Blockchain technology is more popular than ever. Every industry is trying to implement it for their business cases. The Energy sector, real estate, construction have all dabbled with decentralized networks.
Organizations and websites like the best crypto casino utilize blockchains for crypto gambling and DeFi applications.
With blockchain’s immense popularity, there are many blockchain explorers on the internet. Each has its unique features, so let us look at what a blockchain explorer is and review the top 10 explorers currently available.
What Is A Blockchain Explorer?
Currently, there are famous blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The former allows for the creation of a cryptocurrency that does not rely on a central authority to mint and regulate it. The latter enables developers to leverage the decentralized nature of blockchains and create applications that work autonomously on the network.
Moreover, there are a host of different blockchains available. And they contain every transaction ever made on them. As the blockchain is a public ledger, anyone can view transaction data.
Accordingly, sifting through every transaction to find a particular public address is a challenge. That is where blockchain explorers come in. These are web tools that allow anyone to browse and search a blockchain. These explorers can find amounts from transactions, transaction statuses, and the origin and endpoint of sent coins.
How Do They Work?
A hash is a unique ID for data on the blockchain. These include transactions, public addresses, private keys, and wallet addresses.
First, a user needs to copy the transaction hash and paste it into the explorer search bar. The user will receive the transaction’s status.
Also, if they input a wallet address hash, they will get information related to balances, the number of transactions, fees paid, and transaction amounts.
Explorers provide a wealth of information related to a blockchain network. Here are a few practical terms you need when using an explorer.
Estimated Hash Rate
When talking about hash rate, we are referring to the amount of computing power, in seconds, that miners use to verify transactions. This means that the estimated hash rate indicates how fast mining is on a particular blockchain.
Each node creates a mempool that connects to the blockchain network. Confirmed transactions move from the mempool to the blockchain. This means that the mempool size is the number of unconfirmed transactions in bytes waiting to join the blockchain. Accordingly, a large mempool size implies that users need to wait longer for confirmation and could mean higher fees.
This is the value of confirmed transactions on a blockchain network. Explorers show transaction volume in a unit of cryptocurrency. For example, at the time of writing Bitcoin has a transaction volume of 4.481 million BTC. This value includes unspent coins sent to users as change after a transaction.
On the other hand, estimated transaction volume is transaction volume minus the estimated unspent coins sent back to users. Bitcoin’s estimated transaction volume at the moment is 118 930 BTC.
The Top 10 Best Blockchain Explorers
Now that you have a general grasp of what explorers are and how they work, we will review a few of the best blockchain explorers currently available.
Blockchain.com explorer is one of the first explorers launched for blockchain searches. Over time, it has become widely enjoyed, and many users prefer the service for its simplicity and detailed information.
Firstly, the explorers landing page gives an overview of the Bitcoin blockchain. It instantly provides users with the cryptocurrency’s price, estimated hash rate, number of transactions, and trading volume.
There are also sections for the latest blocks, latest transactions, and mempool size. Users can view the information over 24 hours, a week, or a month.
Additionally, it provides charting data for active addresses, the number of large transactions, and the concentration of whales on the blockchain.
Furthermore, the explorer has a tutorial section for beginners. They only need to click on a term like Estimated Hash Rate, and they will receive an overview of the concept and a few examples.
Lastly, blockchain.com explorer supports Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and DeFi applications.
The Blockchair explorer allows users to search for blockchain data like hash rates, the number of transactions, and more. It also gives users the option to search for embedded text in a blockchain. These could be lines of text describing a block or even the name of someone’s favorite movie.
But Blockchair excels in the assortment of features it offers its users. Firstly, users have access to 17 blockchains, including Ethereum, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash, Moreno, and Cardano.
Secondly, users can display a side-side comparison of up to 14 blockchains at the same time. It compares blocks, transactions, circulation, network nodes, and more.
Thirdly, it has a portfolio tracker for traders to keep track of their crypto investments. It also has a release monitor for upcoming hard forks, PDF transaction receipts, and blockchair donuts. The latter feature allows users to donate to non-profit organizations.
Lastly, Blockchair is sleek and simple. It allows switching the interface between day and night mode. Each blockchain has a large logo for easy recognition, and it recently launched a Chrome extension. This means users can use the Blockchair explorer even if they are not on the site.
BlockCypher explorer is open source. This means that developers can run their version of the site without compensating BlockCypher. It supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Grin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Dash blockchains.
On a blockchain page, it displays recent blocks, latest transactions, block height, and more. This explorer also has current fee estimates divided into High Priority, Medium Priority, and Low Priority blocks.
Moreover, it has transaction confirmation predictions. This feature allows users to view how likely the blockchain will confirm a transaction. It shows “confidence,” which is a percentage chance of a double-spend transaction attempt succeeding. It also indicates the miner’s preference for the transaction.
Finally, It claims to receive recent transactions faster than other blockchain explorers.
TokenView, developed for the China market, is one of the most robust blockchain explorers available. It supports over 100 blockchains, and it shows their consensus method, encryption algorithm, and max supply on the explorer landing page.
Additionally, it provides blockchain metrics like pending transactions, block rewards, the number of holders, and much more.
Furthermore, it has a market forecast section for the Bitcoin blockchain. Here users can see the crypto’s market performance, and it gives a market expectation of either bullish or bearish.
Moreover, a mining section shows mineable coins and their hash rates, along with other information. This is a great asset for miners to find the most profitable coin to dedicate their resources to. There is also a miner pool section along with a list of the top mining rigs.
Other notable features include a list of crypto whales, a DApp block explorer, stablecoin explorers, and other Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether metrics.
TradeBlock explorer is a no-frills tool that offers users transaction data from the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. Its minimalist design has a centered search bar and a quick access panel on the left.
It displays the address, transaction, and block data for one of the two blockchains. There is also a historical data feature. It allows users to create custom charts related to transaction value, count, and transactions per second. Users can also chart mining difficulty, hash rate, and blocks mined.
The user interface is not beginner-friendly in the historical data section, but the explorer page does not bombard users with extra information. It gives the impression that TradeBlock is a one-use tool.
On the other hand, it also has indexes for popular trading pairs like Litcoin / US dollar. Here users can see historical rates and volumes and trading pair prices at the most popular exchanges.
Finally, the explorer also has a live market rates section. Users can see price movements across 15 exchanges, including Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance US.
BTC.com explorer has a straightforward interface. Its landing page has blockchain data regarding hash rate, mining difficulty, latest transactions, charts, and latest blocks. Additionally, users can see mining pool data showing 15 mining pools and their real-time hash rates.
The mining section shows mining pool distribution across the blockchain. It also displays blocks mined, average transaction fees, and block rewards for the top mining pools.
Furthermore, users can browse the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin blockchains. And users can see mining pool data from each of these networks.
Moreover, it has an accelerator service for Bitcoin. Here users can speed up their transaction confirmation time. It claims that it can accelerate a transaction to 75% confirmation in 1 hour and 98% in 4 hours.
Lastly, it can display the number of times a particular bitcoin public address has been mentioned on the internet.
This blockchain explorer works exclusively on the Ethereum blockchain. It has a simple layout with information about the latest blocks, latest transactions, median gas prices, mining difficulty, and hash rate.
Moreover, it provides Ethereum developers with valuable tools. These include a smart contract search engine. Here users can find smart contract source codes. Developers can also use the Contract Diff Checker, where they can compare smart contract source codes.
Furthermore, Etherscan gives detailed information about gas for each transaction. These include the amount of gas a block used, base gas fees, and gas limits. Users can also see token balances of wallet addresses.
Lastly, Etherscan runs an explorer as a service (EaaS). They provide a managed explorer for businesses. It also allows API access for Ethereum application development.
CoinMarketCap explorer’s landing page is simple and provides information for the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Binance Coin blockchains. It displays recent blocks, hash rate, market cap, and circulation.
Furthermore, it has a handy guide for users that have trouble using the explorer. It explains each term and each section of the explorer. It is comprehensive enough for crypto beginners and enthusiasts might learn something too.
The explorer user interface provides block and transaction information with associated fees and block height.
It does not have many other features than exploring blocks. But it displays the information with a clean interface, and it does not give any detailed information unless a user requests it.
Bitquery explorer is currently in beta, so it might have a few bugs. But it provides comprehensive data for multiple kinds of blockchains. Users can explore Bitcoin, Smart Contract, Cardano, Cosmos platform blockchains, and more.
The explorer user interface has block, transaction, miner, and miner distribution data. It also provides detailed charting data for each section. Users can input custom date ranges.
Furthermore, it has a dark mode, and users can choose English, Chinese, or Russian as their language.
Lastly, it supports testnet explorers like the Binance Smart Chain, Medalla Ethereum 2.0, and others.
The Cardano blockchain is popular because of its proof-of-stake protocol, peer-reviewed feature implementation, and transaction speed.
Therefore, it is suitable to review one of the best Cardano explorers: Cardanoscan. Its user interface displays the total amount of ADA staked by users, rewards distributed, total stake pools, and the current epoch.
Furthermore, it displays a countdown clock for the next epoch. An epoch is the time it takes for transactions in a staking pool to reach the blockchain. The clock is useful because stakers can see when they get their rewards.
Lastly, Cardanoscan gives detailed staking information for each block. These include the slot leader, total output, total fees, and the number of transactions.
Blockchain explorers allow users to search different blockchains. Some explorers provide detailed market data, while others deliver predictions on transaction fees and estimated block rewards.
The best explorer should provide support for multiple blockchains, provide charting data, and have an excellent user interface.
Therefore, Blockchair is the winner. It supports the most popular blockchains and has a customizable user interface. It also has a powerful comparison tool that proves to be quite helpful.