Asset Issuance Standards#
Ergo supports custom tokens as first-class citizens.
Namely, a special register (
R2) of a box contains (
tokenId -> amount) pairs. The hard limit for the number of tokens per box or transaction is pretty liberal; namely, there could be up to 255 secondary tokens in a transaction or a box; however, there are indirect limits (box could be no more than 4 kilobytes, and also tokens add to the estimated computational cost of the transaction).
The Erg amount is written directly (with no identifier) as a number in the register
There are some more significant differences between Ergs and other tokens:
- ERGs can not be burnt: the total amount of ergs in transaction inputs should equal the total amount of the outputs. Unlike ERGs, we can burn other tokens: the total amount for a token in transaction inputs should be no less than the amount of the outputs.
- Storage rent is only payable in ERG.
Tokens can represent a myriad of things such as shares, complementary currency units, or whatever else you can think of.
In the UTXO model, we call a token issued with an amount of exactly one unit, a
singleton token; these could be used to imitate long-living accounts existing in Waves, Ethereum Classic etc. Namely, a transaction spends an old box with the singleton token and creates a new one, and the script of the old box can demand the new box to have specific properties (e.g. a particular script or a particular amount). Thus the smart account marked with the token can live and have its state changed as prescribed by the smart account contract through a transaction chain.
A particular case for a singular token is an oracle.
One can create a token, e.g. ERG/EUR exchange rates oracle. Then a box which contains the token has an exchange rate encoded in a specific register. As the oracle is a long-living account, contracts can know the oracle token identifier in advance and refer to it.
How could new assets be created?
There is a notable exception to the weak preservation rule (total amount in inputs is no less than the total amount in outputs); namely, a transaction can create out-of-thin-air tokens in its outputs if the asset identifier is equal to the identifier of the first input box of the transaction. As the box identifier is cryptographically unique, there is no chance of having a second asset with the same identifier. At the same time, the hash function used is collision-resistant (and it indeed is). This rule also means that we can create only one new asset per transaction.
The Ergo reference implementation wallet uses specific registers in a certain way, though the protocol does not require this:
R4- verbose name
R6- number of decimal places
- You could use additional registers (
R9) for asset-specific information
Applications can use this convention; however, the protocol does not enforce it.