Learn Crypto

‍What is Etherscan and what does it do ?

James
5 mn

Etherscan is a free and widely used blockchain explorer that allows anyone to see any transactions made on the Ethereum platform. Not just transactions, blocks, gas fees, wallet addresses, smart contracts, and other on-chain data can be found on the page. Learn more about what Etherscan is and how it works below.

What is Etherscan?

As mentioned above, Etherscan is an Ethereum-based blockchain explorer. Aside from offering a peek into the advantages of blockchain technologies, Etherscan also provides an insightful look at the status of transactions, gas fees, smart contracts and dapp content. Etherscan is the tool that leverages blockchain's transparent nature.

Acting as a search engine and source of blockchain information, one doesn't need an account to access anything. However, users can create an account in order to access extra functionalities associated with their Ethereum portfolio, such as developer tools, enabling notifications for incoming transactions, and creating data feeds. Whether you're investing in a dapp, monitoring a wallet, or depositing funds to a blockchain-based game, all activity can be tracked through this browser-based service.

Why is Etherscan popular?

Etherscan is the most widely used Ethereum blockchain explorer and is highly regarded in the industry due to its seamless experience. While it won't allow you to store or trade ETH, it offers a reliable look into the functioning of the network, blockchain analytics and all Ethereum and Ethereum-based token activity.

Using Etherscan also provides a better understanding of how the blockchain works, providing insights into its operations and potential ability to spot suspicious blockchain activity (like project leaders selling their tokens, or large whale movements that will affect the token's price). 

How to use Etherscan

Whether you're wanting to look up a transaction or verify the validity of a smart contract, you can use Etherscan. Below we will guide you through how to look up a transaction.

How To Find A Transaction On Etherscan

Understanding how to track your transactions can be a powerful tool in the world of cryptocurrency, from seeing how many confirmations it has gone through to the amount of gas fees paid. 

Each transaction on the blockchain is given a transaction ID (TXID) or transaction hash which identifies the specific transaction (similar to a person's identity number). It looks something like this: 

0x3349ea4144aed83291f87b3904b02f8f1e76c3b5bfed0d95a000fafddaed01bc

In order to get the real-time updates on a transaction, you will need to enter this TXID into the space provided on the Etherscan website. 

It will then display all the information pertaining to this transaction, as below:

See our breakdown of the terminology below.

 

Etherscan terminology

Transaction Hash: the TXID associated with your particular transaction.

Status: status of your transaction (in progress, failed, successful) 

Block: the number of the block that your transaction was included in (block confirmations indicate the number of blocks that have followed since then). 

Timestamp: the date and time that this transaction was executed.

From: the wallet address that the transaction was sent from

To: the wallet address or smart contract receiving the transaction.

Value: the value of the transaction.

Transaction Fee: the gas fees or transaction fees paid.

Gas Price: the cost per unit of gas at the time of the transaction execution (displayed in Ether and Gwei).

 

How to Find gas prices on Etherscan

When using the Ethereum network you will be required to pay gas fees in order to conduct any activity. Gas fees are assigned to blocks and fluctuate depending on how busy the network is at the time. 

Etherscan provides a Gas Tracker which observes the current gas prices and indicates how busy the network is at the time. 

In conclusion

Etherscan is a great tool for anyone using Ethereum or any other cryptocurrencies relating to its ecosystem. From confirming transactions to checking gas prices, this tool provides a great oversight of the network, highlighting the transparent benefits of using digital assets.