A Block Explorer is an application that allows users to view and query data stored on the BitcoinSV ledger and network. Typically accessed through a web browser, Block Explorers allow users to view details of Bitcoin blocks, [[Bitcoin Transactions|transactions and addresses. Their primary function is to allow users to track network activity in real-time.
The structure of a typical block explorer is to have a mining client with a front end that pulls data from its own copy of the blockchain and presents it to users through a web interface.
In future it is expected that block explorers will develop their own tooling and client that can detect additional information that is not typically monitored by a mining client such as the emergence of a block race, transactions which the node is not set up to validate and more.
Real time information on both blocks and transactions is typically provided in addition to other information such as the history of a given Bitcoin address or a list of transactions containing particular metadata.
The explorer provides data on all blocks that have been added to the ledger, and are usually updated within seconds of a valid block being discovered. This data shows:
- Block height: Number of blocks since the Bitcoin Genesis block was mined
- Age: Elapsed time between now and the timestamp that indicates when the block was discovered
- Transaction Count: number of transactions included in the block
- Fees: Aggregate value of all Transaction fees paid to the miner by users
- Reward: Total miner reward including transaction fees and block subsidy
- Mined by: Identity of the miner or mining pool who's node mined this block
- Size: Size of the block as obtained by adding the sizes of each transactions included in the block
Real time Transaction information
In addition the block explorer provides a full set of information regarding transactions that have either been mined into a block, or accepted into the Block Explorer's node client's mempool.
- Block: The hash of the block in which the transaction was mined (if the transaction has not yet been mined, the confirmation field is typically not shown)
- Status: If a transaction isn't mined, this field may show the transaction as Unconfirmed
- Timestamp: The timestamp in the block header in which this transaction was mined (if the transaction has not yet been mined, the timestamp field is typically not shown)
- Version: The version of the protocol against which this transaction is to be validated
- Size: The size of the serialised transaction in bytes
- Confirmations: The number of blocks mined on top of the block containing the transaction (if the transaction has not yet been mined, the confirmation field is typically not shown)
- Fee Paid: The total transaction fee paid by the spending party
- Fee Rate: The transaction fees paid by the spending party as a ratio of Satoshis/Byte which is the total fee paid divided by the size of the transaction
- Coinbase data: If the transaction is the Coinbase transaction of a block, the explorer will typically show the coinbase text that the miner has embedded in the transaction
In addition to these fields, the explorer will usually include other information about the transaction including the number of inputs and outputs, the values of those inputs and outputs, the scripts used to spend the inputs, and the new scripts created in the outputs. Most explorers will also offer the user different ways to view this information such as raw hex, interpreted Bitcoin script or in JSON format.
The main function of block explorers is to allow users to search for data in the Bitcoin ledger and block chain. This is typically performed using a search tool.
Typical search functions include:
Typically, the explorer responds to a search with a page containing all the details about the subject of a search request.
List of blockchain explorers
This content is based on content sourced from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block_chain_browser under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Although it may have been extensively revised and updated we acknowledge the original authors.