The rise of cryptocurrency has encouraged many investors worldwide to revamp their traditional trading infrastructure and switch to the blockchain. However, investors who lack technical knowledge about blockchain and smart contracts often feel cautious while thinking about investing in digital currencies. For their concern, Ethereum keeps introducing improved and more feasible token standards.
One of the major token concepts regulating the blockchain space is the ERC (Ethereum Request for comment) token standard. Among the ERC token standards Ethereum has rolled out so far, the ERC721 token is the most prevalent token standard, used in numerous innovative cases across many industries.
What is ERC-721?
ERC-721 refers to a specific type of token standard introduced by the Ethereum blockchain to support the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). To understand the ERC-721 token, its role and its applications- let’s first discuss non-fungible tokens.
Non-fungible tokens-NFTs represent unique ownership for an asset, setting it apart from assets of identical value. NFTs can represent a range of digital assets such as digital signatures, virtual paintings, social media tweets, short videos, etc.
For example, A $20 note is fungible since it holds a value equal to two $10 notes. A travel ticket or trading card is an example of non-fungible tokens that two travel tickets or trading cards can’t replace.
ERC-721 token standard supports NFTs minting on Ethereum and other blockchains sharing the same ecosystem attributes as Ethereum. The most prominent application of the ERC721 token standard is crypto kitties, but this application has grown significantly more than just crypto kitties in the past few years.
How to create an ERC721 token?
Now that we understand the basic concept of ERC721 and its applications, let’s learn how to create an ERC721 token standard.
Step1: Get test ETH
A token contract on Ethereum is deployed on the Ropsten testnet. Once testing and optimization are done, the contract will go on the mainnet. To start the development process, you need the Metamask browser extension to get ETH and use the wallet for streamlining the development process.
- Install the Metamask browser extension from the chrome web store and switch to the Ropsten test network.
- Next, copy the wallet address to enter it into the next field and click on the option provided for getting Ether.
Step2: Add Files to IPFS
As the next step, you need to add files to the IPFS. You further need to host the art for NFT and create a metadata file for writing the ERC-721 token contract. For this, use the P2P file storing and distributed sharing system, IPFS. Download IPFS and install it according to your operating system’s dependencies.
Step3: Create the token
Proceed to token creation using Ethereum’s native programming language- Solidity. You also need to import a library contract in the token development procedure. Once you have these, move to Ethereum IDE and start creating a Solidity file. Double-check the line of code you are using on the following components:
- The Solidity’s version.
- SPXD’s license type to eliminate copyright issues
- Process for importing ERC-721 contracts.
- Code for NFT generation and metadata.
- Details about the token, its symbol, and the creator
- NFT’s storage location upon its creation
- Command-line for token minting
- URI creation on a specific NFT and NFT storage in the corresponding file
Final step- Deployment
To deploy the compiled ERC-721 token contract, go to the Deploy Contract section inside the Remix. This action will open multiple functions. Now, focus on the mint function and enter the following details:
- Enter the Ropsten address.
- Add a big number value to the _tokenid field.
- Enter URI of JSON file to the _uri field that we obtained in the previous steps.
Once done with adding the above details, you need to confirm the transaction in the Metamask by clicking on “transact”. After that, you will get tokens to use for the Ropsten chain. You can also examine details such as name, owner, token symbol and the token URI with the help of the token id.
While the most prevalent application of the ERC-721 token is to tokenize the gaming assets, it has other possibilities, such as providing immutable ownership for the different real-world assets. These assets can be real estate property or cryptographic virtual representations of any identity. Therefore, if you plan to utilize tokenization, first evaluate the ERC-721, designed precisely to serve a tokenization purpose.