Simply put, Etherscan is a blockchain explorer that allows users to view transaction information, verify contract code, and visually assess network data on the Ethereum network.
If you utilize Ethereum beyond speculative or HODLing purposes, having the technical know-how about navigating the blockchain is a no-brainer. Etherscan is an excellent starting point for those interested in learning about the blockchain, as it provides basic learning information in a simple and efficient setting.
This article focuses on everything Etherscan and how interested parties can use this platform to track and monitor transactions on the blockchain without any hassle. As always, we begin with the basics!
As mentioned earlier, Etherscan is a blockchain explorer that allows users access to public data on transactions, Smart Contracts, crypto addresses, and many more on the Ethereum blockchain. Because all transactions on Ethereum are decentralized and public, interested parties can leaf through them like a search engine.
All you need to search for transaction information is the transaction hash (transaction ID), and you’re good to go. Also, Etherscan does not require users to sign up to the platform to access the platform’s services, although creating an account gives extra functionality.
It needs no mention that Etherscan does not give private wallet information, like address keys or login details. The platform only serves as a collation point (database) for transaction history on Ethereum.
Etherscan comes in handy for a range of Ethereum users.
Those who actively mine Ether or plan to do so can find relevant statistics on the blockchain hash rate, mining difficulty, and average single transaction time. Additionally, custom calculators on the platform are used to provide rough estimates of profits or losses.
Both long-term investors (HODLers) and short-term holders can use Etherscan to their advantage. The platform has charts that estimate the popularity of specific coins, predict future trends, and develop strategies in line with the latest data.
Ethereum Wallet Owners
Etherscan gives users the access to monitor the real-time status of their accounts without having to log in, thereby protecting coins from theft.
You can rest assured that the data on Etherscan is accurate and up-to-date as blockchain developers across the globe monitor and use this platform.
Tracking/Finding Transactions on Etherscan
As noted at the outset, the quickest way to look up transactions on Etherscan is by using the transaction ID, which is attached to every single transaction made on the blockchain.
Searching transactions reveal all necessary information to the user, as all transactions come with a TxHash (the block number), which displays the date and time the transaction occurred, sender and receiver, and the value of the transaction. It also highlights if the transaction went through, failed, or is awaiting confirmation.
Once a transaction hash or address gets entered into the search bar on the platform, users get immediate access to all transaction history, balances, and many more.
While Etherscan—like the name suggests—focuses on Ether (Ethereum), the platform also supports numerous ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens on the blockchain by accessing the “Tokens” option.
Components of a Transaction on Etherscan
Highlighted below are some commonplace components of any transaction on Etherscan.
Also known as transaction ID, this identifier pinpoints specific transactions.
This component highlights the prevailing latest state of a transaction; if the transaction was successful, failed, or is awaiting confirmation.
Block indicates the block number on which the transaction occurred. Meanwhile, you can also monitor the number of times a transaction gets confirmed, including the number of blocks added to the chain after the given transaction’s block.
Transaction timestamp indicates the exact time and date the underlying block got mined, usually in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
This component refers to the originating account of a transaction.
Like its counterpart, this component refers to the account that receives a transaction.
Transaction value refers to the amount of ETH involved in the transaction.
Transaction fee refers to the amount of Ether paid to the miner responsible for processing the transcription. To derive the transaction fee, multiply the amount of gas used by the gas price.
The gas limit is the maximum limit of computational work and storage the sender is willing to spend on a transaction.
Gas Used by Transaction
This figure is the total amount of computational work and storage used in a single transaction.
Gas price refers to the amount of ETH per unit of gas a sender is willing to pay for a transaction. This price typically comes in a subunit of ETH known as “Gwei.” 1 Gwei = 1×10^-9 ETH.
A nonce is the total count of transactions sent out of a given wallet.
Input data refers to information delivered to a Smart Contract when a transaction occurs. However, if the underlying transaction involves creating a contract, the contract’s byte code is pasted on the “input data” field.
Tracking Gas Price Using Etherscan
As established earlier, transactions in the Ethereum network use gas and get fulfilled using ETH. Transaction gas has no upper limit, as network congestion can drive gas prices unexpectedly. That said, higher gas prices directly translate into higher transaction costs. Notably, transactions with significantly low gas prices may fail, as miners do not feel incentives enough to solve them.
Through the use of Etherscan’s gas tracker, users can determine the perfect time to facilitate transactions. While lower fees are beneficial for users facilitating a transaction, their feasibility is dependent on the prevailing network activity. That said, tweaking your gas fee in MetaMask or other wallets using the Etherscan gas tracker estimate could help you complete transactions more quickly.
Tracking Airdrops with Etherscan
Another notable feature of Etherscan is its recently-added support for airdrops on the Ethereum network. While users may not participate in every airdrop they come across, this platform fine-tunes the evaluation process, thus making it easier to identify worthwhile or active airdrops. This feature works great for those looking to verify the eligibility of certain airdrops.
Tracking Verified Contracts with Etherscan
Etherscan helps users identify all Smart Contracts on the Ethereum blockchain with a verified source code. Not all Smart Contracts have verified source codes, making it easier for users to identify contracts worth engaging.
Evaluating contract verification follows similar steps to searching for a wallet address. In this case, users get to see the name, compiler version, and security audit status. While no code is 100% safe to interact with, security audits help weed out the less secure contracts from the more secure ones.
Alternative Ethereum Blockchain Explorers
We have identified two other ETH explorers for users looking for variety. However, it is worth noting that these alternatives have nothing on Etherscan as it dominates the rest in terms of utility. Nonetheless, here they are:
Ethplorer goes up a notch by allowing for tracking prices on chart mode. This platform’s interface is excellent for those who enjoy visualizing on-chain Ethereum metrics and transaction details.
Along with the option of tracking transactions and other on-chain metrics, Etherchain allows users to view charts in hard forks, the Ethereum economy, and the correlation calendar.
Etherscan is a free and easy-to-use Ethereum transaction database, excellent for analyzing on-chain metrics. Learning to analyze market data using Etherscan is an advisable move, considering the quality of knowledge you could acquire in a short period. Additionally, Etherscan is the template for other blockchain explorers like BscScan, making your acquired skills easily transferable.
Whether you want to ascertain the status of a transaction or view one of your favorite Smart Contracts, Etherscan is the way to go.