What Is A Block Explorer?
A block explorer, otherwise known as “blockchain explorer,” is a tool that provides detailed information about all the transactions on a particular blockchain.
Transactions are the record of all the activities that happen on a blockchain. For instance, when you transfer Bitcoin from a wallet to another, you are performing a transaction. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions duplicated and distributed across a network of computer systems. A block explorer acts as a tool or browser that allows people to view every piece of information contained on a blockchain ledger since its genesis block (the first recorded block).
A block explorer allows anyone to view all the transactions ever performed on a particular blockchain. Each blockchain has its explorer that grants users access to information on the network. For instance, Bitcoin has its block explorer that shows details of all the activities that have taken place on the blockchain since its creation. Ethereum also has its explorer that anyone can use to view all the transactions on the network. When using the Ethereum explorer, you can only see details regarding Ethereum. Also, when using Bitcoin explorer, you can only see information about Bitcoin. In essence, each blockchain explorer works only for themselves.
Blockchain explorers are like search engines because they allow users to find specific transactions. For instance, when traders buy or sell cryptocurrencies, they can use the blockchain explorer to check the transaction status by searching the transaction ID. There are several functions blockchain explorers can perform depending on the tool. With some, users can view transaction histories, real-time transactions, address balances, and reports on network statistics.
Block Explorer Example
Etherscan is an example of a block explorer, and it allows users to view all the activities of thousands of ERC-20 tokens running on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
Another example of a block explorer is the Binance Chain Explorer that allows users to keep track of all activities relating to BNB, including coin burn, transfers, and the current total supply.
In general, each blockchain has its explorer that works only for its network. That means, for instance, you cannot track Ethereum transactions with the Binance Chain Explorer explorer, you need an Ethereum explorer for that.« Back to Glossary Index