NFTs could streamline your wallet experience

New standard ERC-6551 is hoping to unlock new utilities for NFTs


Alongkorn Sanguansook/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


ERC-6551 is introducing a standard for NFTs by unlocking their ability to be a smart wallet that can interact with different decentralized apps in the Ethereum ecosystem.

When thinking about NFTs today, we often imagine collectables, creative artwork and profile pictures.

ERC-6551, or Ethereum Request for Comment 6551, introduces the ability for each NFT — even the ones that users already have in their wallets today — to become a smart contract wallet, which means that each NFT could own tokens.

In a conversation with Blockworks, Jayden Windle, co-author of ERC-6551, said he believed that NFTs could be much more than a static asset that sits in a wallet.

“I’ve been working on Future Primitive for the past year and a half, and ERC-6551 came out of a lot of the experimental projects we’ve been building,” Windle said. 

With ERC-6551, when you transfer an NFT, the wallet and the tokens that the NFT holds also goes with it.

On chain today, most applications can be broken down into two very simple actions, Windle explained. You can either own and hold assets or use them to participate in the wider ecosystem activities.

“When you give an NFT a wallet, you let NFTs participate equally in everything that happens on chain,” Windle said.

Inventory management through NFTs

By giving every NFT a wallet, it creates a flexible inventory system.

“You can find the address of your NFT, copy and paste it on to Metamask, and start sending any assets in your wallet to the NFT wallet. You could go to OpenSea and see all the assets in your NFTs wallet,” Windle said. “Everything in Ethereum works with wallets, and wallets are the universal layer of ownership and action on Ethereum.”

One particular NFT project related to ERC-6551 that Windle has been working on is Sapienz

With Sapienz, each item of clothing owned by an avatar is a separate token, meaning that each piece of clothing is its own separate NFT that can exist in its own token-bound account. 

“If your NFT owns those tokens, it will have the right to equip and unequip them onto the artwork, that changes the artwork of the NFT everywhere you can see the NFT,” Windle explained. “We’re using the mechanics [of ERC-6551] in a limited capacity, but you can see the potential for gaming applications and character based applications where an NFT can have its own identity.”

Beyond gaming, ERC-6551 can also be used for organizing trips and travel. Andrei Ponivesc from UltimStudio explained in a Twitter thread.

“One interesting use case is a marketplace where tour guides can offer experiences where users have a specific itinerary,” Ponivesc wrote. 

Tour guides could sell an NFT with experiences already planned within the NFT. More importantly, Ponivesc notes, is that “inside that NFT, the tour guide can add more NFTs which can be in the form of instructions or even tickets that they have to present at each part of the experience.”

ERC-6551 tokens will be compatible with all existing ERC-721 tokens, which means no new smart contracts need to be deployed to existing NFTs.

Marketplaces which choose to support ERC-6551 tokens will need to individually ensure that fraud prevention practices are in place to prevent malicious behavior.

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