We’ve grown up being told that you can’t compare apples to oranges. But you totally can, and it would be weird if you couldn’t.
Imagine if every time you went grocery shopping, you had to purchase and be billed individually for each item in your cart. You’d get home with more receipt paper than food, and the supermarket would be bankrupt in a week as it processes a ridiculously low amount of customers per day.
Or, even worse, imagine you were selling your card for cash through an ad, and you and your buyer had to phone up both the Bank of America to verify the validity of the cash, and the automaker... just to verify that the items you’re trading are actually a valid currency and a legit car.
Well, as much as we’re all keen to see the world become crypto-dependent, this is how our current financial and value trade system would work if it was run entirely on Ethereum.
And someone is at work to fix it, right now. They’re called Enjin, and you’ll hear a lot about them soon.
Let’s rewind things slightly: the best-known Ethereum-based functions at the moment are ERC-20 tokens. They include some of the most widely traded and circulated cryptocurrencies out there (i.e. Tether, Uniswap, ChilliZ, Dai, Celsius, and so forth… and yes, even BNB), and ERC-721 tokens, which are used to power all things ‘non-fungible’ such as cryptoart and our very own Ether Cards.
The issue is, the smart contracts behind each of these services are all separate and, frankly, pretty bad at communicating with each other. Swapping ERC-20 tokens for ERC-721 ones, for example, currently requires several approval stages and therefore additional expenses and time. This makes working with both types of token inconvenient, severely limiting the application of Ethereum-based solutions to complex multi-asset scenarios such as those of multiplayer games with several collectible assets and/or an in-game currency to combine them with.
Enter ERC-1155. The protocol, built by the Enjin team, will allow to process both fungible and non-fungible tokens in one single stage of approval. It will also allow users to generate more flexibility between the two types of token, sometimes allowing a fungible token to assume unique, rare traits and therefore take on a non-fungible essence.
This might be, for example, a sword in a multiplayer game. While that sword would just a ‘fungible’ weapon in the early stage of our hypothetical game, once the main character takes control of it and starts imprinting its customisation on it and tying it to its own in-game story, it becomes a valuable, unique item and its specific path through the game takes on special importance. It thus becomes ‘non-fungible’ in that no other player will ever have a sword quite like it… unless they’re willing to spend a fair amount of in-game currency to purchase it.
ERC-1155 will also allow for easier smart contract programming and implementation, potentially opening the doors of token creation to professionals in all walks of life and therefore furthering the widespread, mainstream adoption of Ethereum-based solutions.