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How to find your NFT on IPFS

DATE POSTED:October 1, 2021
Selected work from TIMEPieces, a community initiative launched by Time.com on 9/23/21.

So you’ve recently aped into an NFT, but you can’t see it yet because OpenSea is very slow to render metadata under high demand. In some cases, you might be able to connect your wallet to Rarible and it might be able to render there.

If not, here’s how to find what your NFT actually looks like, using the TimePieces drop as an example.

Step 1. Locate the Minting Smart Contract

On your OpenSea (“OS”) profile page, locate the NFT of interest that isn’t rendering and head over to the details section of the page. This should show the contract address used for minting your NFT. It should be hyperlinked. Click on it!

Figure 1: Note your Token ID, and the Contract Address

Alternatively, you can go to the Ethereum transaction itself — look at the trading history on OS or go to your account on etherscan (e.g. https://etherscan.io/{0x…..your-Ethereum-public-key}). Somewhere will be a link that shows the contract your NFT was minted from.

Step 2. Find your NFT’s Metadata

Now that we’re on Etherscan, navigate to the “Contract” tab, and click on “Read Contract”.

Figure 2

This will bring up a list of a bunch of functions that you can easily query using the Etherscan interface. Look for a function called “tokenURI”. Enter your NFT’s Token ID into the “tokenId” field. You should be able to see this id on the OpenSea properties field of your NFT (see figure 1).

Figure 3

As you can see above, after clicking the big “Query” button, the contract spits back the following result:

ipfs://QmYGgEFqTRkWvNZ6u7gfk9HDdh55bQAbYVyc16TF1zX658/69

Copy everything after the “ipfs://”

I have “QmYGgEFqTRkWvNZ6u7gfk9HDdh55bQAbYVyc16TF1zX658/69” copied to my clipboard.

Step 3. Plug in the IPFS URL

Navigate to ipfs.io/ipfs/{The-chunk-we-copied-above}. Example below:

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmYGgEFqTRkWvNZ6u7gfk9HDdh55bQAbYVyc16TF1zX658/69

This should either take you directly to your NFT, or a page with metadata about the NFT. In our case, we are taken to a page with a lot of different metadata about our NFT. No image yet!

Figure 4

Whether we expect our NFT to be a video, gif, or a still-jpeg the final step is the same. Copy the text after the “ipfs://” just like we did in step 2, for the image field (highlighted in figure 4). This is the url we’ll need to take us to where the image is located on the IPFS network.

Then, simply navigate to:
ipfs.io/ipfs/{the-text-we-just-copied} like so:

ipfs.io/ipfs/QmR36VFfo1hH2RAwVs4zVJ5btkopGip5cW7ydY4jUQBrKW

Step 4. Voila!The NFT we’ve been waiting for! P.S. this is not my NFT.

If it’s a video and it isn’t loading well on your machine (as was the case for me), you can right click and select “Save Video As” — or the equivalent for your browser.

Hopefully this helped clear a few things up for you and made it easy for you to find out what your NFT looks like! In a future article, I hope to chat more about what IPFS is, and some of the pitfalls I see with it being the dominant network used to store most NFTs today.

I’m Dan, and I’m a blockchain engineer. Follow me on twitter @dankazjazz to get a frequent stream of the latest I come across in the crypto space. Opinions on this blog are my own, and of course, none of my content constitutes financial advice. Thanks for reading!

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How to find your NFT on IPFS was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.