Mar 14, 2024

Did the ERC-404 Token Standard Just Revolutionize NFT Ownership?

The ERC-404 Token Standard represents a significant advancement in the blockchain domain, blending the best aspects of ERC-20 fungible tokens and ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to introduce the concept of semi-fungible tokens or “hybrid tokens”. This innovative standard facilitates the fractional ownership of NFTs, thereby democratizing access to high-value digital assets and expanding investment possibilities within the NFT ecosystem. By allowing the direct fractionalization of NFTs within the token standard itself—without the need for external platforms—ERC-404 simplifies the process, enhances market liquidity, and broadens participation in the ownership of NFTs.

Originating as an experimental proposal, the ERC-404 standard aims to close the gap between fungible and non-fungible tokens by allowing multiple owners to possess a share of a single NFT. This is accomplished through a mechanism that permits the minting and burning of fractional tokens, which represent parts of an underlying NFT. Such an approach not only increases the liquidity of NFTs but also opens the door to a myriad of new applications beyond art and collectibles, potentially transforming sectors like real estate, gaming, and intellectual property rights.

Currently, the ERC-404 Token Standard is in development and has yet to be formalized as an official Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP). Despite this, several projects are beginning to explore its utility, highlighting the standard's potential impact on the broader blockchain ecosystem. Its success, however, will depend on community support, developer adoption, and the navigation of regulatory landscapes.

This article aims to explore ERC-404 in detail, highlighting its potential role in shaping the future of NFT ownership. We'll look at how it works, its uses, and its impact on various projects. Whether you're an experienced crypto enthusiast or new to the world of digital assets, this discussion promises valuable insights into an exciting aspect of blockchain technology.

Understanding the ERC-404 Token Standard

To understand the ERC-404 token standard, it's important to know about its predecessors: ERC-20 and ERC-721. Here's a brief explanation of each:

  1. ERC-20 is a technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, representing fungible tokens. Fungible tokens are interchangeable with each other, much like currency notes or gold.
  2. ERC-721 represents non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — unique digital assets that cannot be replaced with something else.

Now, let's explore what ERC-404 is all about. This token standard combines features from both ERC-20 and ERC-721, creating a connection between fungible and non-fungible tokens. The main purpose of ERC-404 is to enable fractional ownership of NFTs, allowing multiple people to own a single NFT.

Why is ERC-404 significant?

One of the key advantages of ERC-404 is its ability to convert NFTs into regular tokens and vice versa. This feature opens up new opportunities for users, especially when it comes to trading blue chip NFTs. Even if someone can't afford to buy a whole NFT, they can still buy a fraction of it thanks to ERC-404.

The introduction of the ERC-404 token standard has made the NFT market more inclusive. It has made expensive NFTs more accessible to a larger audience by enabling fractional trading. This advancement is an exciting development in the world of digital asset management.

In the next sections, we'll take a closer look at how ERC-404 works in real-life scenarios and what it could mean for future advancements in this field.

The Functionality of ERC-404 Tokens

ERC-404 tokens have a unique characteristic in the crypto world. They can function in two ways:

  • Interchangeable fungible tokens, similar to ERC-20 tokens, where each token holds equal value and is indistinguishable from another.
  • Unique NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), similar to ERC-721 tokens, where each token represents a distinct asset with its own characteristics and value.

This dual functionality opens up new possibilities for how tokens can be used. Here are a few examples:

Token Fractionation for Partial Ownership

With ERC-404 tokens, it becomes possible to have partial ownership of assets. This is especially useful for high-value NFTs that may be too expensive for most people to buy outright. By breaking down these NFTs into smaller, more affordable pieces through token fractionation, investors can now buy and sell fractions of an NFT instead of having to purchase the whole thing. This process enhances market liquidity and makes it easier for more people to invest in and trade high-value assets.

Tokenization of Real-World Assets

Another potential use case for ERC-404 tokens is the tokenization of real-world assets. This involves converting physical assets like real estate, art, or commodities into digital form on the blockchain. By doing so, these assets can be easily bought, sold, and traded in a secure and transparent manner. Tokenization has the potential to unlock liquidity in traditionally illiquid markets and make investing in assets more accessible to a wider range of people.

Limitations and Risks of ERC-404 Tokens

While ERC-404 tokens offer exciting possibilities, there are also some limitations and risks to be aware of:

  • Gas fees: The complex smart contracts required for ERC-404 tokens can incur higher gas fees during transactions. Gas fees are the fees paid to miners on the Ethereum network to process and validate transactions.
  • Official recognition/integration: Gaining widespread acceptance and integrating with existing blockchain infrastructure remains a challenge for new token standards like ERC-404.

Pandora: A Case Study on Utilizing the ERC-404 Standard

Pandora ($PANDORA) stands as the pioneering platform utilizing the ERC-404 standard, demonstrating its unique approach to NFT fractionalization. With each token issued on Pandora directly linked to an NFT, it paves the way for a new method of trading and fractional ownership in the NFT space. This innovation aims to enhance the market's fluidity and open up the world of NFTs to broader audiences by allowing for partial purchases and sales of NFTs, addressing the common challenge of NFT liquidity.

Following its introduction, Pandora experienced a dramatic increase in value, reaching a peak of over $32,000 shortly after its debut, propelled by the excitement surrounding ERC-404.

Here are some of the innovative features that set it apart:

Automatic NFT Minting

Whenever tokens are transferred on Pandora, corresponding NFTs are automatically created. These NFTs represent partial ownership of a larger asset.

NFT Destruction

On the flip side, when enough partial tokens are combined to form a complete NFT, Pandora destroys the partial tokens and gives the owner a single, whole NFT.

These dynamic processes ensure that the fractional ownership of the underlying asset is transparent and secure. The implications of Pandora's use of ERC-404 are far-reaching:

  • Market Accessibility: By lowering the barriers to entry for high-value assets, Pandora makes it possible for more people to get involved in the NFT market.
  • Asset Integrity: The automatic creation and destruction of tokens help preserve the uniqueness and rarity of the original NFT assets.
  • Encouraging Innovation: As one of the first projects to use ERC-404, Pandora could inspire other developers to explore its potential for their own applications.

The potential impact of these initiatives on the world of NFTs is significant. They not only demonstrate how token standards like ERC-404 can be put into practice but also open up new possibilities for growth in the digital asset space.

The Role of ERC-404 in Overcoming NFT Liquidity Challenges

The Web3 ecosystem often faces difficulties with NFT liquidity because non-fungible tokens are not easily exchanged for cash or other tokens. Unlike fungible assets, NFTs are unique and indivisible. However, the ERC-404 token standard offers a potential solution to this problem.

1. Market Platforms

Market platforms play a crucial role in enabling the trading of fractionalized NFTs. These platforms bring together buyers and sellers who are interested in buying or selling fractions of NFTs. By providing a dedicated space for these transactions, market platforms increase the visibility and trading volume of fragmented NFTs, making it easier for people to buy and sell them.

2. Lending Protocols

NFT lending protocols have recently emerged as another solution to the liquidity problem. These protocols allow NFT holders to use their assets as collateral in order to borrow money. By doing so, they unlock the value of their NFTs without having to sell them outright. This injection of liquidity into the market helps address the issue of static assets and can potentially benefit both short-term traders and long-term holders.

3. NFT Fractionalization Platforms

NFT fractionalization platforms aim to make high-value NFTs more accessible by breaking them down into smaller, more affordable pieces. As mentioned previously, this process is similar to owning shares in a company - instead of buying the entire artwork or collectible, you can own a fraction of it. By making expensive NFTs more affordable, fractionalization platforms open up the market to a larger number of potential buyers, increasing overall demand and liquidity.

Other Projects Driving Adoption of the ERC-404 Standard

While the previous section highlighted the role of ERC-404 in addressing liquidity challenges, it's important to note that there are several projects actively implementing and promoting this standard to disrupt traditional NFT practices.


DeFrogs is a project that stands out for its unique approach to incorporating ERC-404. The project offers a seamless mix of fungible and non-fungible tokens, illustrating the versatility and potential of this standard.


Monkees is another project that has adopted the ERC-404 standard. It provides a platform for users to trade and own Monkee characters as NFTs. By employing ERC-404, Monkees enables fractional ownership and enhances accessibility for users.

Punks404 and EtherRock404

In the same spirit, Punks404 and EtherRock404 have also integrated the ERC-404 standard into their platforms. Punks404 employs this token standard to allow users to trade CryptoPunks, one of the earliest examples of NFTs on Ethereum. EtherRock404 allows users to buy, sell, or hold virtual rocks as collectibles while ensuring liquidity through fractional ownership.

These innovative projects exemplify how the adoption of ERC-404 can revolutionize digital asset trading by merging the best features of fungible and non-fungible tokens. With continued development and adoption, these initiatives could pave the way for a more inclusive and fluid NFT market.

The Future of ERC-404: Challenges and Opportunities

The ERC-404 standard is poised on the cutting edge of blockchain innovation, yet its path forward is not without obstacles. Key challenges include:

1. Comprehensive Auditing Processes

As with any financial instrument, security is paramount. ERC-404 tokens represent a new frontier in asset ownership, necessitating rigorous auditing to ensure smart contract integrity and safeguard against vulnerabilities. Thorough audits are essential to prevent potential exploits that could compromise token and NFT ownership.

2. Gaining Official Recognition

For ERC-404 to gain momentum in the mainstream market, it will require recognition from established regulatory bodies. This step is critical for fostering trust among traditional investors and ensuring compliance with global financial regulations.

3. Integration with Existing Blockchain Infrastructure

The utility and widespread adoption of ERC-404 tokens will depend heavily on their seamless integration into the current blockchain ecosystem. Aligning with existing platforms, exchanges, and wallets will be crucial for user adoption and functional interoperability.

The Future of ERC-404 Tokens

Looking ahead, the integration of ERC-404 offers promising opportunities to enhance the functionality of digital assets on the blockchain. By enabling fractional ownership and fluid conversion between NFTs and fungible tokens, ERC-404 can unlock new levels of liquidity and investment diversity. However, achieving this requires collective efforts from developers, auditors, regulators, and the broader crypto community to overcome these challenges and harness the potential of this innovative standard.

Disclaimer: Not Financial Advice

This content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as financial, investment, legal, or other professional advice. The information presented does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company. Readers should conduct their own research and consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. The author(s) and publisher are not responsible for any financial losses or damages resulting from the use of this information.

About Chain

Chain is a blockchain infrastructure solution company that has been on a mission to enable a smarter and more connected economy since 2014. Chain offers builders in the Web3 industry services that help streamline the process of developing, and maintaining their blockchain infrastructures. Chain implements a SaaS model for its products that addresses the complexities of overall blockchain management. Chain offers a variety of products such as Ledger, Cloud, and NFTs as a service. Companies who choose to utilize Chain’s services will be able to free up resources for developers and cut costs so that clients can focus on their own products and customer experience. Learn more:

Connect with Chain for the latest updates:

X (Previously Twitter):






Chain News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

Sign up for the Chain Newsletter - a weekly roundup of new platform features and the latest from the industry.