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block explorers are your portal to ethereum's data. you can use them to see real-time data on blocks, transactions, miners, accounts, and other on-chain activity.

Prerequisites

You should understand the basic concepts of Ethereum so you can make sense of the data that a block explorer gives you. Start with an intro to Ethereum.

Services

Data

hg0088线上ethereum is transparent by design so everything is verifiable. block explorers provide an interface for getting this information. and this is for both the main ethereum network and the testnets, should you need that data.

hg0088线上here's a summary of the types of data you can get from a block explorer.

Blocks

new blocks are added to ethereum every ~12 seconds (this can fluctuate) so there's a near-constant stream of data that gets added to block explorers. blocks contain a lot of important data that you may find useful:

Standard data

Advanced data

Uncle blocks

uncle blocks are created when two miners create blocks at near-enough the same time – only one block can be validated across the nodes. they are not included but still receive a reward for the work.

block explorers provide information about uncle blocks like:

Gas

hg0088线上not only will block explorers give you data about gas usage in transactions and blocks, but some will give you information on the network's current gas prices. this will help you understand network usage, submit safe transactions and not overspend on gas. look out for apis that can help you get this information into your product's interface. gas-specific data covers:

Transactions

block explorers have become a common place for people to track the progress of their transactions. that's because the level of detail you can get provides extra certainty. transaction data includes:

Standard data

Advanced data

Accounts

there's a lot of data that you can access about an account. this is why it's often recommended to use multiple accounts so that your assets and value can't be easily tracked. there are also some solutions being developed to make transactions and account activity more private. but here's the data that's available for accounts:

User accounts

Smart contracts

smart contract accounts have all the data that a user account will have, but some block explorers will even display some code information too. examples include:

Tokens

token are a type of contract so they'll have similar data to a smart contract. but because they have value and can be traded they have additional data points:

Network

of course there's some data that speaks to the health of the network. these are quite specific to ethereum's proof-of-work consensus mechanism. when ethereum transitions to eth2 some of this data will be redundant

Eth2 data

eth2 is still in development but it's worth talking about some of the data points that explorers will be able to provide you. in fact, all of this data is available right now for the testnets.

If you're not familiar with Eth2 check out our Eth2 overview.

Epoch

in eth2, the beacon chain creates committees of validators which are randomised at the end of every epoch (every 6.4 minutes) for security reasons. epoch data includes:

Slot

slots are opportunities for block creation, the data available for each slot includes:

Blocks

in eth2 blocks work differently because miners are replaced by validators and the beacon chain introduces slots and epochs to ethereum. so that means new data!

Validators

validators are responsible for proposing blocks and attesting to them within slots.

Attestations

attestations are "yes" votes to include blocks in the chain. their data relates to a record of the attestation and the validators who attested

Network

hg0088线上the eth2 top-level data includes the following:

Block explorers

Eth2 block explorers

Further reading

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  • Services
  • Data
  • Eth2 data
  • Block explorers
  • Eth2 block explorers
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