This post will avoid the deeper questions of what is an NFT. So for now we’ll use the gross oversimplification of describing an NFT as a picture with a unique ID that people buy and sell with cryptocurrency. (For a better backgrounder – click here)
Two important websites for this post are:
Let’s get started.
For the sake of this example, let’s start with the NFT’s Token ID (a long string that is the NFT’s unique identifier). Here is a Token ID:
Start at opensea.io (OpenSea is a marketplace for NFTs, other marketplaces include SuperRare, and Rarible)
We can search the ID directly in the search bar to find the NFT.
Click on the NFT and go to its profile page.
From the profile page you can look up a lot of information. Notable details include the current owner, the NFT’s history (creation, who sold it to who,etc), and it’s smart contract (which is basically an automatic contract, more below).
In the screenshot above you see it says “Owned by 160602”. This is the owner and you can click on the their ID number to go to a page with info on them. At the least you’ll see their activity but there might be other identifying information too.
Back to the NFT profile, the section “Item Activity” gives the history including creation and sales.
Under the “Details” section you find the contract address for the NFT’s smart contract .
The smart contract ID will be linked to the second useful website, etherscan.io
Click on the contract link and you’ll be brought here:
Reading a smart contract is a bit complicated and a topic for an upcoming post. But to learn more on the topic, see the article linked below.
What is a smart contract and how to read it? See this backgrounder here