MCS | What is ERC?

MCS | What is ERC?


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We often see ERC-20 marks when investing in cryptocurrencies, especially when we transfer tokens between exchanges or wallets. So what is ERC, and what is ERC-20?

We know that Ethereum is a smart contract platform for anyone to create and issue their tokens. The so-called smart contract is a set of promises made in digital form. To maintain the promises unchangeable, specific and inherent standards are needed to restrict the promises from being tampered with and human intervention. Therefore, ERC has become a smart contract standard that maintains a certain standard.

ERC is the abbreviation of Ethereum Request for Comment. It represents a protocol proposal submitted by the developers of the Ethereum ecosystem and a unified standard for technical and organizational precautions. The number after ERC represents the number of the protocol proposal. Many ERC standards currently appear, such as ERC-20, ERC-223, ERC-621, ERC-721, ERC-721x, ERC-827, ERC-777, ERC-884, ERC-918, ERC-1155, etc. Etc., but the most common and most used ERC standards are ERC-20 and ERC-721.


ERC-20 is currently the most widely used token standard in Ethereum smart contracts. ERC-20 is the standard fungible token. The standard was born in 2015 and reached a consensus in 2017.

The ERC-20 standard provides a set of basic API interfaces, including token names, symbols, total issuance, transfer, authorization, balance tracking, etc. Anyone can create and issue tokens based on Ethereum smart contracts through this interface. There is no difference in value between the tokens issued under the ERC-20 standard, and the tokens can be exchanged, which means that the value of any unit token under the ERC-20 standard is the same. At the same time, as long as the tokens conform to the ERC-20 standard, they are compatible with the Ethereum wallet, which means that the token can be added to the Ethereum wallet and then sent to others. Because of the existence of the ERC-20 standard, the issuance of tokens has become very simple. At present, the number of ERC-20 standard tokens issued on Ethereum has exceeded 180,000, of which USDT tokens are the most used.


ERC-721 is also known as the non-homogeneous token standard. Unlike ERC-20, the ERC-721 standard stipulates that all tokens that meet the standard are unique and have a unique Token ID. All ERC-721 standard tokens are assigned different values, just as in the blockchain game Crypto Kitties, each cat is given a different gene, so these crypto cats cannot be replaced and divided at will, and they have different collection values. Currently, NFTs issued on the Ethereum network in the cryptocurrency market generally use the ERC-721 standard.

In general, although both ERC-20 and ERC-721 are standard protocols for the issuance of Ethereum tokens, the difference is that tokens issued based on the ERC-20 standard have no value difference and can be exchanged and divided at will; while based on ERC- Each of the tokens issued by the 721 standard is unique and has a unique value, and is not interchangeable and divisible.

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MCS Team

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