Community Submission - Author: Anonymous
In short, a block explorer is a tool that provides detailed analytics about a blockchain
network since its first day at the genesis block
. We can say a block explorer acts as a search engine and browser where users can find information about individual blocks, public addresses, and transactions associated with a specific cryptocurrency.
Some block explorers also provide real-time statistics and market charts, as well as data about mining pools, pending transactions, network hash rate, rich list, block validators, orphan blocks
, hard forks
, and much more.
In regards to pending transactions, block explorers can be useful for users that are waiting for block confirmations. For instance, many exchanges provide their users with the transaction ID of their deposit or withdrawal request so they can track the movement of their funds in real-time.
Depending on the type of blockchain, block explorers can also serve as a general information hub. For instance, there are thousands of ERC-20
tokens running on top of the Ethereum
blockchain, and users can find data about them by checking their smart contracts
or other Ethereum block explorer.
Although we may have multiple block explorers in a single website, each explorer is related to a particular blockchain. Still, there may be more than one block explorer for the same blockchain (different organizations that provide a similar service). Some companies also offer crypto wallet
services along with block explorers. Other than that, many websites provide an API
for developers to make use of the blockchain data in other ways.