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What is Blockchain Explorer: Explained by GetBlock

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

October 27, 2022

6 min read

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Blockchain (or block) explorers are among the first services cryptocurrency newbies and professionals use to get key information about transactions. In general, they’re designed to make visible what’s going on under the hood of distributed systems.

In this text, GetBlock is going to cover what is block explorer: the very basics of block explorers, their design and use-cases. Also, we will demonstrate our latest developments including Near (NEAR) and Harmony (ONE) explorers.

What is Blockchain Explorer: Basics

Block explorer (crypto/cryptocurrency explorer, and so on) is an online instrument designed to demonstrate real-time and historical information about all processes in decentralized networks in human-readable form.

  • Blockchain explorers work similarly to search engines;
  • Crypto explorers allow to recover the verified information about blockchain processes in past and present;
  • Largely, they display the information about transactions, wallets, blocks, miners or validators (this depends on the type of consensus);
  • Also, for some networks, explorers demonstrate other indicators including coin burn state, circulating supply, hashrate charts, difficulty dynamics, and so on.

As such, block explorers are critical in making blockchains transparent: with their instruments, even enthusiasts with no special coding experience can get valuable insights about decentralized systems.

How Does Blockchain Explorer Work

In general, what is block explorer doing can be understood as taking the raw data and converting it from code into human-readable information.

Remember our very own GetBlock Token (GBT) we created together in Goerli Testnet? Actually, its smart contract (decompiled bytecode) includes 283 strings of code; its final part looks like that:

Ethereum_Smart_Contract_Token_Decompiled

While seasoned developers can get all necessary information in seconds, for non-CS folks, this might look confusing.

With the assistance of mainstream instrument Etherscan, every enthusiast can get the information about any crypto token in a newbie-friendly form. Here’s what we can know about GetBlock Token (GBT) through crypto explorer:

Ethereum_Smart_Contract_Token_in_Crypto_Explorer

As displayed above, in a couple of clicks, users can check the actual supply of tokens, the number of holders (for testnet’s GetBlock Token, ‘1’ means that GBT is proudly owned by our DevOps guru Arthur), the address of its contract, the date it was created, and its full history of transactions.

How to Use a Block Explorer

Technically, explorers allow cryptocurrency users to recover the full set of information about transactions, wallets, balances, and so on, having only part of it (at least - one piece of data).

For instance, let’s see what we can find out about the cryptocurrency wallet of Alex Skidanov, founder of NEAR Protocol (NEAR) knowing only its name ‘alex.near’. Let’s input this name into the ‘Search’ bar.

NEAR Wallet of Alex Skidanov in block explorer

First of all, we can see the USD-denominated balance of Mr. Skidanov’s wallet (over $393,000) and the date his wallet was created on (the very first day of NEAR Network’s mainnet).

NEAR transactions of Alex Skidanov

Also, we can track the entire history of his actions in NEAR Protocol: transfers, approvals, and so on.
In the same manner, we can check the authenticity of any transaction: instead of the wallet name, we just need to have the transactional hash. This hash is the equivalent of cash receipt: it recovers the full data about the transaction (sender, recipient, amount, number of blocks it was included in, etc.)
For instance, let’s recover the data about transaction Gctatef1MUfwhPouc9VAJYWzp7pi6AJSvWcg8g9yNeq. To do so we also need to input this value into the ‘Search’ bar.

transaction in NEAR block

That’s it - we can be sure that 5000 NEAR tokens were successfully transferred to ‘nicetohave.near’ address on Oct.24, 2022 at block height 76 940 673.

Blockchain Explorer by GetBlock: What is Special About It?

GetBlock, a top-tier nodes infrastructure provider, started building user-friendly cryptocurrency explorers in Q4, 2021. As a seasoned vendor of node APIs for 40+ networks, GetBlock is proud to be backing a new generation of crypto services with its unmatched expertise in on-chain data management.

Near Protocol (NEAR) blockchain explorer by GetBlock: Tools and benefits

NEAR Protocol (NEAR) is the first network equipped with the new service by GetBlock. As we covered previously, the launch of NEAR Protocol (NEAR) search engine is the most crucial milestone for GetBlock in Q3, 2022.

NEAR blockchain as seen by GetBlock

GetBlock’s NEAR blockchain explorer displays the information about NEAR transactions, wallets, blocks, addresses, as well as about validators and their stake rates, net NEAR supply, price, market cap and dominance.

Unlike first-gen NEAR-based products, GetBlock’s product is focused on user-friendliness, seamless interface UX/UX, high speed and availability for newbies. Besides that, it demonstrates a way more impressive number of indicators compared to its predecessors.

Harmony (ONE) blockchain explorer by GetBlock: Next milestone

Sharded EVM-compatible blockchain Harmony (ONE) is the next platform in this workload. Harmony (ONE) team fueled its building with a special $50,000 ecosystem grant.

Harmony blockchain tracked by GetBlock

This much-anticipated release made headlines in mid-October, 2022. This development advanced visibility, transparency and availability of Harmony (ONE) as a promising Ethereum-compatible chain.

Block Explorer 101: FAQ by GetBlock

Largely, all such services are suitable for both newbies and professionals. However, here are some tips that can make this experience easier.

What is the best blockchain explorer?

Best tools in 2022 should merge a number of benefits for end users and developers:

  • User-friendly interface;
  • Rich toolkit of instruments;
  • Support of various networks;
  • Fast data broadcasting;
  • And so on.

Why do people use blockchain explorers?

Crypto owners use search services to check their counterparties, to track the status of token operations and the contribution of validators, to verify the transactions, and so on. Block explorers unlock the level of trust that can’t be achieved in Web2.

How to check blockchain transactions?

In general, you should enter the information you have (transaction hash, or, at least, public addresses of parties involved) in the ‘Search’ bar. All information will be available in an automatic manner.

Who uses blockchain explorers?

These protocols are utilized every day by traders, yield farmers, Web3 entrepreneurs and analysts and everyone who leverages digital assets for sending money.

Wrapping up

What is block explorer? Block explorers would be referred to as a subclass of Web3 services that displays the information about network processes in human-readable form.

Not unlike search engines for the cryptocurrency sphere, they allow crypto holders to retrieve tamper-proof information about blocks, transactions, validators and so on.

NEAR Protocol (NEAR) and Harmony (ONE) block explorers are setting new benchmarks for the crypto explorer concept in 2022.

Vance Wood

Vance Wood

October 27, 2022

6 min read

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