ResourcesLearning Hub

What Is Etherscan & How Does It Work? The Ins and Outs of Etherscan

A popular talking point used to explain one of the key benefits of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum is that they are public blockchains, which means that they are completely open and align with the principles of decentralization. 

3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Etherscan is a blockchain explorer for the Ethereum network that allows users to search through transactions, blocks, wallet addresses, smart contracts, and other on-chain data.
  • Etherscan is free to use and can provide an added layer of security when transacting on the network. 
  • Searches on Etherscan can be conducted using a wallet address, transaction ID (TXID), contract address, or another identifier that is pasted into the search field.
  • The general information provided in a search includes associated transactions, addresses, timestamps, gas fees and the amounts transacted.

A popular talking point used to explain one of the key benefits of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum is that they are public blockchains, which means that they are completely open and align with the principles of decentralization. 

This open nature makes it so that anyone can freely view the information related to a specific wallet address or transaction that occurs on the network using a blockchain explorer that allows them to navigate the blockchain with ease. 

When it comes to exploring the Ethereum network, one of the most popular and long-running explorers is Etherscan. Here’s a closer look at the ins and outs of Etherscan and how to use it to verify information on the Ethereum blockchain.  

What Is Etherscan?

Etherscan is a block explorer that lets users access public data related to transactions, wallet addresses, smart contracts and more on the Ethereum blockchain. Since all interactions that take place on Ethereum are public, explorers like Etherscan were created to function as search engines that simplify the process of looking through them. 

Etherscan provides multiple different ways for users to search the network including the use of transaction hashes (transaction IDs), wallet addresses, block numbers, token names or Ethereum Name Service (ENS) IDs to conduct their query. 

There is also no need to sign up for an account to access Etherscan, but the option is available for those looking for extra functionality such as alert notifications for incoming transactions or access to developer tools. 

Why Choose Etherscan?

For anyone who really wants to understand the world of blockchain technology, its important to learn how to check on-chain information as it can help prevent a host of problems. Not only will the knowledge gleaned help provide a better understanding of what is going on with decentralized applications (dApps) and transactions, but it also helps add an extra layer of security by enabling users to spot suspicious blockchain activity. 

Some examples of insightful information available on blockchain explorers include whale alerts that let you know when large amounts of a cryptocurrency have been deposited on an exchange or the ability to track what a project’s founders are doing with their allocation of tokens. 

The info gleaned from these sources can potentially provide a heads up prior to any of the major token sell-offs or rug pulls that occur all too frequently in the cryptocurrency market.

How To Use Etherscan

One of the benefits of using a well-established and trusted block explorer is the fact that they tend to have a simplified user interface that makes navigating the blockchain simple. 

On Etherscan, once a user has a transaction ID, wallet address, smart contract, token name, block number or ENS name all they need to do is input it into the search bar at the top of the screen and Etherscan will do the rest. 

If a user wishes, they can narrow the search by choosing one of the following available filters: Addresses, Tokens, Name Tags, Labels or Websites. 

A general search will bring up the basic information about a specific transaction, such as the time and date it occurred, the assets and wallets involved, the amount of gas paid and the value of the tokens transacted. Users also have the option to select a “Click to see more” drop-down menu which provides more detailed information about the transaction or contract in question.

This material is intended to be of general interest only and should not be construed as individual investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any security or to adopt any investment strategy. It does not constitute legal or tax advice. The views expressed are those of the author and the comments, opinions and analyses are rendered as of the publication date and may change without notice. There is no guarantee that any forecasts or predictions made will come to pass. The information provided in this material is not intended as a complete analysis of all material facts or circumstances regarding any country, region or market. All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal.‍Risk management does not imply elimination of risks, and not all investments are suitable for all investors.The information and opinions contained in this material are derived from proprietary and non-proprietary sources deemed by to be reliable, are not necessarily all inclusive and are not guaranteed as to accuracy. Data from third party sources has not independently verified, validated or audited. accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from use of this information; reliance upon the comments, opinions and analyses in the material is at the sole discretion of the user. ​Any products, services and information in this material may not be available in all jurisdictions and are offered local laws and regulation permit. Please consult your own financial professional or legal advisor for further information on availability of products and services in your jurisdiction. Please also see the disclaimer which is found at the bottom of this website under the heading “Important Disclosures”.