain games and cryptocurrencies, while the latter is a gaming-focused content management system (CMS) and e-commerce platform that serves up to 20 million users.