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What is Etherscan and How Do You Use It?

Updated: May 23, 2023, 11:24 AM

what is etherscan


Etherscan is a free block explorer application allowing efficient tracking of pending and confirmed blockchain transactions within the Ethereum network, so you can also check the status of your crypto wallet. Besides tracking and crypto assets analysis, you can also review smart contracts, search for block data and airdrops, and monitor gas prices on Etherscan.

This article will tell you more about Etherscan, its uses, and how it compares with other popular Ethereum blockchain explorers. You will also find an outline of steps to guide you in using Etherscan.

 Ethereum Blockchain

What is Etherscan?

Etherscan is a blockchain technology that gives access to any ongoing or confirmed Ethereum blockchain transaction. It is also known as the “Ethplorer”. The user can access the transaction detail, including smart contracts, data, wallet address, blocks, and transactions. You can also access the timestamp and transaction hash.

Using Etherscan can help you to stay safe and secure by browsing past transactions and blocks. You may think of Etherscan as Google. Just as you would use this search engine to browse the internet, you use Etherscan to search the blockchain for a particular transaction. Most users rely on Etherscan to spot suspicious blockchain activity.

There are other block explorers in the market, but Etherscan is the most popular block explorer due to its reliability and security. Other block explorers include Etherchain, Ethplorer, Blockscout, Blockchair, and BeaconScan.

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How does it work?

Etherscan work by using different technologies, including web3 libraries, blockchain explorer, and dApps that allows the user to access easy-to-digest information.

Its primary feature is to access a specific transaction. Etherscan shows all the details that you need. Head over to the Etherscan homepage and continue to the search bar. Make sure that you have the transaction ID ready. Copy and paste the transaction ID into the search engine and click search.

All details regarding that specific transaction will show up in detailed information. The default display shows the transaction fees, status, and other details. Scroll down to the bottom, and you will see other relevant transactions of the wallet address.

Gathering Data

In gathering data, Etherscan uses Application Programming Interface (API) to access developer tools and gather data. This block explorer also uses JavaScript Object Notation to access the Ethereum blockchain. It makes Etherscan a trust option when looking up for a particular transaction.

Data Storage

After accessing data feeds from the Ethereum blockchain, Etherscan will proceed to store the data. Mostly, it’s stored in an SQL database, allowing them to secure the data feeds in tables.

Every table comes with a specific format and structure. Each table is also connected to the data stored in other tables. That way, when users use Etherscan to search for a specific transaction, they can easily retrieve it and display the data within seconds.

Generating Data

After accessing the data, Etherscan will now proceed to generate the data. The block explorer takes the data from the blockchain and displays it in an easy-to-digest format.

Etherscan uses CSS, HTML, and JavaScript so the user can read the data with ease. HTML structures the pages on Etherscan, while CSS styles the pages. Finally, JavaScript allows the user to interact with the data.

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Is Etherscan an Ethereum wallet?

One common misconception of Etherscan is that most users assume it’s a wallet. Etherscan is not a wallet. It’s a block explorer that tracks every blockchain transaction within the Ethereum network.

This means users can find all the incoming transactions and details they need in case the transferred funds haven’t arrived in their wallet yet. Note that you will not receive an Ethereum wallet when you use Etherscan to search for transactions.

You have to link your own Ethereum wallet address to Etherscan. Having said so, Etherscan is completely free to use. You don’t need to create an account to start searching Ether transactions. However, you will have access to advanced features if you create an account.

How to read smart contracts on Etherscan?

You can also use Etherscan to look for a specific smart contract, especially if you use DAapps. This will help you confirm if your transaction was successful and sent to the correct receiver.

Use the contract address to view the smart contract on Etherscan. Remember that if the contract is unverified, decompiling it can be challenging. A green check indicates if the contract is verified or not.

A verified smart contract allows you to access the code and developer tools in an easy-to-read format. The “contract” tab contains the code of the contract. From here on, you can double-check the codes to ensure the project will function as desired.

Reading smart contracts is essential. The codes are public data. You can read the codes for a certain contract and ensure the expected outcomes. It also helps if you are uncertain about the developer and need to know if you’re dealing with the correct contract.

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How to view wallet and transaction history on Etherscan?

Click the search icon and enter the wallet address into the bar. Scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see a quick overview of the token contract. You can also track all the token addresses that have moved in and out of the wallet, the cost, transaction hash, and quantities.

Etherscan comes with a new feature that allows you to dig even deeper. Enter the transaction hash into the search field or click the transaction ID from the history.

The information will display the sender and receiver wallet addresses, miner ID, transaction date and time, transaction fees, and difficulty level.

You can also access past transaction details as you scroll down.

How to check gas prices on Etherscan?

Aside from being a search bar, Etherscan has the added benefit of checking the gas price on the Ethereum network. The page displays the average values of gas prices for the past seven days. You can also access prices from the last blocks if you need to.

Checking gas prices can be beneficial in determining the best time to make a transaction. Best of all, monitoring the prices is free on Etherscan.

Why should you use Etherscan?

Waiting for funds to arrive in your wallet after a transaction can bother you, especially if the funds take longer than usual. This is why many users opt for Etherscan to check the status of their transactions.

Take a look at the other features you can use on Etherscan:

Transaction private notes

This feature allows you to add up to 100 characters to your Etherscan transactions. This feature is beneficial if you want to keep track of all your transaction fees. It’s easy to identify why and when you made a transaction.

Address watch list

This feature lets you track any suspicious blockchain activity of a specific wallet address. Simply add the wallet address to your watchlist, and Etherscan will email or notify you if there are any activities. Users who want to track suspicious transactions and lost funds can benefit from this feature.

API access

As mentioned above, Etherscan relies on API to function. Conversely, API allows you to access all the data and details on the Ethereum network. You can use the API once you’ve signed up for an account. You can use it to create your own application, wallet, or block explorer tools.

Access to on-chain analysis

You can use Etherscan when investing or trading in cryptocurrency. This on-chain analytics platform allows you to gather data about the transaction and check gas fees and values. If you are plotting your next trading move, checking on-chain analysis can change the game.

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Is Etherscan reliable?

Etherscan launched way back in 2015, and it has been one of the best block explorers in the industry. Every month, Etherscan welcomes millions of users into its platform.

Rest assured that Etherscan is reliable and trustworthy. It gives you peace of mind because you can now track your transaction hash for free. Tracking your transactions also keeps you from any suspicious activity.

Etherscan continues to present new features and benefits for its users. To date, they are also working on a new project called BeaconScan. It’s currently in beta, but users can access this platform soon. Its main purpose is to track ETH 2.0 staking process.

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In conclusion, Etherscan is a great block explorer. It has all the features you need to ensure security in your transactions. This Ethereum blockchain explorer gives you transparency in the Ethereum network, allowing you to make sound decisions and develop trust.

As an Ethereum network user, learning to use Etherscan will benefit you in the long run. You can use the insights and data to become a better trader. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert in trading. Etherscan surely provides all the necessary data that you need to make a winning bet.