It's easy to understand that a jpeg, png, gif or mp4 file underlies an art NFT (ERC-721 token), which can be proved by looking up the artwork's IPFS address and seeing the filename extension there.

But what file format underlies a .eth ENS domain name?

What digital object are buyers of NFT domains (which are also ERC-721 tokens) actually physically buying? Are these domain files located on IPFS for look-up like art NFTs as well?

1 Answer 1


What you are describing is called the metadata. Here in example of metadata for a specific ENS NFT:

  "name": "nick.eth",
  "description": "nick.eth, an ENS name.",
  "attributes": [
      "trait_type": "Created Date",
      "display_type": "date",
      "value": 1580803395000
      "trait_type": "Registration Date",
      "display_type": "date",
      "value": 1580803395000
      "trait_type": "Expiration Date",
      "display_type": "date",
      "value": 1698131707000
  "name_length": 4,
  "short_name": null,
  "length": 0,
  "url": "https://app.ens.domains/name/nick.eth",
  "version": 0,
  "background_image": "https://metadata.ens.domains/mainnet/avatar/nick.eth",
  "image_url": "https://metadata.ens.domains/mainnet/0x57f1887a8BF19b14fC0dF6Fd9B2acc9Af147eA85/0x5d5727cb0fb76e4944eafb88ec9a3cf0b3c9025a4b2f947729137c5d7f84f68f/image"

As you can see the actual ENS name is just a string and the metadata is stored on the ENS metadata server: https://metadata.ens.domains/docs

  • so what effectively in this metadata is the device underlying the NFT contract itself that mechanizes into a fully-blown decentralized website or crypto wallet router? don't see it anywhere.
    – user610620
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 6:21
  • See the proposal: github.com/ethereum/EIPs/blob/master/EIPS/eip-137.md Also, here is how devs can implement ENS into their dApp: docs.ens.domains/dapp-developer-guide/ens-enabling-your-dapp
    – jcalb
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 19:13
  • maybe you could find the part from all that linked documentation that answers the question.
    – user610620
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 2:38
  • There isn't a two sentence answer to your question. It is a very technical one and I recommend taking a few minutes of reading the EIP to get a better understanding of how ENS works to maybe ask a better or more specific question if you are still confused.
    – jcalb
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 6:00

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