What is Etherscan, and what is it used for?
Launched by entrepreneur and blockchain developer Matthew Tan in 2015, the primary goal behind the Etherscan tool was to provide access to blockchain data and other related information.
As the most patronized tool for stakeholders of the Ethereum network, the blockchain explorer can help you navigate data on smart contracts, transactions, gas fees, the price and market capitalization of ETH, the native asset behind Vitalik Buterin’s innovation, the last finalized and safe block, and wallet addresses.
Thriving on the theme of decentralized finance, which is to take power away from centralized figures, creator Matthew Tan is surrounded by a team of industry professionals and seasoned developers.
As a result, the team behind the project has no relationship with the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports Ethereum and technologies related to its ecosystem.
How do I use Etherscan?
To use the Etherscan tool, you first have to find it on search engine platforms (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others). Once on the platform, you can locate a section with a search bar titled The Ethereum Blockchain Explorer.
Under this, you can search for details using crypto wallet addresses, tokens, name tags, domain names, labels, websites, transaction hashes, and blocks.
To give you a fair idea, let’s assume you want to know the details of activities surrounding this crypto wallet (0x5124fcC2B3F99F571AD67D075643C743F38f1C34).
After pasting this in the search bar, you will see an overview of this account, which comprises the ETH balance, ETH value, and token holdings.
Aside from this, you will find information about the first and last transactions sent by the wallet.
Additionally, to ward off scams that employ decentralized applications (DApps), you can use the service to find smart contracts with a security audit and verified source code.
More importantly, you can search for transactions made on all Ethereum wallets and calculate gas fees with the aid of an in-built gas tracker.
Should you use Etherscan?
Etherscan is a tool you should consider using if you engage with the first smart contract-backed platform.
Many investigative agencies have found the Explorer highly resourceful because it helps them track all transactions instigated by hackers across the globe.
This way, they are able to track transactions up to the point at which they were exchanged for cash and bring perpetrators to justice.
To keep up with industry standards, Etherscan continues to see upgrades. In June, it added an OpenAI-based tool to analyze smart contract code.
OpenAI is the company behind the AI chatbot ChatGPT, launched in November 2022, and the new upgrade helps explain parts or the entirety of smart contract source codes to users.
Author: Raphael Minter
Raphael Minter/ Albert Zuhnden (preferred pen name) is a crypto finance writer, data miner, and fundamental analyst. Raphael has written hundreds of articles about centralized and decentralized financial instruments such as precious metals, commodities, stocks, and cryptocurrencies. He broke into digital finance in 2016 and believes digital assets and blockchain technology is the future of finance.