The Role of Token Standards in Web3 Development: ERC20, ERC721, and Beyond

In the world of Web3 development, token standards play a vital role in ensuring interoperability and consistency across various decentralised applications (dApps) and platforms. In this article, we will explore the significance of token standards, focusing on widely adopted Ethereum-based standards like ERC20 and ERC721, and discuss how they contribute to the broader Web3 ecosystem.

Understanding Token Standards

Token standards are a set of rules and guidelines that dictate the implementation of blockchain-based tokens. They define the necessary functions and events that a token contract must include to ensure compatibility with other tokens, dApps, and blockchain networks. By adhering to these standards, developers can create tokens that are interoperable and easily integrated with various platforms and applications.

Prominent Token Standards

Several token standards have emerged within the Ethereum ecosystem, each serving a specific purpose and use case. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular token standards:


ERC20 is the most widely used token standard on the Ethereum blockchain. It has become the de facto standard for creating fungible tokens, which are interchangeable and have equal value. The ERC20 standard outlines a set of six functions and two events that a token contract must implement, enabling seamless integration with wallets, exchanges, and other dApps. Some popular use cases for ERC20 tokens include:

  • Utility tokens for accessing a platform’s services
  • Governance tokens for decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs)
  • Stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies


ERC721 is a standard for creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike fungible tokens, NFTs represent unique and indivisible digital assets, such as art, collectibles, or virtual real estate. The ERC721 standard defines a set of functions and events that allow developers to create, transfer, and manage NFTs while ensuring their uniqueness and ownership. Some popular use cases for ERC721 tokens include:

  • Digital art and collectibles
  • In-game items and virtual goods
  • Tokenised real-world assets

Beyond ERC20 and ERC721

Apart from ERC20 and ERC721, several other token standards have emerged to cater to specific requirements and use cases within the Web3 ecosystem. Some notable examples include:

  • ERC1155: A token standard that combines the characteristics of ERC20 and ERC721, allowing developers to create and manage both fungible and non-fungible tokens within a single contract.
  • ERC777: An advanced token standard that builds upon ERC20 and introduces new features, such as improved security and the ability to perform “hooks” or custom actions during token transfers.
  • ERC998: A standard for creating “composable” non-fungible tokens, which enables NFTs to own and manage other NFTs and ERC20 tokens.

The Importance of Token Standards in Web3 Development

Token standards play a critical role in the development and growth of the Web3 ecosystem by offering the following benefits:

  • Interoperability: Adhering to token standards ensures that tokens can seamlessly interact with various wallets, exchanges, and dApps, fostering a more cohesive and interconnected ecosystem.
  • Consistency: Token standards provide a consistent framework for developers to follow, reducing the complexity of integrating tokens with different platforms and applications.
  • Innovation: The development of new token standards caters to evolving use cases and requirements within the Web3 ecosystem, driving innovation and growth.

In conclusion, token standards are an essential aspect of Web3 development, providing a foundation for interoperability, consistency, and innovation within the ecosystem.

As a developer, understanding and adhering to these standards can help you create tokens that are more easily integrated with various platforms and applications, ultimately contributing to a more robust and interconnected Web3 ecosystem.

By staying informed about emerging token standards and their use cases, you can stay ahead of the curve and create innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of the decentralised world.

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