ERC-404 Token Standard: What Is It and How Does It Work?

ERC-404 Token Standard: What Is It and How Does It Work?

ERC-404 is a groundbreaking token standard that merges the features of ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards, creating a unique token possessing qualities of both fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

ERC-404 Token Explained

Two developers unveiled the novelERC-404 token standard in February 2024, using the aliases “ctrl” and “Acme.” This standard combined elements of the well-known ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards.

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Although these standards were not designed to be integrated, the ERC-404 GitHub repository aims to do so as smoothly as possible with the fewest possible compromises. ERC-20 tokens follow the principle of fungibility, which allows tokens to be divided into smaller units and swapped for ones with equal value.

On the other hand, ERC-721 tokens, also referred to as NFTs, are distinct and indivisible digital assets. Named after the well-known web page error code “Error 404,” the ERC-404 token standard adds the ability to divide NFTs within Ethereum’s framework fractionally.

This breakthrough is achieved by linking an NFT to a fungible token, allowing for fractional ownership. Pandora was the first project to implement the ERC-404 framework with the PANDORA token and associated “Replicant NFT.”

Importance of ERC-404 Tokens

Fractionalized NFTs relied only on third-party protocols before the development of ERC-404. Users would face difficulties with trust and value alignment due to these protocols, which lock NFTs in wallets and issue tokens against them.

This procedure is revolutionized by ERC-404, which uses decentralized smart contracts to link NFTs to token value directly. By ensuring that the token’s value reflects the underlying NFT’s real-time price, this mechanism reduces price disparities and eliminates the need for intermediary trust.

ERC-404 tokens increase liquidity in the NFT ecosystem by allowing users to trade fractional NFTs through smart contract-controlled liquidity pools.

How ERC-404 Token Work

ERC-404 incorporates a unique “mint-and-burn” mechanism that allows seamless fractional ownership and transfer of collectibles. When one purchases an entire ERC-404 token, the smart contract generates a matched NFT and delivers it to your wallet.

The minted NFT indicates that they own the asset represented by the token. Similarly, when enough fractions of an ERC-404 token are acquired to make up a full token, the smart contract creates a new NFT for the purchaser.

When holders sell fractions of their tokens, the associated NFT is “burned,” which means it no longer exists. The protocol then distributes fractional ownership to the buyers of these fractions.

Notably, an NFT exists only when an individual owns the entire ERC-404 token. Conceptually, ERC-404 allows tokens to function as currency units (like dollar bills) and unique collectibles, adapting their function based on the amount held.

Difference between ERC-40, 20, and 721

ERC-404 distinguishes itself from the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards by introducing a new feature: the ability to fractionalize NFTs within the Ethereum protocol.  This innovation promotes shared ownership and increases liquidity for specific digital assets, a significant advancement in token standards.

ERC-404 Use Cases

Despite its experimental nature, the ERC-404 token standard has versatile applications in several industries.

Asset Tokenization

ERC-404 facilitates fractional ownership of high-value assets such as luxury items, real estate, and artwork. This fractional ownership model lowers entry barriers for investors and increases liquidity in these industries.


ERC-404 allows for the integration of non-fungible assets, expanding the scope of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. ERC-404 tokens’ fractional shares provide owners with access to assets that were previously out of reach, increasing their utility and inclusivity.


In gaming, ERC-404 tokens represent in-game assets like avatars and weapons. Fractionalization expands game-play progression and asset evolution options while increasing access to rare in-game merchandise. Players can exchange assets on a granular level, opening up new opportunities for asset monetization and player interaction.

Challenges of ERC-404 Token

Experiential Nature

Early adopters may face risks due to the experimental nature of ERC-404. Its novelty implies the possibility of significant changes or improvements, posing barriers to widespread adoption.

Market Uncertainty

ERC-404 tokens have received initial interest, but their long-term market viability is uncertain. Speculative trading activities may result in volatile token prices. For example, the pioneer ERC-404 token PANDORA saw a significant drop in value between its peak on February 9 and May 16, 2024.

Potential Manipulation

Also, the experimental nature of ERC-404 allows for malicious exploitation. Bad actors may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the standard, posing security risks to assets built on ERC-404. Such vulnerabilities require careful monitoring and mitigation efforts to protect the ecosystem.


While the ERC-404 token standard opens up new possibilities for fractionalizing NFTs and increasing asset accessibility, its experimental nature poses challenges. However, potential vulnerabilities and market uncertainties constitute the token’s challenges.

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Rudy Harris
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Rudy Harris

Rudy Harris, a dynamo in crypto journalism, intricately unpacks the multifaceted world of digital assets. Renowned for his analytical depth and clear exposition, Rudy's articles serve as an essential compass for those navigating the intricate corridors of blockchain and cryptocurrency, solidifying his stature as a trusted expert.

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