Even if you are new to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies by now, you might have heard the term “Block Explorer.”
Blockchain Explorers and its data might seem complicated at the beginning, but once you understand this tool, you’ll know how useful it is in the cryptocurrency universe.
This article will help you know what Blockchain Explorer aka Block Explorer is, how it runs and how to use Block Explorers.
Before we go deep into Blockchain Explorer these are a few basic things to understand about Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain in common.
Almost all virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and many other Altcoins out there relies on blockchain to carry out transactions.
Blockchain is an encryption-based technology and is an ever-growing set of blocks that have a history of transaction data.
Blockchain is stable, distributed, decentralized and a safe digital ledger.
As this digital information is open to anyone on the internet, it becomes transparent and reliable.
Anyone can check the available balance of any public address, and anyone can see any transaction related details on the blockchain.
BlockChain Explorer : How it works
Block explorer is a website or an application that allows one to browse through blocks, view wallet addresses, network hashrate, transaction data and other vital data on the Blockchain.
Block Explorer is merely a search tool. You can use it just like how you use web browsers.
As web browsers allow you to browse through the Internet, Block explorers will enable one to browse the Blockchain.
A block explorer enables you to search and navigate through the Blockchain.
By adopting a block explorer you can check the balance of different Bitcoin public addresses.
Along with this, you can track coin transfer histories view how many confirmations a transaction has and get a broad variety of statistics about the network such as the current hash rate and much more.
They are search engines made explicitly to search the blocks of a blockchain. Every cryptocurrency that relies on its blockchain will also have its block explorer.
So you must use block explorers specific to that cryptocurrency. For example, using Bitcoin block explorer, you’ll not be able to explore the chain of Ethereum or Litecoin.
For Ethereum you’ll need an Ethereum block explorer, and for Litecoin you have to use Litecoin explorer.
Block or Blockchain Explorer is a useful tool in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It provides valuable insights that help in forming our decision before we fund or step in the crypto world.
The need of Blockchain explorer?
Openness, Unrestricted audibility and transparency of transactions define what Blockchain Technology is, right?
However, this would remain as mere theories if we do not have Blockchain Explorers to know everything.
An online browser that records a variety of contents on individual Bitcoin blocks.
Block Explorers lists all the transactions, addresses, blocks, hashrate, memory pools, block speeds, network congestion, etc.
You can also monitor the transaction history of Bitcoin wallet address and its current balance.
It helps in deciding whether a particular coin is real or not as it reports about all the transactions that have occurred.
You can even examine which crypto wallet addresses were involved in transactions.
These websites also help in distinguishing the latest blocks.
As and when miners find new Bitcoin Block, these platforms list it and present users with relevant info about when it’s found, its size and which transaction it contains.
You can find data about mining pools, the size, and weight of the blocks.
Every Block Explorer comes with Search Bar, that helps users to acquire all forms of details of any digital entities on the Blockchain.
Check mempool status, check input & output of transactions, watch transaction and Block feeds, view genesis block and much more.
How to Use Blockchain Explorer?
When you first start to use a block explorer, as a beginner you could end up clicking an unknown source and end up someplace else.
I will guide you through some of the main features of the Blockchain explorer starting from the main home page.
The main home page, on the Blockchain explorer may resemble a search engine as outlined above.
You will see a search field to search by addresses, transactions or even block hashes.
You will also see details on all and the latest block information and transactions.
Block Explorers present a visually appealing and innovative way to navigate a cryptocurrency’s blockchain.
Block Explorers were created as a way for anyone to study bitcoin transactions, along with a variety of helpful charts and statistics regarding activity on the network.
To look up any bitcoin transaction, users can go to the home page of the explorer and use the exploration bar on the upper right.
To learn more about a certain bitcoin address, transaction hash, or block number by inserting it in the search field.
As giant public databases, blockchains, by their nature, are intended for exploration. It’s taken a while though for interfaces to be generated that facilitate such easy browsing.
Cryptocurrency holders have traditionally used blockchain explorers to review the progress of a transaction they’re sending or receiving or to check the balance of a particular address, but the use cases for these tools doesn’t end there.
Feature-rich blockchain explorers work as the Google of cryptocurrencies, showing all kinds of previously concealed or hard to access data.
The Bitcoin.com Block Explorer
The Blockexplorer.com is credited as the first dedicated tool of its kind, which was created by Bitcointalk forum owner.
It was officially launched on November 2010, and while it is still operational today is one of the lesser known blockchain explorers.
The bitcoin blockchain brings about unprecedented transparency to the financial environment.
As this information is plainly visible in real-time, it is only natural that various companies have created block explorers to interpret this data in a visually pleasing way
Blockchain.info Block Explorer
Blockchain.info is useful if you’re looking for an overall outlook of the entire market.
You can easily see who’s mining, who’s trading, and how much they are being paid. You’ll also see the current prevailing price of a single bitcoin in USD along with a chart of its value over time.
The site claims its status as the #1 spot for a digital wallet with over 15 million wallets on their site.
A 2014 update of the site revealed some wallet’s private addresses and cut off many would-be fans.
All through Blockchain.info remedied the issue and refunded what was stolen, people still seem to have mixed feelings about taking the site for wallet use.
If you’re looking for a one-stop block explorer, digital wallet, and place to trade, Blockchain.info has you covered.
Many people use this solution as the go-to platform to search bitcoin wallet addresses and transactions. Furthermore, the company provides loads of statistics and charts concerning the bitcoin network itself.
Last but not least, blockchain.info also puts forward a convenient wallet solution for both desktop and mobile users.
Blockchair.com BlockChain Explorer
The rallying cry of Blockchair.com is “Search the blockchain world for anything”, and the site is as great as its word.
It presents access to a ton of valuable data related to the BTC, BCH, and ETH blockchains, which includes such topics such as mempool size, fees, the number of nodes, and difficulty level.
Blockchair keeps becoming better, and the wide array of variables that can be searched with the explorer is unmatched.
Moreover, the explorer even lets users look up words and phrases encoded in the blockchain, allowing the curious to see whether details such as their hometown, sports team, or child’s name has been encoded in the blockchain.
The company’s block explorer is one among the more complete solutions available in the market right now, as it displays a lot of information in a suitable format.
It also highlights a bitcoin price index based on the exchange picked by the user. Blockchair also grants an API and various charts containing information that is related to bitcoin and its blockchain.
Irrespective of what type of bitcoin network information you are searching for, the BTC.com block explorer is definitely worth checking out.
On the home page of the explorer, one can see the real-time hash rate of all present mining pools, as well as real-time network, related information.
BTC.com also helps you keeps track of network congestion, which is a very useful feature.
One of the platform’s greatest features is how it keeps track of all notices related to a particular bitcoin address.
This generates a trail of digital breadcrumbs for that particular address, which is quite exciting to explore.
Etherscan Ethereum Block Explorer
There are a few fair ethereum explorers out there but Etherscan.io is the most prevalent, and for good reason.
It’s especially good for looking up smart contract addresses, looking up gas prices, and viewing DEX activity.
Most of all though, Etherscan has utilized for searching the token balances of wallet addresses, a feature which other ethereum-based services can’t always surely do.
Last but not least, I’d also like to discuss the Bitcoin.com block explorer. Its streamlined interface and minimalist design make it easy to look up activities for the BCH and BTC networks in a trice.
You can also scan in QR codes to look up a wallet address, and a button allows for shifting between Bitcoin legacy and cash addresses, amongst other mechanisms.
At first, these websites look like a bunch of confusing data and very little of it would make sense to novices.
But once you get a better understanding of the technology, these Block Explorers would be a real treat for you!
In the end, whichever Bitcoin block explorer you do choose to use comes down to your own personal requirements.
If you are keen on learning about blockchains then you may be interested in the explorers which provide additional coin support.
Then again, if you are a miner or trader, you might want to use one that has mining or market stats.
Of course, these blockchain explorers are completely free to use so there is nothing stopping you from selecting a couple of your favorites from the list above.
If you are into cryptocurrencies, Block explorers are the way to lead your journey!
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