I know that ERC20 is a token standard which means there are a set of functions that a contract has to include to be ERC20 compatible. I find this a clever approach and was wondering if there are any other standards like that (not specifically for tokens). The whole philosophy of ethereum suggests that there should be plenty of such protocols just as we have a bunch of application layer protocols over TCP/IP.


In addition to CNuts' excellent answer for anyone interested:

  • ERC is short for Ethereum Request for Comments which is Ethereum's version of Request for Comments

A Request for Comments (RFC) is a type of publication from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society (ISOC), the principal technical development and standards-setting bodies for the Internet.

  • The number represents the Github issue number where the ERC was originally proposed (e.g. for ERC20)

  • The whole idea of the ERC system was proposed in this Github issue

  • An ERC is a type of EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) which:

describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards

  • General information about EIPs and all the current ones can be found in this repo

1 Answer 1


Yes you are right there is a lot of standards but the majority of them are proposals and not standards that have been adopted. You can check all the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).


This ERC proposes a specification for Ethereum smart contract packages.

Packaging is a core piece of modern software development which is missing from the Ethereum ecosystem. The lack of packaging limits the ability for developers to reuse code which negatively affects productivity and security.

ERC-223 (proposal)

This ERC is similar to the ERC-20 but tries to solve some issues


Provides the possibility of avoiding accidentally lost tokens inside contracts that are not designed to work with sent tokens. However, these accidental transfers, which are uncommon already, will probably become more uncommon with ENS in the future.ERC-223 transfer to contracts consumes less gas than ERC-20.

Disadvantages and risks:

ERC-223 is a proposal right now, not a standard. Therefore, there are none of the high-profile ICO tokens deployed with this standard. Also it is not yet implemented in any production tokens that I found from my research.Exchanges might need to do some modifications in order to support such token. There is options that some of the exchanges might not be prepared for it yet.

ERC-721 (proposal)

The point of this standard is to have non fungible token. This is what standard crytpo kitties uses.

This allows you to handle tokens in your platform differently like having different price and parameters related to each token similar to how crypto kitties has multiple kitties with different prices.

This standard allows for the implementation of a standard API for non-fungible tokens (henceforth referred to as "NFTs") within smart contracts. This standard provides basic functionality to track and transfer ownership of NFTs.


There is 4 type of status for any Ethereum Improvement Proposals which are

  • Draft - an EIP that is open for consideration
  • Accepted - an EIP that is planned for immediate adoption, i.e. expected to be included in the next hard fork (for Core/Consensus layer EIPs).
  • Final - an EIP that has been adopted in a previous hard fork (for Core/Consensus layer EIPs).
  • Deferred - an EIP that is not being considered for immediate adoption. May be reconsidered in the future for a subsequent hard fork.


ERC standards to move Ethereum forward? ERC-20, ERC-223, ERC-721.

ERC: Non-fungible Token Standard #721

Ethereum Smart Contract Packaging Standard

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs)

I'll add more as they come.

  • Thanks for the excellent answer. If I'm understanding the "criteria" to be an ERC correctly then every proposal is an ERC and the approved ones are in the EIP repo as well. Maybe it's just me but that wasn't totally clear from your answer and it seems to suggest that only the approved ones are called ERC. But again: maybe that's just me. Dec 20, 2017 at 20:45
  • @BalázsSáros Well a ERC is just a type of EIP. There is 4 level to a EIP which are Draft, Accepted, Final and Deferred. A proposed ERC is in the state of Draft until it is accepted. I'll add it to the answer.
    – I.B
    Dec 20, 2017 at 20:52

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