The multitude of articles, blogs, and discussions on blockchain technology all over the internet indicates how significant it has become in recent times. One of the biggest names in the world of blockchain, Ethereum, is obviously an important highlight for any blockchain enthusiast. How can you navigate the Ethereum blockchain? The answer takes you to a blockchain explorer like Etherscan, which can offer the best foundation for learning the fundamentals of exploring blockchain.On the other hand, many of you must have come across the term for the first time. The following Etherscan tutorial helps you understand the blockchain explorer tool in detail alongside reflecting on the best practices for using the tool.

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What is Etherscan?


The first entry in any discussion on Etherscan would obviously refer to its definition. It is basically a blockchain explorer designed for the Ethereum network and there are no marks for guessing that. The website or block explorer can help you review public data on all transactions, addresses, smart contracts, and many other things on the Ethereum blockchain. Many of you would ask “how does Etherscan work” and the simplest answer is that it works as a search engine for the Ethereum blockchain.

All you need is a transaction hash or the transaction ID and you can check all the activity associated with the transaction such as involved tokens, wallet addresses, and smart contracts. The block explorer can serve as a crucial instrument for understanding what actually happens in a user’s interactions with blockchain networks, decentralized apps, and wallets.

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How Can I Use Etherscan?

The next important topic after “what is Etherscan” draws the limelight towards using the block explorer. Interestingly, you don’t have to sign up for the block explorer website. However, you can create an account that offers additional functionalities such as alerts for incoming transactions, creating data feeds, or access to developer tools. The common requirements in answers for “how to use Etherscan” would focus on a wallet address, contract address, a transaction ID, or any other identifier for a transaction. 

If you are thinking of the possibilities for an Etherscan wallet, then you might be disappointed. The block explorer does not offer an Ethereum wallet for storing your private keys. In addition, you should also note that the block explorer tool does not facilitate any opportunities for trading. However, it is a reliable source of information on the Ethereum blockchain network alongside accessing a smart contract database.

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Why Will I Use Etherscan?

Well, you cannot use Etherscan for trading or storing your private keys. You can only access information through Etherscan. Therefore, you can have a clear answer to “is Etherscan safe” as it provides only information. It is a trusted block explorer for the Ethereum blockchain and offers credible functionalities in checking on-chain information. Even if you won’t find native Etherscan tokens, the block explorer gives you in-depth insights into the different on-chain transactions in the Ethereum blockchain. Access to in-depth information about interactions with blockchain networks can help in understanding transactions in decentralized applications and other blockchain-based solutions. As a result, users can find a vital reason for using Etherscan to stay vigilant of suspicious blockchain activity.

For example, you can learn how to use Etherscan for setting whale alerts which can help you detect the movement of large amounts of crypto on an exchange. In addition, the block explorer gives you a detailed impression of how the project developers or founders and using the native tokens. Subsequently, you can use the information from Etherscan to keep a lookout for rug pulls or other potential scams. 

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How Can I Check a Transaction and Wallet with Etherscan?

One of the basic highlights in “how does Etherscan work” focuses profoundly on transaction tracking. As a matter of fact, it is the primary functionality of the block explorer for the Ethereum blockchain. You can unlock a lot of information on a blockchain network once you know how to trace a specific cryptocurrency. What if you want to check a specific transaction and wallet on Ethereum? For example, you have sent 1 ETH to a public address alongside a transaction fee.

Once you complete the transaction, you will receive a transaction ID on your wallet’s display. You can use the transaction ID for checking out Etherscan wallet tracking functionalities with a few simple steps. Here are some basic methods for verifying the number of confirmations for the specific transaction of transferring 1 ETH. 

Step 1

Open the Etherscan homepage and navigate to the search box at the top of the page. 

Step 2

Enter the transaction ID you received on your wallet in the search box and select the search icon. 

Step 3

The next page displays all the details about the transaction. You can find the following basic details on the page.

  • Transaction Hash: Transaction ID associated with the specific transaction.
  • Status: Report on failure, successful completion of in-progress status.
  • Block: Block number of the transaction and number of confirmations for the transaction. 
  • Timestamp: Time when the transaction was added to the block. 
  • From: Wallet address making the transaction.
  • To: Wallet address receiving the transaction.
  • Value: Amount transferred in the transaction.
  • Transaction Fee: Fees charged for conducting the transaction.
  • Gas Price: Cost for each unit of gas for the transaction.
  • TXN Type: Report on the gas system used for conducting the transaction. 

All these details provide a detailed impression of Etherscan tokens transfer tracing capabilities. The details help in confirming the success of transactions and whether they received the required amount of confirmations. In addition, you can also verify the status of transactions by reviewing the receiving wallet. 

Interestingly, the Etherscan wallet tracking functionality is also simple as tracking transactions through the transaction ID. Access the search field on the block explorer and enter the receiving wallet address followed by clicking the search icon. You can discover a list of all the transactions related to the wallet address at the bottom of the page. The results can also showcase whether your transaction has been received alongside an overview of the wallet balance.

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Methods for Checking Smart Contracts on Etherscan

Ethereum is the second biggest blockchain network with functionalities for developing decentralized applications. Any individual working with decentralized apps and smart contracts on a regular basis would obviously wonder about using Etherscan for tracking them. Finding smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain can help you ensure that you are sending funds to the correct smart contract. 

You can add a new token in your wallet only if you have the contract address of the token. The smart contract address includes the logic underlying the token, such as suitable methods for token transfers alongside other transactions. You can discover the official token address for Etherscan tokens tracking through the official website of the project. The correct token address is important for ensuring the best results. Here are some of the simple steps you can follow for tracking smart contracts with Etherscan block explorer.

  1. Enter the smart contract address in the search field of the block explorer and click on the search icon. 
  2. You can discover the details of the contract balance alongside other common information pertaining to the token contract. 
  3. In addition, you can explore many other options such as reviewing transactions, the smart contract, or entering some comments. 
  4. You have to click on the “Contract” option for finding out the options for interacting with the token according to the smart contract rule. 
  5. Select the “Read Contract” tab for accessing general information about the contract. You can use the tab for finding out the balance of particular wallets or addresses with permissions to use the concerned token. 
  6. The “Write Contract” tab shows you how to use Etherscan for interacting directly with the smart contract. You can use the tab in event of technical issues or outages of decentralized apps and DeFi platforms.     
  7. The “Connect to Web3” option can help in connecting a crypto wallet for interacting with the contract like transactions for transferring coins. You can use the “transferFrom” option in the tab for transferring tokens from a specific address you can access to other addresses. The “transfer” option in the tab helps in transferring the token associated with a token from the connected wallet.

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How Can I Check Gas Prices?

Etherscan is also a helpful tool for tracking gas prices, which are a significant aspect of transaction fees on Ethereum. The transaction fees on Ethereum depend considerably on the block where you have included the transaction. Every block features a specific fee which varies on the basis of network traffic. With the help of a gas tracker, you can find “how does Etherscan work” in tracking gas prices. You can use the gas tracker for reviewing the difference in price and time for different gas prices for transactions. 

Interestingly, the gas tracker can serve as a crucial tool for drawing predictions on the level of congestion in the network. As a result, Etherscan can serve a helpful instrument for determining the transaction fees required for a basic transfer transaction. Furthermore, you can also leverage the gas tracker functionality of the Ethereum block explorer website to determine the fees required for interacting with complicated smart contracts. 

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What More Can I Do with Etherscan?

If you thought that Etherscan is all about tracking transactions, wallets, and smart contracts, then you need to think again. The block explorer not only offers Etherscan wallet tracking functionalities but also the option to identify ongoing airdrops on the Ethereum network. Airdrops are a great option for many crypto enthusiasts to get their hands on new tokens in the Ethereum ecosystem. However, it is quite difficult to keep track of all the airdrops happening in a day. 

At the same time, you may miss exciting Ethereum-based project airdrops. On the contrary, Etherscan helps you stay updated with the latest airdrops on the Ethereum network. Every airdrop comes with its unique rules and you can review the rules by selecting the “Details” column in the list of ongoing airdrops. Most important of all, you can also receive information on upcoming airdrops on the Ethereum block explorer tool. As a result, you would barely miss any airdrop on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Bottom Line

The different functionalities of Etherscan show that it is a comprehensive search engine for the Ethereum blockchain. Users can review every transaction and wallet address on the Ethereum blockchain with the Etherscan wallet and token tracking functionalities. Interestingly, the block explorer features a simple interface where you can use a transaction ID or contract address for learning everything about the transaction, wallet, and smart contracts. Therefore, you can learn how to use the basic features within a short period of time. Since it does not deal with the storage of private keys or any credentials of users, the block explorer provides the assurance of security. Learn more about Etherscan and start using it.

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!