Cryptokitties, ERC–721 , Mass Adoption?

We all have been hearing about this new trend, which began at the end of 2017: CryptoKitties is the Pokémon Go of the Ethereum network.

As soon as it was launched, it became so popular that it caused serious congestion on the ETH network, with observers wondering why such a simple app could create bottleneck issues given its considerable popularity…

This has created a rift in the community.

On one side there are those who support the project, such as Charlie Lee and Balaji Srinivasan (CEO from who on Twitter have basically praised the project as being of primary importance for the development and expansion of the Eth blockchain.

Then there are those who – on Reddit, for instance – define the phenomenon as an enormous joke, creating a lot of embarrassment for slowing down the ETH blockchain.

This phenomenon which broke out at the end of 2017 will lead to more and more adoption on the Eth blockchain and in everyday applications, thanks to the use of a standard similar to the ERC220 protocol used for the ICOs on the Eth network, the Ethereum Request for comment 721 protocol (ERC–721).

This groundbreaking protocol made its debut in September 2017, and was the work of a certain Dieter Shirley, Director of Blockchain Technology at Axiom Zen, the very company that created CryptoKitties.

Substantial differences between ERC220 and ERC–721

The differences are essentially:

  • Fungibility, i.e. each ERC220 token is fit for another ERC220 Token (or USD for USD, or EURO for EURO).  This can be an asset for the currencies but when it comes to CryptoKitties that must have unique and unmistakable features from one another (age, color, race…) it is not at all appropriate because differences can become a rare commodity and therefore very sought after in the market.

Suffice it to say that a CryptoKitty was sold some time ago for USD 110000.

The Token ERC–721 has a completely different purpose: to represent a unique object in a collection: animals, houses, cards…

  • Divisibility, i.e. in order to buy or trade, users can divide the ERC220 tokens into smaller quantities, while for rare and collectible items such as CryptoKitties these are, again, not appropriate as the value is fixed and is indivisible.
  • Has a unique ID, such that the pair (contract address, token ID) is unique within the Ethereum ecosystem

Adoption of the ERC–721 Protocol

The developers of the 0x protocol, a de-centralized exchange for ERC220 tokens, are already planning to add the ERC721 support soon, stating that the future of this token is very promising. This way, swaps could also take place with different protocols such as ERC220.

James Martin Duffy, co-founder at Loomx, sees the ERC–721 tokens as a huge opportunity for the future in the digital field of online collectibles and games and could also – again according to Duffy – facilitate the management of real assets such as real estate and cars.

Chris Burniske, co-founder of Placeholdervc, has argued that the ERC–721 token is fungible and there will be a wave of mass adoption starting with the Ethereum blockchain.

The Status mobile app, the browser + messaging platform on the ETH network, in a Twitter post from a few days ago announced that they are implementing the ERC–721 protocol on their wallet.

Other projects that have taken this protocol into adoption are Cryptogs, cryptocelebrities, Decentraland, Open Zeppelin


Thanks to CryptoKitties, in a not so distant future we will be able to have wallets capable of managing properties such as digital goods, tickets, collectibles or any other goods that has a unique value and is indivisible from any other element.

The ERC–721 protocol, thanks to its non-fungibility and indivisibility, is increasingly being adopted by many apps and companies, making it an indispensable protocol for this type of assets.

The staff at BlockchainTop News