ERC-3664: Why the need for a new crypto token standard?
If you’ve been following the developments at Cradles, then you’ll know why our upcoming game is a big deal. And it’s all thanks to the new token protocol we’ve been developing called EIP3664 — which will make ERC3664 tokens, a new standard that will change the way we look at NFTs. In summary, customizable tokens that are modular in nature, allowing you to combine, take apart and put together in an unlimited number of ways.
This new standard will open up a whole new aspect to blockchain gaming (among other industries), allowing developers to add all game-related attributes into a contract. So what would this mean for players and companies?
Let’s talk numbers
A 2021 research conducted by Stratis, a major blockchain platform, revealed that around 58% of 197 video game developers in the UK and the US are starting to use the many perks of blockchain tech, and that 47% of them have already begun incorporating NFTs in their video games. Moreover, 54% of the respondents claimed that the main reason for using blockchain in games comes down to rewards expressed in real-world value, while 61% of them highlighted the innovative and more interesting game play as its main feature.
Whatever the reason may be, blockchain tech is taking on the gaming industry step by step. But we can’t deny that all these novel technical mambo jumbo may seem daunting to an average person, especially for someone who lacks knowledge of blockchain and smart contracts. While a gamer may become triumphant in the blockchain gaming realm without any under-the-hood comprehension of in-depth tech and smart property, a little portion of knowledge never killed nobody. So in the spirit of blockchain and crypto, we hope that self education and awareness can help our users navigate their way through tech speak they may encounter once this nifty piece of tech becomes mainstream (trust us, it will).
Token Standards: The common language for the blockchain realm
At the core of Ethereum decentralized applications (Dapps), which encompass the various major crypto games and apps we’re using today, lies the ERC-20 Ethereum token standard as a blueprint for fabricating tokens that are compatible with the Ethereum network.
To break it down to a simple explanation, ERC stands for ‘Ethereum Request for Comments’ as a set of prescribed standards for the industry and smart contract design. The ERC-20 has come to be the technical standard in the industry with a list of rules, useable for all smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for token implementation. ERC-20 smart contracts have been used widely to carry out a number of functions in the digital realm, including the creation of tokens for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in relation to new crypto companies fundraising or emerging on the blockchain.
The ERC-20 is no longer the only industry standard out there. As a pioneer amongst standards in the Ethereum network, the ERC-20 had its drawbacks, primarily due to its limitation as a strictly fungible crypto asset, where one token was completely identical to another — the basic attribute of a currency.
An alternative was developed in 2017 as the ERC-223 standard that introduced some new functions to take advantage of smart contract capabilities. To single out the most popular among them, we arrive at a standard that introduced non-fungibility or uniqueness — the ‘collectible’ standard that goes under the name ERC-721 used by numerous blockchain-based games; and the widely used ERC-1155 that allows for an infinite number of fungible and non-fungible items to be deployed through a smart contract. This multi-token ERC-1155 standard has received a lot of praise in the crypto community, leading it to be dubbed as “the final token standard on Ethereum”.
But there’s always room for improvement
We can certainly respect the sentiment behind calling ERC-1155 the final token standard, but blockchain as we know it is barely 11 years old, and far less in mainstream use. With the pace of tech innovations only picking up in the 21st century, it will always be premature to establish finality.
The Ethereum network itself undergoes constant upgrades, with a major iteration due next year. Even Bitcoin, the most conservative of all networks, has recently completed a significant upgrade.
As clichéd inspirational quotes on social media tell us, there’s always room for improvement no matter what. And on blockchain, that holds even truer.
The startup behind the blockchain-based game Cradles: Origin of Species, DRepublic, believes that there is something new to bring to the table in the shape of the ERC-3664 token.
This new standard was created as an answer to a crucial shortcoming of ERC-1155, namely that it isn’t able to support all operations for game props, making it impossible for players to query all the attributes of game NFTs in relation to smart contracts.
Fully compatible with ERC-1155, ERC-3664 extends the former standard as it divides NFT attributes into four categories that make it possible for all game props, characters, and operation modes to be entirely represented in the form of smart contracts — general changeable, transferable, upgradeable, and evolvable attributes. Upon these four categories, general attribute contracts have been created with the possibility of emerging divergent supporting contracts in accordance with the game logic.
Entropy increase for aging effects
Crucially, in addition to unlimited manipulations of attributes for more varied gameplay, the ERC-3664 protocol makes it possible for the first time a game to be built within an entropy-increasing world.
Entropy? What’s that?
A simple way to explain entropy is to look at our real world, which changes as time passes. This is completely different from existing games where the virtual world is static, unaffected by the passage of time. We’re not talking about daytime and nighttime environments in games, either, but about people getting old, items breaking down, and weather damaging things, for example.
In Cradles, thanks to the ERC-3664 protocol’s NFT evolvable attributes, NFTs in the game can go through a time-lapsing effect. Using block time (the finding of new blocks in the network), objects in the game are modified or evolving over time, giving the game a realistic effect of aging.
This attempt by Cradles to build a metaverse that complies with the principles of real-world physics is something that has never been tried before. We may play games to escape reality but the demand variable on the gaming market shows that we want it also to mirror the real world. And now, thanks to ERC-3664, we hope to make great strides towards that desire.
This newly-emerging standard has already caught the eye of blockchain commentators who believe this could be the future of the next generation of blockchain tech.
We are working hard to finish Cradles, the blockchain game that will be the first to demonstrate this new possibility of a time-lapsing, entropy-increasing metaverse.
We can’t wait for you to experience it.
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