Su Squares is an NFT project created in 2018 on the Ethereum blockchain by William Entriken. It is widely regarded to be the first NFT project to be fully compliant with the official specification of the ERC-721 standard. Su Squares allows users to own unique digital squares on a public homepage that they can attach pictures and links to. The project was inspired by and pays homage to The Million Dollar Homepage and CryptoKitties, and specifically Dieter Shirley.The project's founder, William Entriken, is also the lead author of the ERC-721 standard.
Su Squares was created in early 2018 by Su Entriken and William Entriken. The idea for Su Squares came to them while William was learning about Ethereum and was looking for a fun and interesting way to get involved in the development of the technology. The project was initially called Su Coin, but it eventually took the form of Su Squares. The project was published in early 2018, after Su went on a business trip to Manila and William had some free time to work on it. It was the first fully compliant ERC-721 digital collectable and was designed to showcase the potential of ERC-721. It was also meant to be an example of how NFTs should be created by having no central control, utilizing metadata, and using enumeration.
William Entriken has a background in open source and developer community building, and was introduced to the Ethereum community in late 2017. He became involved in the non-fungible token (NFT) initiative, which he saw as the main value proposition of distributed ledger technologies. He joined the ERC-841 standards working group, which was later renamed ERC-721, then eventually became the lead author of the standard.
The ERC-721 token standard made its debut at Explore 721 and the North Texas Blockchain Alliance conference. It was finalized on June 21, 2018 on Su’s birthday.
“My biggest moment was when I laid the tracks for the ERC-721 movement and change the way how people approve the standards, making it possible for the standards to be approved faster. The next milestone was the passing of the proxy contract standards using the same standards process and the third was the ERC-820 standards which are the registry. Another breakthrough was the two week review whereby in the past, there were many comments to be reviewed. Through the RSS feeds, developers are now given two weeks to review it before it comes out as a finalized standard or they returned to the drawing board. If you are making a standard and nobody is using it, you are just wasting time.”- William Entriken
Su Squares was shown on stage at the July 2018 Hong Kong NIFTY GG event, where it achieved an "all passed" green score for compliance with the ERC-721 standard. The ERC-721 standard would go on to be adopted as the de facto standard for NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
The project's source code was recently made open-source after hitting a milestone of 1,000 Squares sold, a fulfilled promise made in the whitepaper. During the week of NFT NYC in November 2021, Su Squares images were put on display on Times Square in 8 spots comprising 21 screens. Verified Su Square owners who attended were given limited edition Su Square T-Shirts. Additionally a 60-foot billboard on I-95 in Philadelphia also showcased Su Squares in October leading up to the event.
Timeline of events
- 2018-01-14: William’s first comments on the ERC-721 discussion thread
- 2018-01-24: First draft of the ERC-841 standard
- 2018-01-31: tenthousandsu.com domain name registered
- 2018-03-01: Initial public release of the draft Su Squares smart contract, bug bounty started
- 2018-03-19: First Ethereum Mainnet deployment of Su Squares. William recommends to not use old versions because they are insecure. The following are examples of several of these early deployments:
- 2018-03-19: First commercial sale or grant of a Square—every subsequent release of Su Squares maintained the ownership of this Square and other other Squares that were owned on superseded version of the contract
- 2018-06-21: ERC-721 was promoted to final status with congratulation from Dieter Shirley, the originator of ERC-721: "HUGE thanks to @fulldecent for running this down a very long field. Glad to see this getting finalized"
- 2018-07-24: NIFTY Hong Kong presentation on stage shows Su Squares passing the validator test.
- 2018-07-27: Ethereum Foundation approved a grant to support William Entriken in ERC-721 work, this was a private program (not DevGrants), transaction. Privacy note: that sending address has already been published elsewhere as owned by the Ethereum Foundation and was published by people publicly associated with the Ethereum Foundation.
- 2018-08-05: Initial Deed Offering for Su Squares (i.e. first marketing push)
- 2018-08-06: Received endorsement from NonFungibles.com
- 2018-08-14: Official twitter account is created Twitter account
- 2018-11-05: Su Squares was upgraded, to the current official version of the contract.
- 2018-11-13: John Gleeson. Farsight Podcast. “William Entriken – ERC-721 [Lead] Author and Su Squares Founder”. (See also Spotify episode)
- 2019-01-03: Karin Chang. CoinGecko Buzz. “William Entriken - The Catalyst Behind ERC-721”.
- 2019-04-04: First edition business cards ordered GotPrint order #238027xx, 35 pt. Trifecta Pearl with Kanvas Texture, quantity 250
- 2019-04-28: 罗鸿达. 金色财 (Jinse). “ERC721主作者：撰写协议的过程是对用例更加深入的探讨”.
- 2021-03-24: A commemorative one-of-one collectable of the original state of Su Squares is minted on Rarible
- 2021-10-18: Underlay contract introduced, effectively reducing the cost of customizing a square by 90%
Supply and rarity
Su Squares has a supply of 10,000 squares in a 100x100 grid. All tokens were minted at the time of contract creation. The contract acts as a dispenser and available squares can be purchased directly from the official Su Squares homepage.
Ownership rights for holders
As per the Su Squares Official Website:
No cookies. No analytics. Not responsible for content of linked sites. Images shown on homepage are © their respective owners. This image refreshes approx. hourly. To the extent possible under law, Su Entriken has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to the TenThousandSu.com website. This work is published from the United States.
Su Squares is committed to keep the homepage running for 10 years from the 2018 launch. All Su Square images are stored fully on-chain on Ethereum layer 1 and are only changeable by the owner of the individual square. This makes Su Squares highly resistant to censorship.
Evolution of the ERC-721 standard
The ERC-721 standard was first proposed by Dieter Shirley in a post on GitHub on September 20, 2017. The first implementation of an early, but incomplete, iteration of the ERC-721 standard was the CryptoKitties smart contract which was deployed on November 28, 2017. The initial success of CryptoKitties caused other developers to adopt the ERC-721 standard for their projects however it was still actively being improved so many founders patiently waited for a final specification to be complete. With many of these developers redeploying their contract every time the specification was changed because they wanted to ensure the long-term interoperability of their projects, William decided to create Su Squares to show he had "skin in the game" as he would need to redeploy with each revision just as many of the other developers were doing.
Differences between the CryptoKitties ERC-721 implementation
The differences between the finalized ERC-721 standard and the CryptoKitty contract can be grouped into three main categories: indexing, transfer safety, and metadata and enumeration.
- Indexing: The ERC721 standard includes indexing on its events, which means that the events can be easily queried and filtered by the blockchain. In contrast, the Cryptokitties does not have indexing on its events, which makes it more expensive and difficult to query and filter the events.
- Transfer safety: The ERC721 standard includes a safeTransferFrom function, which allows for the transfer of tokens to be conducted in a way that avoids sending tokens to contracts by accident. Cryptokitties does not have a safeTransferFrom function, which makes it easier for users to accidentally send tokens to contracts.
- Metadata and enumeration: The ERC721 standard includes a tokenURI function, which allows for the retrieval of metadata about a given token, such as an information URL. Cryptokitties does have a tokenMetadata function, but it was not implemented, and it also has a tokensOfOwner function that does not work properly. Additionally, the ERC721 standard includes a getApproved function, which allows for the retrieval of the approved address for a given token. Cryptokitties has a kittyIndexToApproved mapping, which required exchanges to make an exception for them in order to retrieve the approved address for a token.
Additionally the following functions were different:
- The name and symbol functions, which allow for the retrieval of the name and symbol of the token, respectively.
- The totalSupply function, which allows for the retrieval of the total number of tokens that have been minted.
- The supportsInterface function, which allows for the determination of whether a contract implements a specific interface.
- The balanceOf function, which allows for the retrieval of the number of tokens owned by a given address.
- Reconsider the word "deed" #2 https://github.com/fulldecent/EIPs/pull/2
- Spotlight #3: William Entriken - The Catalyst Behind ERC-721 https://www.coingecko.com/learn/spotlight-3-william-entriken
- 40 under 40 2022, William Entriken https://drexelmagazine.org/2022/william-entriken/
- CryptoKitties craze slows down transactions on Ethereumhttps://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42237162
- Exploring the Vintage NFT Space with ZeroG (52:12)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is5Vrs6EZJk