Block Explorer is like a blockchain search engine: you can use it to browse the transaction database the same way you use Google to find information on the Internet. Block explorer allows you to find data on the latest blocks and transactions of any cryptocurrency, view wallet balances, sources and destinations of funds, and much more.
Blockchain explorer helps anyone who needs to monitor the current state of the blockchain or specific transactions: merchants, miners, wallets, exchange services and decentralized applications. Let's see what block explorer is, how it works and how you can use it advantageously with NOWNodes .
Blockchain Researchers: What Are They?
Each blockchain is a database that stores the entire list of wallet addresses and transactions that have ever been made on that blockchain. This database is open and accessible to all – you do not need permission to view the balance of any wallet or the status of any transaction. Basically, a blockchain is one big file of information, but that information is not represented there in a human-readable way.
Here comes the question: what is block explorer and what is it for? Block explorer solves the readability problem: it helps users easily extract information from the blockchain. Popular block explorers include Blockchain.com for Bitcoin and Etherscan for Ethereum. Most blockchains have their own block explorers: here are two for Cardano and Solana .
Here is part of the bitcoin blockchain explorer interface:
Block explorers of this kind may even display data that is not recorded on the blockchain itself. For example, this is the size of a mempool (memory pool) — a set of transactions waiting to be confirmed and added to the blockchain. Mempool size reflects the level of market activity and network congestion, which is an important parameter for traders, miners and any crypto projects.
How do Blockchain Explorers work?
As mentioned above, a blockchain is a file containing information about the history of all transactions made on this network. But for the block explorer to function properly, simply downloading a full copy of the blockchain is not enough – it must refresh it 24/7 to keep users up to date with information from the latest blocks. For this, blockchain researchers use a full node — a participant in the decentralized cryptocurrency network that validates transactions, thereby having access to relevant information about them.
A full node downloads the entire copy of the blockchain (over 350 GB) and constantly updates it. A blockchain explorer is software that browses this database, collects information and displays it in a user-friendly way.
How to use Blockchain Explorers
Block explorers can be used in 2 main ways. The first is manual — you go to a blockchain explorer website like Blockchain.com or Etherscan and search for the information you need, be it the latest blocks or transactions, mempool size, etc. You can also use a search bar: enter a wallet address to see its balance and history, a transaction hash to see if a payment has been approved, or a block height to see what transactions were in that block.
However, this way does not work for crypto projects: they need fresh information from the blockchain for dozens of parameters every second. For this, there are Blockchain-as-a-Service solutions — platforms that offer access to block explorers via API to anyone who wants to launch their crypto project, dApp or wallet.
Using such platforms is easy: you get an API key and then make requests directly to the node, which allows you to get the necessary information immediately in a form that will be convenient to read from your wallet or application.
NOWNodes — Provider of Blockchain Explorer
NOWNodes is a service that offers quick access to 40+ full nodes and explorers via API including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot and many more. We maintain full nodes of these cryptocurrencies, allowing us to pull information from them at any time.
Here's what the block explorer experience is like with NOWNodes:
- It's fast. Our API gives you an answer to any of your requests in less than 1 second.
- It is reliable. The API uptime rate is 99.95%, which means that the service downtime is no more than a few minutes per month.
- Large library of example queries. In ours Documents see the Blockbook API folder for a list of requests you can make to Block Explorer. Just add your API key to the request URL and you are ready to execute the request.
- Flexible pricing. Make up to 20,000 requests per day for free. Whenever you need more, check out our section Prices or simply contact us and we will help you choose the best plan for you.
- Helpful support. Use the chat button on the main page or contact us for assistance — we'll be in touch to help you with any issue as soon as possible.
- Easy to start. It takes 3 easy steps to get started with NOWNodes, and it's absolutely free. To find out how, check out the quick guide below.
Feel free to earn more from our Service Quality Standard here .
How to use block explorer with NOWNodes?
Follow 3 easy steps and start submitting block explorer requests in just minutes:
- Get a free API key. Go to the main page on NOWNodes , leave your email and receive the letter with the key in a few seconds.
- Open ours documents and find the query you need. Here's what a regular one looks like:
- Place your API key at the end of the request URL like this:
Now you are ready to make your request and enjoy the service from NOWNodes!
The block explorer is a tool that allows you to find the information you need in the blockchain — wallet balance, transaction status, and more. If you just need to quickly verify something, you can use a block explorer like Blockchain.com, but if you're running a crypto project, you'll need to access the explorer via an API. You can do this with NOWNodes — we offer a fast and stable connection, and the setup process is very easy. For more details on using block explorers on specific coins, check out our latest explorer articles on Dash , Digibyte and Cardano .