ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens are the most well known fungible token and non-fungible tokens. would be very familiar for most cryptocurrency traders. ERC-721 is a good concept that allows each NFT to be a unique collectible with its own serial number. However there is one drawback, the transaction of each NFT token would need to be recorded on-chain which can cause network congestion like how Cryptokitties did at its peak during December 2017.
ERC-1155 vs ERC-721
ERC-1155 is then proposed by the Enjin.io team to tackle the issue of potential network congestion in Ethereum network caused by potentially large amount of NFT transactions if blockchain gaming really does take off. The major difference between ERC-721 and ERC-1155 is the structure of the smart contracts. In ERC-721 each token is stored in separate contracts, but ERC-1155 allows for bundle transactions of multiple different tokens as long as they are an ERC-1155 token.
To put it in a simpler way, when you go and shop for a beer and some chips, using the ERC-721 way you would need to pay each of the item individually at the cashier, but the concept of ERC-1155 will allow you to pay all of them in one bill.
There are no right or wrong with ERC-721 and ERC-1155 because their starting point and end goal are significantly different to begin with, hence their directions of actions would be different. ERC-721 are crypto collectibles and they are suppose to be rare, expensive and redundant, like an antique that is stored in a museum and is very costly and hectic to transport, but that is what makes it valuable. Whereas for ERC-1155 they are focusing on allowing mass adoption of NFTs within the gaming space and really focus on developing blockchain gaming, hence they would require a transaction of items in bulk, because it would be unsustainable to transact millions of gaming items individually.
How will ERC-721 and ERC-1155 impact the future for NFTs
I think both ERC-721 and ERC-1155 will strive at the same time, because they are working towards a different focus within the space. However i would predict that the ERC-1155 route would have large competition as the ideology of blockchain gaming grows further, one that i would see competing with ERC-1155 in the near future would be Loom Network or possibly from EOS or TRON blockchains as well, since they are feeless for users. Enjin is definitely pushing ERC-1155 really hard especially with the recent partnership between Enjin and Samsung.
It is super exciting to see what the future for NFT would be like in the next few month
List of ERC-1155 tokens projects:
List of ERC-721 tokens projects: