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Blockchain Explorer Meaning

Jun 15, 2023 | Updated Jul 19, 2023
A blockchain explorer is a tool that enables users to navigate and review information about any public blockchain network.

What is a Blockchain Explorer?

A blockchain explorer (or block explorer) is a software application that allows users to extract, visualize, and review blockchain network metrics, including vital information about crypto transactions, such as transaction history, wallet balances, transaction fees, etc. Block explorers are often accessed online via web browsers.

Every blockchain has its own distinct block explorer, meaning that information about Bitcoin transactions can only be accessed via a Bitcoin block explorer. The Ethereum block explorers include EtherScan and Ethplorer, while the Bitcoin block explorers include Blockchain.com, Tokenview, and Blockchair, among others. The block explorer can be private or public, depending on the blockchain in question. 

Block explorers can be considered “browsers” and “search engines” for blockchains and cryptocurrencies. They can serve as an information hub, providing detailed analytics about individual blocks and addresses. They may also be useful in acquiring real-time charts and data about transaction status, hard forks, hash rates, etc.

Why Use a Block Explorer?

Individuals can utilize block explorers to monitor the status of their transactions and see if a transaction is completed or pending/unconfirmed based on network confirmations. Users can do this by typing the transaction ID in the block explorer’s search bar.

With a blockchain explorer, you can also track the current state of a crypto network, such as the total crypto in circulation and crypto burn transactions. In addition, users can monitor all of their transaction history and sender and recipient addresses.

Some of the information you can view on blockchain explorers include:

  • Mempool size/status
  • Block difficulty 
  • Average block size
  • Average transaction fees
  • Latest blocks
  • Network hash rate
  • Double-spend incidents
  • The most significant transaction of the day
  • The genesis block of the blockchain network

Market analysts use block explorers to monitor and evaluate wallet addresses, especially of crypto whales, to better understand buys and sells, and the potential for a market sentiment shift.

Token

Tokens are a type of digital asset that refers to a programmable unit of value or utility and can be used to represent ownership, access rights, or participate in decentralized applications.

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Sharding

In the context of blockchain, sharding refers to dividing the network into smaller partitions to improve accessibility, scalability, and process more transactions per second.

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Hardware Security Module (HSM) 

A Hardware Security Module (HSM) is a hardware unit that safeguards and manages cryptographic keys.

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