We all know what bitcoins are, at least in a basic sense, and most savvy tech lovers have at least considered purchasing some form of cryptocurrency. If you’re among those who are truly intrigued by all forms of cryptocurrencies, then you also know that the system of code which they all run on is known as a blockchain.
What Are Bitcoin Block Explorers?
For bitcoins (and alt-coins, too), the blockchain is an ongoing record of every transaction that has every occurred using that currency. The chain is continually getting longer as new blocks are completed and get attached to the end as a new set of recorded data. Each new link in the chain is added as it occurs, giving it a clear linear formula.
The reason the blockchain is so efficient is because it can be viewed by anyone, but it cannot be copied. This allows truly open source coding and transparency of data without sacrificing security.
Imagine a data sheet that is duplicated on every computer that is connected to the internet, and then imagine that updates can be made to this sheet in real time from anywhere in the world.
These updates will be shown to everyone viewing it without any delay. If you can picture that, then you have a rudimentary understanding of how the blockchain works.
All of the data in a blockchain exists in the form of a perpetually shared and constantly updated database. The blockchain uses networking that gives everyone an exact view of all records in real time. It isn’t recorded in any single storage device or housed on any particular remote server. Instead, it’s records are kept truly public and exist everywhere.
Because there is no central storage or master copy of this data, there is no way for hackers to corrupt it. The blockchain is hosted by millions of computers all at once and is readable and verifiable by anyone who has access to the internet.
Because of the way the blockchain works, it provides a new level of unrivaled transparency and openness to the financial world. Because the information is all viewable in real time, it is only natural that many people are curious and wish to check it out.
Unfortunately, not everyone who is interested in viewing the blockchain for bitcoins is actually knowledgeable enough to read its code. Still more who actually know how to read and understand it would save time if there were an easier way to decipher it.
There are those who have recognized this need and have chosen to answer the call by providing blockchain explorers. These blockchain explorers show the data found within the blockchain in a visually appealing way to make it easier to read.
Top Bitcoin Block Explorers To Pay Attention To
Here is a list of the top 6 blockchain explorers that are worth looking into.
Blockcypher is a bitcoin blockchain explorer that uses warm colors and is very easy on the eyes when viewing for long periods. Viewers can look up a bitcoin wallet’s address and instantly see the ledger for funds sent and received through that wallet, as well as its QR code.
Blockcypher is also able to show any unspent amounts in the wallet, which many blockchain explorers cannot do or consider an advanced feature. You can also use Blcokcypher to view the block chains of other cryptocurrencies, such as Dogecoin and Litecoin.
Some may consider BitcoinChain a little too much to handle visually, while others will enjoy the ability to view a lot of information at once. This is because BitcoinChain manages to fit a ton of data onto a single screen. This data includes bitcoin pools, network nodes, and markets.
It goes as far as to show which individual block was mined by which mining pool on which network. BitcoinChain offers a wallet service as well, which is a nice touch. All in all, this is a blockchain explorer that has a lot to offer for those who want to know all of the details when viewing a given blockchain.
Anyone who has their hands in cryptocurrency in any real way will have already heard the name Blockr. This blockchain explorer is one of the absolute most complex and all-inclusive of all the blockchain explorer options available. It shows a ton of information, but has a convenient and easy to read format that users love.
Users can select a bitcoin exchange and it will show a price index for bitcoins on that exchange. Blockr is able to compile the blockchain information using an extensive API which converts the data into a variety of charts containing all of the information in a visual manner that is easy to identify and compare.
BTC.com is less extensive than other blockchain explorers, but is perfect for tracking or keeping an eye out for specific data. The front page of the website displays the hash rate of every mining pool in real time, and also tracks other real-time network information. BTC.com also keeps tabs of network congestion, which is good to know for certain uses.
If you’re trying to keep up with one specific bitcoin address, this is the place to go. BTC.com can track all of the mentions of that particular address and create a trail of that addresses activity.
Blockchain.info is one of the most common and heavily used blockchain explorers. This has quick and easy go to options for looking up a specific transaction or address without too much fuss.
Blockchain.info offers a good amount of data in the form of general charts and statistics about the bitcoin network overall. The site also has a wallet service for both mobile and desktop users.
TradeBlock is a little bit different than most blockchain explorers. While it reads the same blockchain and pulls the same info for viewing, it presents that info in a different way. All of the information is collected and formatted into external links, each of which leads to hashes for individual transactions.
It keeps track of the number of outputs and inputs and shows them separately, which is a bit of an eccentric statistics that most basic users aren’t concerned with, but the more techie users will enjoy.
It conveniently tracks the exact number of transaction confirmations in real time and keeps updating as new transactions are completed. TradeBlock is perhaps the most in-depth and details blockchain explorer on the list, and it displays the information in a way that is perfect for the more hardcore bitcoin enthusiasts.
Final Words On Bitcoin Block Explorers
Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy peek at a random blockchain out of curiosity or you’re a highly knowledgeable bitcoin trader looking to min-max returns, there is a blockchain explorer on this list that has everything you need.