A couple of weeks ago, there was the discussion in the Twittersphere of “Which NFT is the oldest?”. Even though it is debatable whether to include pre-Ethereum collectables such as colored coins and RarePepes, CryptoPunks is the most well known “one of the first” NFTs on Ethereum.
However, there are a few NFT projects that even predate CryptoPunks, and ENS is one of them.
Unlike CryptoPunks, ENS did not use a token standard until May 2019, so you can’t see the transfer history on OpenSea (in fact most OG ENS names seemingly start their history in February 2020 because we did a migration to a new NFT contract to fix a bug).
An interesting thing about ENS is that not all names were minted at the same time. The first part of 2017 was the start of the ICO boom, and this was the first time we Ethereans experienced “network congestion.”
ETH price went from $7 to $369 in the first 6 months of 2017, and I was screaming that the gas price jumped from 20 GWEI to 40 GWEI during the Status ICO in June.
The initial ENS auction was conducted through 5-days-long auctions where you bid on the first 3 days and you reveal the name you bid in the following 2 days. To prevent people from rushing into auctions and increasing network congestion, names became available for someone to start an auction scattered over 8 weeks.
The “soft launch”
Not all names in ENS are available immediately for bidding. In order to provide ample time for finding and fixing any bugs as the system scales up, and to prevent a massive land rush on day 1, names are being released for auction on a gradual basis over 8 weeks. Every possible name becomes available at a random time during that period. You can find out when the name you want becomes available by entering it into one of the apps described below.
By the end of week eight, 394k names were auctioned and 97k names were “finalized”. This raises the question, “which names were minted first?”
To answer the question, I created a Dune Dashboard called “OG ENS” where you can search how early your name was minted if you registered the name before we migrated to the proper NFT standard in 2019.
Ethereum analytics by and for the community. Explore and share Ethereum data for free.
Here are some stats about OG ENS names:
- 274k names were minted prior to the migration to the ERC721 NFT standard in May 2019
- 79k names were minted prior to block 3919721 when the first CryptoPunk was minted
- In week 1 (May 4 — May 10), only 217 names were minted
NOTE: There are blank names at position 2, 16, and 20. This is due to the fact that ENS stores hashed version of the name, and these words are not included in the pre-image on Dune. Meaning, we’re not sure exactly what they are (anyone have a guess?).
If you registered your names before May 4th 2019, you can search your names to see how early you minted.
Unfortunately my ENS name
matoken.eth is nowhere near early enough to be a “pre-punk OG ENS name” but your name may be one of these “OG ENS names”!