ENS/.eth Names, Meta Data NOT Decentralized?

Hello ENS DAO,
Based on this post:

“The company ENS Labs Limited (formerly TNL)
owns and maintains the ENS Metadata Service.”

The thread goes on to say:

[ENS] names can be delisted from marketplaces and won’t resolve in wallets,
…via sole discretion of ENS Labs, since ENS Labs Limited
“owns and maintains the ENS Metadata Service”.

Is this fud, or why is this “ENS Metadata Service” centralized,
can, or when can, this be placed in the control of the ENS DAO?
Is it okay to talk about this, as I do not understand this well?

Thank you!

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Is this just fud? And:

  1. Is the “ENS metadata service” just a service that apps can voluntarily use
    (and apps could use their own if they wanted)?
  2. Is the “ENS metadata service” just voluntary (to get things like the NFT image),
    and this doesn’t affect the usability or records at all?
  3. Is the “ENS metadata service” irrelevant to decide what are valid names or not?
  4. What critical power or control does the “ENS metadata service” have over ENS or .eth Names?
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Sure, it is definitely true that it’s “just a service that apps can voluntarily use”. The metadata service is not part of the ENS protocol. Apps/websites can choose not to use it. In practice though, it’s a vital piece of the ENS ecosystem. For example, OpenSea uses the is_normalized field to determine whether or not to delist the name. https://metadata.ens.domains/mainnet/0x57f1887a8BF19b14fC0dF6Fd9B2acc9Af147eA85/29808923550838059031251642667935480262463889673343087590680193319387272703683

Wallets like Metamask probably don’t use the ENS Metadata Service directly. But they do use the same normalization code (the very same code that will be updated in the near future). That same code gets embedded into ethers.js and other major libraries, which in turn gets used in major clients/wallets like Metamask. If the name is invalid per the normalization code, then Metamask will not allow you to use it:


The NFT image for invalid names will be that red image you may have seen before:


So your avatar won’t “work” for the name either, at least not on any major client/website/dapp. For example, LooksRare doesn’t delist the name like OpenSea does, so you can still see the image:

So yeah, it’s a voluntary service, of course. It doesn’t affect anything at the actual contract level. But for many people, I think they would find usability diminished, because it:

  1. Will be delisted from OpenSea and possibly other places
    1a. This also means that the NFT for your name will disappear from most wallets like Metamask / Coinbase Wallet, because many wallets simply pull NFT metadata directly from OpenSea’s API
  2. Will show the red invalid avatar on all clients/dapps/websites that use the metadata service
  3. Will not actually work/resolve in all wallets, such as Metamask

But of course, you can create your own website/wallet/marketplace that doesn’t abide by the same normalization rules, or doesn’t use the official ENS metadata service, if you wish.

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In addition, it’s worth noting that the metadata service gets all its data from onchain sources, is open source, and anyone can run their own and produce exactly the same results as the TNL / ENS Labs one.


well done mate!

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