Michelle Legge
By Michelle LeggeHead of Crypto Tax Education
Updated Jan 23, 2024
This article has been fact checked and reviewed as per our editorial policy.

Blockchain Explorers: Your Ultimate Guide

Wondering what a blockchain explorer is or how to use a blockchain explorer to find transactions? Learn about blockchain explorers in our ultimate guide. 🤠⛰️

What is a blockchain explorer?

A blockchain explorer is a tool used by crypto investors, analysts, and enthusiasts to view all the information on a given blockchain including transactions, addresses, and more - effectively letting you read the blockchain.

Generally, each blockchain explorer helps you read a different blockchain. For example, Etherscan lets you read the Ethereum blockchain, while Solscan lets you read the Solana blockchain.

Why use a blockchain explorer?

There are many reasons to use a blockchain explorer. A blockchain explorer lets you:

  • View the transaction history of any wallet address

  • View receiving addresses and change addresses

  • View unconfirmed transactions

  • View double-spend incidents

  • View orphaned blocks

  • View who mined/validated a particular block

  • View fees, hash rate, difficulty, and other information associated with a given block or transaction

In addition, investors may use a blockchain explorer to check that wallet addresses are valid before sending, to confirm whether crypto was sent or not sent, and to check current gas or network fees.

Blockchain explorers are also frequently used by blockchain forensic firms in order to discover where stolen crypto has been sent.

How to use a blockchain explorer?

There’s a lot of information to view in a blockchain explorer so let’s break it down and use Blockchain.com’s Bitcoin Explorer as an example.

A screenshot of blocks in a blockchain explorer, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

Here’s the homepage, you can see general market information for Bitcoin including price, consensus mechanism, circulating supply, block reward, and more. You can also see the latest block mined. If you click on these you’ll find even more in-depth information.

A screenshot of a blockchain explorer showing transactions, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

On each block page, you'll find information about that block, including every transaction ID, who the block was mined by, the average transaction value, the total value of all transactions in the block, the size and difficulty of the block, and much more. You can also expand the transactions to find out even more information, including the wallet addresses involved. If we click on a given wallet address, we can view information relating to that wallet.

A screenshot of a blockchain explorer, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

If you select a given wallet, you'll be able to see the balance of that wallet, all the transactions associated with that wallet, the total amount of transactions and BTC sent, and more. You can also explore each individual transaction in further depth.

If you're looking to find a particular transaction, block, or wallet, instead of wading through other information to find them, you can simply input the block or transaction ID or address into the explorer to find what you're looking for.

What’s the best blockchain explorer?

The best blockchain explorer entirely depends on the blockchain you’re using. That’s why we’ve put together a list covering all the best blockchain explorers for each blockchain, from Ethereum to Osmosis.

BlockchainBest Blockchain Explorer
Best blockchain explorer for Bitcoin (BTC)Blockchain.com
Best blockchain explorer for Ethereum (ETH)Etherscan
Best blockchain explorer for BNB (BNB)BscScan
Best blockchain explorer for Ripple (XRP)XRPScan
Best blockchain explorer for Dogecoin (DOGE)Dogechain
Best blockchain explorer for Solana (SOL)Solscan
Best blockchain explorer for Tron (TRX)Tronscan
Best blockchain explorer for Polygon (MATIC)Polygonscan
Best blockchain explorer for Cosmos (ATOM)Mintscan
Best blockchain explorer for Avalanche (AVAX)SnowTrace
Best blockchain explorer for Cardano (ADA)CardanoScan
Best blockchain explorer for Helium (HNT)Helium Explorer
Best blockchain explorer for Near (NEAR)Nearscan
Best blockchain explorer for Algorand (ALGO)AlgoExplorer
Best blockchain explorer for Fantom (FTM)FTMScan

How do I find unconfirmed transactions with a blockchain explorer?

It depends on the blockchain explorer you’re using, but generally speaking, you can find transaction data by:

  1. Opening your wallet and finding the relevant transaction

  2. Copy the transaction ID (also known as the transaction hash)

  3. Go to the blockchain explorer for your blockchain and paste the transaction ID into the search bar

  4. On the transaction screen, you should be able to see whether the transaction was confirmed, unconfirmed, or failed. Some blockchain explorers may also provide additional information as to why the transaction was unsuccessful.

How do I find confirmed transactions with a blockchain explorer?

It’s easy to find your confirmed transactions with a blockchain explorer, although the steps will vary slightly depending on the blockchain explorer you’re using.

  1. First, open up your wallet and find the transaction

  2. Copy the transaction ID

  3. Go to the blockchain explorer and paste your transaction ID into the search bar

  4. You should now be able to see the details of your transaction, including fees and addresses involved, as well as the value of the transaction

Cartoon image of a person with headphones and a VR headset on with text: earn free crypto guide

How do I see my transactions on the blockchain?

You can usually view your transaction history in your wallet, but if you’d prefer to see your transactions on a blockchain explorer, you can! Here’s how:

  1. Open your wallet and find your wallet address - if your wallet supports multiple blockchains, make sure it’s for the blockchain you want to view your transactions on

  2. Copy your wallet address - you can usually find this in your wallet dashboard or by selecting ‘receive’

  3. Go to your preferred blockchain explorer and paste your wallet address

  4. You should now be able to see details about your wallet, including your transaction history in detail, and the amount of crypto in your wallet


More questions about blockchain explorers? We got you covered.

How do I track Bitcoin transactions?

You can track Bitcoin transactions using a Bitcoin blockchain explorer like Blockchain.com. Just find the wallet address or transaction ID you’re interested in exploring and paste it into the search bar.

Is Blockchain.com trustworthy?

Blockchain.com offers a variety of services to crypto investors including a variety of blockchain explorers and an exchange.

Can anyone see my Bitcoin transactions?

Yes. If they have your Bitcoin address, anyone, anywhere, can see your Bitcoin transactions relating to that address using a blockchain explorer - including your tax office. Learn more in Can the IRS track crypto?

Can you see other people's transactions on a blockchain?

Yes. You can see every transaction on the blockchain using a blockchain explorer - with the exclusion of private blockchains like Monero. If you have someone’s wallet address, all you need to do is enter it into a blockchain explorer and you’ll be able to see all the transactions associated with that address.

Can you trace the owner of a Bitcoin address?

A Bitcoin address alone is not traceable. There's no personal information stored on the blockchain, nor will you find any in blockchain explorers. However, there are other ways to link addresses to individuals, including using information gathered from centralized crypto exchanges that may have both KYC data and addresses stored.

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