ave you ever read or heard the words, “Blockchain Explorer” or “Block Explorer?”They refer to the exact same thing and it is a tool that seems daunting at first glance with all the data it provides.

Today, we will quickly give you a rundown of what Blockchain Explorer or Block Explorer is and how it works. Once you learn to harness the raw data power this tool provides, you will see how it is an integral part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

First you should know before we start that most cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain to conduct transactions. Blockchain is an encryption technology and is an ever-growing set of “blocks” that have a record of transaction data. The benefit of blockchain is that it is public, decentralized, and immutable.

Anyone with an internet connection can access blockchain information, which makes in transparent and incorruptible. With this information accessible and secure, anyone can check the balance of a public address and view transactions details by using blockchain explorers.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

What is A Block Explorer?

A block explorer is simply a website or a tool that allows someone to browse blocks, view wallet addresses, hash rate and transaction data. There are other things that can be found with Block explorer, but we’ve named the most commonly viewed.

Think of the block explorer as a giant search engine that is constantly updating its pool of results as new transactions occur. However, each cryptocurrency has its own block explorer. Meaning, if you were interested in looking up Litecoin transactions, you would need a Litecoin blockchain explorer.

What else can the Blockchain Explorer do?

We will be explaining some of the things you can look up, in relation to bitcoin explorers, but they are generally similar functions of all explorers.

1. Blocks Feed – You can explore recently mined blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain.

2. Transaction Feed – You can explore any transaction in any block that has already been mined and is currently attached to the blockchain. You can also see the largest transaction of the day with some explorers.

3. Transaction Histories – You can check the history of any public Bitcoin address and audit the amount of transactions received and balance.

4. Addresses – You can view the Bitcoin receiving and Bitcoin change address.

5. Mempool – You can view the status of mempool, finding the total number of unconfirmed transactions with details.

6. Miscellaneous Info – You can check things such as, double spending incidents, blocks that were orphaned, which pools successfully found a given block, transaction fees, block reward, weight, size, version, hashrates, and estimated transaction volume.

Most of the data found on most block explorers will be interlinked. Simply put, once you find a transaction ID you’d like to look into, generally it will display more details surrounding the transaction and lead you to links for other information you may be interested in.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Access to data provided from the block explorers has proven invaluable for analysts and investors and the continued efforts to keep cryptocurrency secure for all users. The public access to the ledgers creates an honor system, and we can all monitor the market to ensure every follows the rules.

Get Started

If you are ready to get started, we do have a few recommendations for Bitcoin block explorers. Just remember that like we have different web browser, such as Google Chrome and Safari, there are many, many explorers that all come down to preference.

Some of the most popular, trusted, and frequently used ones are blockexplorer.com, blockchain.com, blockcypher.com and btc.com. Each is well established and a quick google search should at least see these sites one page 1 and 2.

There are many more explorers that exist beyond what we suggested, however, we recommend you play with the recommend ones above and find the explorer that best works for your search style and provides for you what you need to know the fastest.

If you find this content useful, share it with your friends or on social media to spread bitcoin awareness! Visit our ReadBTC Forum to have discussions with fellow Crypto Enthusiasts.

Updated on
October 15, 2019

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