February 4, 2022 - 4 min read
This article breaks down step-by-step how to use Etherscan to determine the original contract creation date of an NFT project, the exact date and time of its first mint, and how to see who the first minter of an NFT project was.
As you get deeper into NFTs, it is important to develop proper skills for project research. There’s been a tremendous interest in historical NFT projects as well as modern projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and knowing how to find data in Etherscan can help give you an advantage in the market.
NFTs have been popular for over a year now and are continuing to gain more mainstream adoption, so if you know some of these techniques, consider yourself ahead of the game.
A common question people ask is when an NFT project was created or when it started minting.
We’re going to use Bored Ape Yacht Club as an example in this exercise of showing you step-by-step how you can verify both the contract creation date and the exact date and time of the first-ever mint of the project. You can also determine who the first person to mint a project was.
This technique will help you answer questions like when did Bored Ape Yacht Club mint? Or when was Curio Cards created?
This applies to both historical and modern NFT projects and can be done in just 5 easy steps.
When you navigate to an NFT asset on OpenSea, there is a details section beneath the image of the asset with the project contract address:
Click on the Contract Address, 0xbc4c…fl3d which will take you to the contract page in EtherScan.
The contract address link will take you to etherscan.io and the contract’s page with a More Info section to the right.
Click on “at txn”:
After clicking on the Creator Txn Hash, the fourth field called TimeStamp will show you the date and time of the contract creation:
In this case, the Bored Ape contract was created on April 22nd at 3:03 am UTC time.
Navigate back to the contract page and click on the Transactions section.
Transactions typically show 25 “out of” a certain number.
In the case of Bored Ape Yacht Club, it shows 25 out of 31,248 transactions.
Click on 31,248:
This will take you to the full transaction list.
Click on “Last” on the top right of the table:
When you are on the full-transaction page, there are four columns that are important:
(1) Txn Hash — clicking this will give us the date and time of the transaction as well as details of the asset transferred
(2) Method — This will help us identify the Mint method so that we find the right transaction to confirm the date and time of the first mint
(3) To — this tells us the wallet purchased/minted the NFT
(4) Value — this shows us how much ether was transferred in the transaction
Scroll down the transaction page to find the earliest Mint Ape method with an Ether Value of at least .08 ETH:
A few transactions preceded the first mint, but we know it wasn’t a mint because the Method column is Reserve Apes, Set Base URI, Flip Sale State, etc.
Emperortomatoketchup.eth was the first wallet to mint a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT 286 days and 5 hours ago for .08 ETH:
To get a more precise time of mint, click on the Txn Hash link:
The first Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT was minted on April 23rd, 2021 at 9:56:11 pm UTC, which is 4:56:11 pm EST by Emperortomatoketchup.eth.
The original minter still holds the NFT in their wallet.
Etherscan.io is your friend when you are researching NFT projects. The blockchain is remarkable because all transactions are recorded on a public ledger, we just need to know how to read it.
If you are wondering when a project contract was created, when a project minted or who the first few people to mint the project were, you now have the tools to use Etherscan to get the information you need.
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