What is Block Explorer and how is it used?
If you are new to Bitcoin, the first thing you will likely encounter is a block explorer or a blockchain explorer. These are basically online tools that provide crypto users with information about the content of individual transactions and blocks that are available on the blockchain.
The main goal of the Bitcoin Block Explorer is to provide unbiased real-time reports on Bitcoin blocks. In fact, you can view Block Explorer as Chrome or Firefox to browse blockchain-based assets. In this article, we explain what Block Explorers are and what you can do with them.
Origin of the block explorer
We found that Blockchain Explorer is a search engine for a specific blockchain network. You can use it to get all kinds of information about Bitcoin wallet addresses or transactions online.
But what are the technical aspects of this crypto tool? From a purely technical point of view, a block explorer is software with an API and a blockchain node. It takes the data the user is looking for and presents it in an easy-to-understand layout.
However, to better understand the definition of Block Explorer, let’s take a closer look at why we need it in the first place. The idea of a block explorer came about at the same time as the advent of blockchain technology. Users need a tool to resolve specific transaction verification issues. Additional software will be necessary to ensure better accessibility and readability of this information.
Of course, the first blockchain explorer was adapted for Bitcoin and went live in 2010. We’re talking about BlockExplorer.com, where you can find real-time statistics for the Bitcoin blockchain.
Anyone who regularly buys and sells Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies uses a blockchain explorer to check the status of their transactions. Of course, merchants and almost all crypto users depend on it.
When a user initiates a transaction, an automatically generated hash is generated. You can use the hash to verify the details of the payment. But not only Bitcoin users and traders benefit from the Blockchain Explorer.
Bitcoin miners use it to confirm a specific block operation. Explorers can confirm whether they managed to create a particular block.
If it is them, it means they will receive the block reward. Many crypto enthusiasts use block explorers to keep track of market activity for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
What else can Block Explorer tell you?
The main purpose of a block explorer is to allow transparent tracking of all cryptocurrency transactions. You don’t have to wait for confirmation that a transaction has been completed. When it happens you can see it in any block explorer.
Interesting facts: You can find Block # 0 or “Origin” blocks in any Block Explorer today. It was created on January 3rd, 2009 and has only one transaction.
Here are some other things you can do with Block Explorer:
The block explorer provides an overview of the value and size of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This data helps investors and analysts track and understand currency performance.
Market capitalization represents the total value of a given cryptocurrency. The circulating supply takes into account the total number of bitcoins or tokens that are publicly traded and held.
There is also a maximum offer, which is the maximum amount of a coin of a particular cryptocurrency that can exist. With Bitcoin that’s 21 million.
Member pool size
If you are not entirely familiar with the bitcoin glossary, the mempool is a “waiting area” for bitcoin transactions. When a node verifies a transaction, it stays in the mempool until a bitcoin miner picks it up and puts it in a block.
Bitcoin Block Explorer can help you keep track of the total size of transactions waiting to be included in a particular block. The size of the mempool acts as a proxy for the active volume on the blockchain.
Estimated hash rate
If you’re interested in Bitcoin mining, a block explorer can also be very helpful. It can give you predictions about the computational resources used by miners on a blockchain. In essence, you can visualize the estimated hash rate.
Finally, Block Explorer can tell you everything you need to know about the latest block features. It can outline confirmed blocks and provide information on size, height, and timestamp.
Advantages of the block explorer
We’ve covered the main features of the Block Explorer, but how you use it is what matters in the end. Here are a few reasons why you should focus on using a blockchain explorer:
- Transparency factor in account balance and expenditure control.
- You can use a blockchain explorer to check the validity of a Bitcoin wallet address before sending money to anyone.
- Another aspect of the block explorer is its ability to explain discrepancies in transactions. It can help users find setbacks in different stages of validation.
- In the context of cryptocurrency wallets, block explorers can help developers identify the need for additional functionality in their software.
- Most importantly, blockchain explorers are excellent tools for making decisions about future Bitcoin mining investments.
Some disadvantages of the Block Explorer
Bitcoin block explorers, like other blockchain explorers, are certainly beneficial in many ways. Bitcoin trading or Bitcoin mining are hard to imagine without them.
However, a number of challenges have developed around them. Basically, they contain a lot of data. In some cases, this can be overwhelming for inexperienced users.
The better you understand all of the data in it, the more meaningful it becomes.
Knowing how to comb through and use all of the information blockchain explorers use will remove any reluctance to use it.
Use Block Explorer to your advantage
To say that a block explorer is a fundamental tool for bitcoin trading and mining would be correct. It offers flexible use of blockchain functions and does not require any programming knowledge. If you are an aspiring blockchain professional, learning how to get the most out of Block Explorer is important.
Access to real-time transactions is one of the main advantages of this decentralized network. In addition, you can use these crypto browsers to explore the history of cryptocurrencies.