Ethereum’s network usage has seen significant growth since 2017 with an explosion in new ERC20 smart contracts rising from 5,000 in August last year to more than 90,000 today.
The Turing complete world computer has seen all sorts of projects built on top, with tokens rising as one significant use case under the ERC20 standard.
They have proliferated in months from 5,000 to now nearly 100,000 as cat tokens, dog tokens, bot tokens, silly tokens, amazing tokens, all sorts of tokens launch.
With this growth quite unparalleled in this space within such a short period of time, showing just how much difference it makes to be a platform.
As ethereum is open to everyone, all sorts of smart kids come up with new ideas. Then, something unique happens which has never really happened before.
The platform is itself more of a platform for platforms. Dapps built on ethereum are themselves platforms. So you can go to silly kitties, incorporate their code into your dapp, and now the two communicate and your dapp users have the kitty on your dapp.
So you can make the kitties race each other, or fight each other, or whatever stupid thing you want to do, for fun and games of course, with a serious angle to it.
ERC721 contracts are a relatively new development which in our view has considerable implications. They are compatible with ERC20 tokens, but they are different in one significant aspect.
While every one ERC20 token is indistinguishable from another, ERC721 tokens are unique. Each one of them has a “personality.” One likes indie rock, the other wants classical music.
We could not find any stats for ERC721 tokens. As stated, they’re a fairly new invention, but with wide application. If you are going to tokenize art, for example, you might want to use ERC721 for each unique token to go with a unique art piece.
Then, there are other token standards. A prominent one is security tokens. This is an even newer development which basically incorporates all the myriads of regulations in the Securities Act 1933 into the token itself.
We’re not aware of any such token yet. SEC may well take years before approving any tokenized security, but it does show just how fast this space is moving where ERC20 tokens, once and still a brand new thing, are now sort of more like vanilla tokens.
There may well be a standard for every sort of use case, and then committees may well start arguing about how they can merge all that into just one standard, but we’ll leave that boring part to our older self as we enjoy for now this spring in creativity.