One of the great things about distributed ledger technologies, like Ethereum or Solana, is that no one has to know or trust anyone else. Each member in the network has a copy of the exact same data in the form of a distributed ledger. And the transparency is extremely high. Everyone can review which wallet did which transaction at which time.
This transparency increases your possibility to do research and to check for yourself what influencers, celebrities or top NFT accounts mint, buy, trade or hodl.
Before you I teach you how to check what they are buying, I wanted to point out another great way how you can use this transparency. Probably you have noticed when interacting with twitter, that there are gazillions of NFT giveaways. Estimates say that more than half of these giveaways are fake and they only try to get your engagement, cause nobody really takes the time in this fast moving space to check whether these accounts show proof of their giveaway transfer. So one twitter user picked out a few accounts where he was suspicious that they do fake giveaways and checked (amongst other things) whether they are the official owner of their PFP.
Lets take “Russ NFT” in the first line as an example if you check on opensea.io who the real owner of that NFT is then you will find “TheReal4156” as the owner. (CryptoPunk #4156 - CryptoPunks | OpenSea)
If you go further down the table below, you will realize that most of these accounts are not the real owners of their profile pictures. This is an immediate red flag for such an account.
Another great application of this transparency is to check what the big collectors and influential people do. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee, is one of the most well-known collectors of the space. When you go on his verified Opensea account, you will see that he owns more than 2.1k items. At first you might think wow, but then again you have to be careful. Gary Vee didn’t buy all of this NFT himself. Quite often, you get airdropped an NFT into your wallet. These are, with a very high likelihood a scam.
Why does someone airdrop you an NFT?
Sometimes a legitimate project where you own an NFT decides to airdrop you a specific NFT. They will announce so in the Discord server. Usually it has something to do with the roadmap of the project.
- “Divine Anarchy” sent its holders an ascension apple and spirit animals which are part of their game theory experiment.
- “Metasaurs” airdropped its holders an “Metasaurs Egg” as well as “Mystery Chests” which contained some WL spots, free mints, free NFTs etc.
Sometimes however, you get airdropped an NFT out of nowhere. The reasons for someone to airdrop you an NFT, can be:
- They want to make you notice the item and make you buy more of it
- A project wants to make other people think that you own an item and that it´s legit because it´s owned by a popular collector.
I heard of many projects that airdropped an NFT to an influencer and then dropped the rumour in their discord that Gary Vee, Snoop Dogg etc has bought. This ofc immediately hypes people up but they are very angry when they do find out this NFT was airdropped.
How to identify what influencers actually bought?
In order to understand what influencers really bought you need to dive into their trading history. In order to see what Gary Vee for example really has bought. You need to go to his account à activity à enable filter “sales”. You can see that Gary Vee has bought Doodle #9173 for 20 ETH and when he has bought it.
Gary Vee has 2.1k NFTs. Of course he has not bought them all himself. He owns a lot that he has not minted or purchased at all. When you select the filter “Transfers” you can see some transferred NFTs. This means that somebody has airdropped the NFT to Gary Vee. This is not a positive sign.
When you check the account more in detail, then you realize that the same address “0x37A” has airdropped several of the same NFTs to other well-known people in the space like “Cozomo de´Medici” (=Snoop Dogg), “GaryVee” or others. This means that the scammer has sent several of his fake NFTs to those people and it will show up on their opensea account, tricking you into thinking this account has bought the NFT himself. Be sure to always check the trading history of different accounts.
How to identify what influencers actually minted?
The same goes for minting. Anyone can directly mint an NFT to someone else´s wallet and unfortunately, this will look exactly the same on opensea to a case where an influencer minted an NFT on their own wallet. Below picture suggests that Gary Vee has minted “flippeddoodles.club”
In fact, when I checked his trading history, it seems that Gary Vee has minted more than 100 NFTs of the same project within the last 24 hours. Strange isn’t it. I thought the same and wanted to check if Gary Vee really has minted this NFTs. So I clicked on the link provided in the column “Time” as this will bring you directly to Etherscan. If GaryVee has actually minted the NFT himself, then the addresses stated in “from” and “ to” should be the same. In the case below, you can see that the 2 addresses don’t match, which means someone minted this NFT to GaryVee´s address.
This takes a bit more looking into than looking at Sales versus Transfers but it really comes in handy when you try to figure out real activities of influencers. Below is an example of a legitimate mint of mine. As you can see the “from” address matches with the “to” address.
How you can use this info
As described in my blog post #4 “Best Anti-Scam Tipps: How not to be scammed” minting an NFT to some influencer hoping that this has a positive impact on your project is never a good move. For me, it falls into the category of being a scam.
Otherwise, knowing what the actual activities of the top NFT accounts are can be powerful in the sense that you can mimic and learn from some of the strategies of top buyers and sellers in the NFT space.
I hope you learned something today and would love you to consider following me on my twitter @0xCryptonite if you like more recent updates about the space.