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Reading Contracts

underground - 12/6/2022

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Reading contracts and minting through Etherscan is a skill that most experienced minters have mastered. Here are 6 tips for reading your standard NFT smart contract.

Before you start reading our tips below, please note that there are sometimes contracts that are structured differently and may name their functions based on their project theme. You may also find unverified contracts, where you cannot easily view the functions on Etherscan.

TIP #1

Once you've located the contract you want to analyze, head over to the “contract” tab, then click “read contract”.

Here, you'll usually be able to find important variable information such as max supply, number of tokens minted, cost per token and max per transaction/wallet.

The totalSupply typically indicates the total number of tokens minted, while maximum supply is usually called either: maxSupply, maxTokens, collectionSize, or something similar.

You can also usually spot the “max per wallet/transaction”, which are typically named appropriately.

TIP #2

The price per token is labeled as price or cost. Etherscan returns this number in wei, which is 10^-18.

However, you can click this number in Etherscan to see the conversion to Ether, the unit you need. In the example below, you can see that 160000000000000000 converts to 0.16E.

TIP #3

For more advanced users, you can also use the read contract tab and write contract tab to see the current mint phase/stage and the owner of the contract.

This can be used to detect when a project flips their project from whitelist mint to public mint so you can mint ASAP.

TIP #4

Some contracts also flip their public mint stage via timestamps, which you can convert to your local time using: https://www.epochconverter.com/.

TIP #5

Once you know the number of tokens you can mint, you can head over to the “Write Contract” tab and find your mint function, usually labeled as mint, publicMint, purchase, buy, or something similar. Multiply the number of tokens you'd like to mint by your cost and plug it in!

TIP #6

Sometimes you'll see a parameter called "merkleProof" or "signature" in the mint function. This typically means you need to mint through the project's website, and cannot mint through contract unless you know how to generate your proof/signature using the site’s API.

Getting comfortable reading and writing Etherscan smart contracts is one of the most productive skills you can acquire in the bear market. Bookmark this article so you can get an edge when it comes to minting NFTs.

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