The term “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” are widely used in this digital era. Surely by now, you must have a grasp on the area of the topic. But, have you heard of “Block Explorer”? At the end of this article, you would be able to understand not only what block explorer is, but, gain a deeper knowledge on what you are able to do and discover on a block explorer.
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Simply put, a blockchain explorer or a block explorer is Google Chrome or Safari, only for cryptocurrencies. But of course, it’s called upon a different name such as Etherscan or Blockchain.com. It is a tool to browse through data which is called blocks in order to retrieve wallet addresses, network hashrate, transaction data and other key information on the blockchain.
How Does It Work?
Similar to internet explorers, each object is displayed in human-readable form just like a web page with a specific URL. For instance, on an internet home page, it displays different websites that cover different topics. Through hyperlinks, users are able to switch from one piece of data to another, within a single click.
Whereas on block explorers, by clicking on the hash of an object, users are able to move to the page that displays its data. So, you are able to switch from looking at a transaction, to looking at the previous transaction which gave this transaction its inputs. Once a miner solves a block, it will be added to the blockchain. Then, all block explorers will update on this particular information in real-time.
What Can I Explore?
Each block displays a summary of the block and its transactions such as the following information:
- Block reward, weight, size, version
- Estimated transaction volume
- Number of transactions on the block
- Hash of the current block
- Hash of previous and next block
- Nonce, Merkle Root
- Transaction fees
- Total coins that was transacted
- Who mined the block
- When the block was mined
The data displayed in block explorers are interlinked and well connected to one another.
Let’s Start Exploring
The transparency of blockchain enables you to discover all the data at your fingertips. To start, search for a block explorer that supports the blockchain you’re exploring. For example:
- Blockhain.com for Bitcoin
- Blockcypher for Litecoin
- Etherscan for Ethereum
There are many block explorers that provide a platform to gather data on respective blockchain. Listed above are just a few. Tell us your favourite block explorer.