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What is Etherscan?: Beginner’s Guide 2024

What is Etherscan?: Beginner’s Guide 2024
What is Etherscan?: Beginner’s Guide 2024
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Key Takeaways 

  • Etherscan allows you to explore transactions and wallets on the Ethereum blockchain — completely for free! 
  • Simply put your wallet into the Etherscan search engine, and you’ll see your wallet balance and a record of all of your transactions! 

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to get started with Etherscan — including how the platform works and how you can use it to explore transactions and wallets!

What is Etherscan?

Etherscan is a blockchain explorer for the Ethereum blockchain. Etherscan is designed to show you details related to all transactions and smart contracts on the blockchain — including fees, the amount of crypto involved in the transaction, transaction status, and much more! 

Etherscan can help you answer questions like the following: 

  • Was my transaction confirmed by the blockchain?
  • How much gas fees did I spend on a transaction?
  • What wallet addresses have I transacted with in the past? 
  • Where did the crypto in my wallet go? 
  • What decentralized applications and smart contracts have I interacted with in the past? 

How does Etherscan work? 

Blockchain explorers like Etherscan give the following services to users: 

  1. Live retrieval of Ethereum blockchain data. 
  2. A historical record of all Ethereum blockchain transactions. 
  3. An easy-to-use interface to explore blockchain data. 

How do I withdraw from Etherscan? 

Blockchains like Ethereum are designed to have all wallets and transactions visible to the public. You cannot hide your Ethereum wallet and transactions from Etherscan or other Ethereum blockchain explorers. 

How to use Etherscan

How to use Etherscan to look up a wallet 

1. Enter wallet address: On the Etherscan homepage, enter the Ethereum wallet address into the search bar.

Etherscan explorer

2. View details: You’ll be directed to a page showing the wallet's ETH balance, transaction history, and other relevant data.

Etherscan address page

3. Scroll down for additional transaction info: If you scroll down, you can see all the transactions associated with the wallet. This section shows information about each transaction — including the date of each transaction, the amount of crypto involved in the transaction, and the smart contract the wallet interacted with. 

Etherscan transactions page

4. Explore additional tabs: EtherScan contains multiple tabs that you can explore — such as ‘Multichain portfolio’, which allows you to see cryptocurrencies held on other chains, and ‘Analytics’ (pictured below) which allow you to see the value of crypto held in the wallet over time. 

Etherscan additional tabs

How to use Etherscan to check gas fees

1. Access Gas Tracker: On EtherScan’s homepage, you can see a gas fee tracker. This shows you the median gas fee at any given time. 

Etherscan gas tracker

2. Click on the gas tracker: Clicking on the median gas fee above takes you to the Ethereum Gas Tracker. The page shows how much gas you should pay if you want your transaction completed at a low, average, or high speed. 

Etherscan gas tracker

How to use Etherscan to look up a transaction

1. Enter Transaction Hash: Type in the transaction hash (TxHash) into the search bar on Etherscan.

Etherscan block explorer

2. Review Details: You’ll see information such as the wallets involved in the transaction and relevant fees. 

Etherscan transaction hash

How to use Etherscan to look up a smart contract

1. Search for Contract Address: Enter the smart contract’s address in the Etherscan search bar.

2. Read and Interact: Similar to wallets, you can see basic information and all the transactions associated with the smart contract. 

Contract address etherscan

How do I read Etherscan? 

Let’s walk through some of the common terms you may see when looking at a wallet or a transaction on Etherscan. 

ETH Balance: This shows the total amount of ETH that the wallet is currently holding. 

Multichain Portfolio: This shows the total value of cryptocurrency the wallet is holding on Ethereum and 25 other blockchains!

From and Interacted With (To): This shows the addresses involved in each crypto transaction. You can click on each wallet to see other transactions the wallet has been involved with. 

Transaction hash: Every transaction on the Ethereum blockchain has a unique ID — also called a transaction hash. 

Block: Each transaction on Ethereum is recorded on the blockchain as a ‘block’. Each transaction on Etherscan shows the Block number — so you can see when the transaction was added to the blockchain. 

Status: This shows whether the transaction was pending or confirmed by the blockchain. 

How can I use Etherscan to make money?

Blockchain explorers like Etherscan are often used to do on-chain analysis — which can be used to make price predictions about ETH and other cryptocurrencies. 

Here are a few metrics you can study for on-chain analysis: 

Transaction volume: The transaction volume on the Ethereum blockchain can help you understand whether demand is increasing or decreasing. 

Exchange flows: The movement of cryptocurrency into/out of major exchanges can show overall demand for ETH and other cryptocurrencies. 

Active addresses: The number of wallet addresses that are actively making transactions on the Ethereum blockchain can be used to understand whether the Ethereum network is growing or shrinking. 

Whale wallets: The actions of ‘whales’ — wallets that own a significant amount of ETH — can be used to make predictions about whether ETH will rise or fall in the future. 

Can I see NFTs with Etherscan? 

Yes. Etherscan allows users to view NFTs and NFT-related transactions. You’ll be able to see information like the date and time of the transaction, the amount of crypto involved in the transaction, and a small image of the NFT. 

Etherscan NFTs

Does Etherscan support other blockchains? 

Etherscan was built specifically for Ethereum. If you’re looking to analyze transactions on another blockchain, you should consider using a different blockchain explorer — such as Blockchain.com for Bitcoin or SolScan for Solana. 

In conclusion 

Etherscan is an easy way to explore the Ethereum blockchain. The platform is free to use and incredibly user friendly! 

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Etherscan used for? 
  • Is Etherscan free?
  • Do I need an account to use Etherscan?
  • How do I get my money out of Etherscan?
  • How does Etherscan make money? 
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