1 month ago

Why does every smart contract seem to implement ERC165?

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ERC165 (or EIP-165) is a standard utilized by various open-source smart contracts like Open Zeppelin or Aavegotchi.

What's it? You must implement? Why do we need it? I'll describe the standard and answer any queries.

What is ERC165

ERC165 detects and publishes smart contract interfaces. Meaning? It standardizes how interfaces are recognized, how to detect if they implement ERC165, and how a contract publishes the interfaces it implements. How does it work?

Why use ERC165? Sometimes it's useful to know which interfaces a contract implements, and which version.

Identifying interfaces

An interface function's selector. This verifies an ABI function. XORing all function selectors defines an interface in this standard. The following code demonstrates.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: UNLICENCED
pragma solidity >=0.8.0 <0.9.0;

interface Solidity101 {
    function hello() external pure;
    function world(int) external pure;

contract Selector {
    function calculateSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector ^;
        // Returns 0xc6be8b58

    function getHelloSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector;
        // Returns 0x19ff1d21

    function getWorldSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        // Returns 0xdf419679

This code isn't necessary to understand function selectors and how an interface's selector can be determined from the functions it implements.

Run that sample in Remix to see how interface function modifications affect contract function output.

Contracts publish their implemented interfaces.

We can identify interfaces. Now we must disclose the interfaces we're implementing. First, import IERC165 like so.

pragma solidity ^0.4.20;

interface ERC165 {
    /// @notice Query if a contract implements an interface
    /// @param interfaceID The interface identifier, as specified in ERC-165
    /// @dev Interface identification is specified in ERC-165. 
    /// @return `true` if the contract implements `interfaceID` and
    ///  `interfaceID` is not 0xffffffff, `false` otherwise
    function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceID) external view returns (bool);

We still need to build this interface in our smart contract. ERC721 from OpenZeppelin is a good example.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
// OpenZeppelin Contracts (last updated v4.5.0) (token/ERC721/ERC721.sol)

pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

import "./IERC721.sol";
import "./extensions/IERC721Metadata.sol";
import "../../utils/introspection/ERC165.sol";
// ...

contract ERC721 is Context, ERC165, IERC721, IERC721Metadata {
  // ...

  function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override(ERC165, IERC165) returns (bool) {
      interfaceId == type(IERC721).interfaceId ||
      interfaceId == type(IERC721Metadata).interfaceId ||
  // ...

I deleted unnecessary code. The smart contract imports ERC165, IERC721 and IERC721Metadata. The is keyword at smart contract declaration implements all three.

Kind (interface).

Note that type(interface).interfaceId returns the same as the interface selector.

We override supportsInterface in the smart contract to return a boolean that checks if interfaceId is the same as one of the implemented contracts.

Super.supportsInterface() calls ERC165 code. Checks if interfaceId is IERC165.

function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override returns (bool) {
    return interfaceId == type(IERC165).interfaceId;

So, if we run supportsInterface with an interfaceId, our contract function returns true if it's implemented and false otherwise. True for IERC721, IERC721Metadata, andIERC165.


I hope this post has helped you understand and use ERC165 and why it's employed.

Have a great day, thanks for reading!