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Indexing blockchain and IPFS data for ERC1155 tokens with The Graph Protocol

Unleash the full potential of your smart contracts with indexing strategies for ERC1155 tokens and IPFS content using The Graph Protocol. This guide details how to efficiently manage blockchain data for better dApp integration.

Table of contents

In the evolving world of blockchain technology, efficiently managing and querying data from smart contracts is crucial for the success of decentralized applications (dApps). The Graph Protocol offers a powerful solution by enabling developers to create and use open APIs, called subgraphs, to index blockchain data. In this guide, we’ll explore how you can use The Graph Protocol to index and query ERC1155 token data and its IPFS content, enhancing the dApp’s functionality and user experience.


What is The Graph Protocol?

The Graph Protocol is a decentralized protocol for indexing and querying data from blockchains, similar to how web search engines index and query the internet. It allows developers to extract, process, and store data from blockchain transactions and make this data easily accessible through GraphQL APIs. This is particularly useful for dApps that need to perform complex queries that are difficult or inefficient to execute directly on the blockchain. With The Graph, developers can build serverless applications that run entirely on public infrastructure.

Why Use The Graph for ERC1155 Tokens and IPFS?

ERC1155 tokens are unique in that they enable the creation of both fungible (similar to ERC20) and non-fungible tokens (similar to ERC721) within a single contract. This flexibility can lead to a complex data landscape, making The Graph an ideal tool for handling such diversity efficiently.

InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol and peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressable storage, meaning files are identified by their content, not their location, which is perfect for decentralization.

Combining ERC1155 tokens with IPFS provides a robust structure for managing digital assets in a decentralized manner, and indexing this information with The Graph makes it readily queryable and linkable within our applications.

In this case we combining a simple subgraph with file data sources templates to index both on-chain (CryptoMemes events/transactions) and off-chain (NFT json metadata) data.

Overview of Smart Contract Events

I’m using my own ERC1155 example smart contract, complete source code can be found here…

The CryptoMeme.sol contract outlines several events:

  • MemeCreated: Triggered when a new meme is created.
  • MemePurchased: Emitted when a meme is purchased.
  • MemePriceChanged: Fired when the price of a meme is updated.
  • MemeSaleStatusChanged: Emitted when a meme’s sale status changes.
     * @dev Emitted when a new meme is created.
     * @param memeId The newly created meme's token ID.
     * @param owner The owner of newly created meme token.
     * @param isForSale Meme is for sale or not.
     * @param price The starting price for the meme.
     * @param createdAt The unix timestamp when the meme was created.
     * @param contentUri The content URI of the meme.
    event MemeCreated(
        uint256 indexed memeId,
        address indexed owner,
        bool isForSale,
        uint256 price,
        uint256 createdAt,
        string contentUri

     * @dev Emitted when a meme is purchased.
     * @param memeId The purchased meme's token ID.
     * @param buyer The buyer of the purchased meme.
    event MemePurchased(uint256 indexed memeId, address indexed buyer);

     * @dev Emitted when a meme price is changed.
     * @param memeId The meme's token ID.
     * @param newPrice The new price for the meme.
    event MemePriceChanged(uint256 indexed memeId, uint256 newPrice);

     * @dev Emitted when a meme changes its sale status.
     * @param memeId The meme's token ID.
     * @param isForSale Meme is for sale or not.
    event MemeSaleStatusChanged(uint256 indexed memeId, bool isForSale);

Step 1: Create subgraph

We can create the initial subgraph by running the following command and follow the instructions:

graph init --studio <SUBGRAPH_SLUG>

Here an example output:


With this command we created a scaffold subgraph that we can use as a starting point for building our subgraph.

Step 2: Modify subgraph mappings and schema

When making changes to the subgraph, we will mainly work with three files:

  • Manifest (subgraph.yaml): The manifest defines the smart contracts your subgraph indexes, which events from these contracts to pay attention to, and how to map event data to entities that Graph Node stores and allows to query.
  • Schema (schema.graphql): The GraphQL schema defines what data we wish to retrieve from the subgraph and relations between them. GraphQL schemas are defined using the GraphQL interface definition language.
  • AssemblyScript Mappings (crypto-meme.ts): This is the code that translates data from our datasources to the entities defined in the schema.

Let’s start with defining the schema.graphql:

type Meme @entity {
  id: Bytes! # memeId
  owner: Bytes! # address
  isForSale: Boolean! # bool
  price: BigInt! # uint256
  contentUri: String!
  content: MemeContent
  createdAt: BigInt! # uint256
  updatedAt: BigInt! # uint256

type MemeContent @entity {
  id: ID! # contentUri
  text: String!
  mediaUrl: String!

type _Schema_
    name: "memeSearch"
    language: en
    algorithm: rank
    include: [{ entity: "MemeContent", fields: [{ name: "text" }] }]

As you can see we have two entities:

  • Meme: the entity that rappresent a Meme NFT token and it will be created by MemeCreated event and updated by other events (e.g MemePurchased). Note that the content field is pointing to MemeContent as 1:1 relationship.
  • MemeContent: is the entity to index NFTs metadata related to Meme token, it cointains fields from json file uploaded to IPFS storage.

We are also defining a text search field on the text of MemeContent. Read more about full text search field…

Now it’s time to update subgraph.yaml file like this:

specVersion: 1.0.0
  prune: auto
  file: ./schema.graphql
  - kind: ethereum
    name: CryptoMeme
    network: sepolia
      address: "0x9258a9793340fA7F6b4542d4EaC51d94487B1C74"
      abi: CryptoMeme
      startBlock: 5811071
      kind: ethereum/events
      apiVersion: 0.0.7
      language: wasm/assemblyscript
        - Meme
        - name: CryptoMeme
          file: ./abis/CryptoMeme.json
        - event: MemeCreated(indexed uint256,indexed address,bool,uint256,uint256,string)
          handler: handleMemeCreated
        - event: MemePriceChanged(indexed uint256,uint256)
          handler: handleMemePriceChanged
        - event: MemePurchased(indexed uint256,indexed address)
          handler: handleMemePurchased
        - event: MemeSaleStatusChanged(indexed uint256,bool)
          handler: handleMemeSaleStatusChanged
      file: ./src/crypto-meme.ts

  - name: MemeContent
    kind: file/ipfs
      apiVersion: 0.0.7
      language: wasm/assemblyscript
      file: ./src/crypto-meme.ts
      handler: handleMemeContent
        - MemeContent
        - name: CryptoMeme
          file: ./abis/CryptoMeme.json

    - fullTextSearch

We sucessfully configured two data sources:

  • CryptoMeme: a data source for tracking/extract ethereum events for CryptoMeme smart contract.
  • MemeContent: a data source template for reading and extracting IPFS content.

After this, we can move to defining the mappings and how to save/proccess our data in crypto-meme.ts file:

export function handleMemeCreated(event: MemeCreatedEvent): void {
  let entity = new Meme(Bytes.fromUTF8(event.params.memeId.toString()));
  entity.owner = event.params.owner;
  entity.isForSale = event.params.isForSale;
  entity.price = event.params.price;
  entity.createdAt = event.params.createdAt;
  entity.updatedAt = event.block.timestamp;
  entity.contentUri = event.params.contentUri;
  // trigger MemeContent file data template with IPFS hash
  let ipfsIndex = entity.contentUri.indexOf('/ipfs/');
  let ipfsHash = entity.contentUri.substr(ipfsIndex + 6);
  // map the hash to content field so we can mantain relationship with MemeContent entity
  entity.content = ipfsHash;;
  // we can exit and not trigger the template if the hash is something different than ipfs
  if (ipfsIndex == -1) return;
  // trigger MemeContent file data template (aka handleMemeContent function)

export function handleMemePriceChanged(event: MemePriceChangedEvent): void {
  let entity = Meme.load(Bytes.fromUTF8(event.params.memeId.toString()));
  if (entity) {
    entity.price = event.params.newPrice;
    entity.updatedAt = event.block.timestamp;;

export function handleMemePurchased(event: MemePurchasedEvent): void {
  let entity = Meme.load(Bytes.fromUTF8(event.params.memeId.toString()));
  if (entity) {
    // change the owner of meme
    entity.owner = event.params.buyer;
    entity.updatedAt = event.block.timestamp;;
    // TODO: additionally we can track the price of this sell

export function handleMemeSaleStatusChanged(
  event: MemeSaleStatusChangedEvent
): void {
  let entity = Meme.load(Bytes.fromUTF8(event.params.memeId.toString()));
  if (entity) {
    entity.isForSale = event.params.isForSale;
    entity.updatedAt = event.block.timestamp;;

export function handleMemeContent(content: Bytes): void {
  let contentUri = dataSource.stringParam();
  // create a new meme content entity with CID as ID
  let memeContent = new MemeContent(contentUri);
  // read json content of the file
  const value = json.fromBytes(content).toObject();
  if (value) {
    const text = value.get("text");
    const mediaUrl = value.get("mediaUrl");
    if (text && mediaUrl) {
      memeContent.text = text.toString();
      memeContent.mediaUrl = mediaUrl.toString();

We have four simple handlers:

  • handleMemeCreated: creates a new Meme entity and trigger the IPFS related handler handleMemeContent.
  • handleMemePriceChanged: update the price of an existing Meme entity.
  • handleMemePurchased: update the owner of an existing Meme entity.
  • handleMemeSaleStatusChanged: update the isForSale flag of an existing Meme entity.
  • handleMemeContent: read the content of JSON metadata file (based on CID), parse it and store the data in a new MemeContent entity related to Meme entity.

You can find more information about File Data Sources in The Graph Documentation.

Step 3: Deploy subgraph

Before deploying the subgraph run the folowing commands:

# to generate models/functions
graph codegen
# to build the entire code
graph build

To deploy the subgraph to the network we need:

  1. Connect to the grapth studio with your wallet.
  2. Create a new subgraph:
  3. Grab the deployment key:
    Deployment Key
    Deployment Key
  4. Run the folowing command for authentication:
graph auth --studio <DEPLOY KEY>
  1. Run the folowing command to actually deploy the subgraph:
graph deploy --studio <SUBGRAPH_SLUG>

You will be asked for a version label. It’s strongly recommended to use semver for versioning like 0.0.1

After this proccess the subgraph shout start indexing your data and you can view it in the studio and test your data:

Final result
Final result

Once your subgraph has been deployed to the Subgraph Studio, you have tested it out, and are ready to put it into production, you can then publish it to the decentralized network. You can folow this guide to publish it.


By analyzing smart contract events and translating them into entities within a subgraph, The Graph Protocol enables efficient data queries and enhances the functionality of blockchain applications. This approach not only ensures data is accessible and searchable but also aligns with the decentralized nature of blockchain, making your dApp scalable and performant.

Now you can easily query your blockchain data or integrate them in your dApp UI for providing your users with smooth experience.

Complete source code: