Welcome to the world of blockchain, a word that has entered our lexicon and is often associated with the world of cryptocurrency. So what is blockchain? What lies behind this term? And above all, what is a blockchain explorer?
In this article, you will get to grips with the blockchain, find out what a blockchain explorer is and why it’s an essential tool in the world of cryptocurrencies.
Table of contents
First of all, what is blockchain?
The blockchain is a digital technology that enables the recording of information related to a transaction, for example, in a decentralised and secure manner. It is a kind of distributed ledger, in which each node (or block) of the chain/network keeps a complete copy of the data.
The blockchain, then, is part of the big family of distributed ledger systems, i.e. public ledgers that can be read and modified by multiple nodes in the same network. In order to validate these changes, however, it is necessary for the nodes to obtain the consent of the others, subject to verification of the entire system.
Bitcoin, for instance, is among the cryptocurrencies that have most marked the evolution of blockchain technology, but we will return to this later.
What is a blockchain explorer?
A blockchain explorer, in short, is an online tool that makes it possible to visualise and analyse information related to a blockchain, such as its component blocks, transactions, addresses and related statistics.
A blockchain explorer can be used for several purposes, such as:
Obviously, there are different models of blockchain explorers, depending on the structure of the chain. For example, for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain explorers such as:
Each blockchain explorer has its own functionality and features, but in general offers the same basic information.
In summary, a blockchain explorer is a tool that allows users to navigate and search for transaction X within a specific blockchain. If it is easier for you, you can imagine a blockchain explorer as a blockchain search engine, allowing you to search for blocks, transactions, addresses and other useful information.
Why is a blockchain explorer important?
A blockchain explorer is an indispensable element for blockchain transparency and accessibility. Since a blockchain is public and every transaction is permanently recorded, thanks to a blockchain explorer anyone can check its validity and ensure that it has been executed correctly.
This is especially important for cryptocurrencies, for which trust is a key element. For example, suppose Alice sends Bitcoins to Albert. Albert can then use a blockchain explorer not only to verify the validity of the transaction in question, but also to clarify and resolve any doubts about it.
How to use a blockchain explorer
It’s not the stuff of scientists; to use a blockchain explorer, you just have to enter, in the search bar, a data (an address, ID code, block or keyword) concerning the transaction you want to search for and bam, you’re done.
The search engine will display the corresponding results, with details and options. If, therefore, one searches for an address, the blockchain explorer will show the balance, the number of transactions made and received, the history of those transactions and any tokens or contracts associated with it.
If, on the other hand, one searches for a transaction, the blockchain explorer will show the hash, the block in which it was entered, the confirmation time, the sender, the recipient, the amount and the fee paid.
If you search for a block, this time the blockchain explorer will show the hash of the block and not the transaction, the height, the creation time, the number of transactions contained, the difficulty, the reward and the miner who found the block.
In addition to this basic information, some blockchain explorers also offer advanced features, such as:
Why use a blockchain explorer
Using a blockchain explorer provides countless benefits, both for users and developers of the blockchain. Some of the reasons for using a blockchain explorer are:
In addition, most blockchain explorers also support other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin. On Blockchair, for instance, it is possible to explore the Ethereum blockchain, Litecoin and a dozen other cryptocurrencies.
On Etherscan, one can easily browse the Ethereum blockchain, view balances and transactions of ETH addresses and ERC-20 tokens. Exchange and Crypto.com also provide interfaces to track movements on different blockchains quickly and easily.
Rely on the experts at PMF Research
Relying on a practical blockchain explorer is the key to intuitively and effectively explore the blockchain, perform verifications, analyses and obtain public information on transactions, addresses and the entire accounting history.
In conclusion, a blockchain explorer is an essential tool for anyone who wants to interact with a blockchain in a simple and effective way.
If you are looking for experienced blockchain consultants, who have been working in the field for more than 20 years, and would like to know more, please contact us by calling +390957225331 or filling out the contact form below, and we will be happy to provide you with all the relevant information.
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