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How to Use Etherscan

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Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

If you are just beginning your journey into the NFT space, then you have likely heard of the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain is the top blockchain for NFT sales, according to data provided by Cryptoslam.io.

This means that a majority of people who buy and sell NFTs use the Ethereum blockchain specifically. That being said, the Ethereum blockchain is abundant with all types of transaction data. Tracking all this data can quickly become overwhelming; that is why Matthew Tan, CEO, and Founder of Etherscan, created a tool that can help you keep track of it all.

What is Etherscan?

When I first started my NFT venture, I had no idea what Etherscan was. After visiting the site my first time, I asked myself, what is Etherscan? Now that I have explored the platform on many different occasions, I believe I’ve come to a conclusion.

Etherscan is the leading Ethereum BlockChain Explorer, search, API, and analytics platform. This data includes NFT mints, transactions, and trades. Anything that occurs on the Ethereum blockchain, you will find using Etherscan.

To be utterly clear, Etherscan is basically a search engine for the Ethereum blockchain, providing users with a way to search and validate transactions, as well as other people’s wallet information. Etherscan also allows you to view all the data regarding any pending and completed transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

Utilizing Etherscan

When I first started using Etherescan, it took me a while to understand the best way to utilize the platform. After using Etherscan a few times, I really began to understand the various functions and all their uses.

You can use Etherscan to verify any pending transactions, search wallet addresses, txn hash, blocks, a specific token, and ENS domains (web3 domains). This gives you the ability to search and verify anything you need on the Ethereum blockchain.

How to use Etherscan

When it comes to using Etherscan there are many functions that you can use. Depending on your intentions, however, you may not need to use every single tool offered on the Etherscan platform. Just in case, I want to show you how to use Etherscan in its entirety.

1. Search by address is one function that authorizes users to gain insight on anyone’s crypto wallet. Considering that everyone’s wallet address is recorded publicly on the blockchain means that you can view anybody’s wallet data. 

You’re probably wondering what kind of wallet data you gain access to when using Etherscan, so allow me to happily break it all down for you. Here is the information you can view when searching by wallet address:

Wallet balance tells you how much cryptocurrency a wallet currently holds and the current value of that currency.

Transaction data allows you to view every single transaction ever made from a specific wallet address.

Internal TXNs lets you see every internal transaction that has ever been initiated from a wallet address.

Loans shows you any loans that you may have taken out using any of the platforms listed on Etherscan such as Compound, AAVE, Cream, Maker or Curve.

Analytics provides several metrics of any wallet’s value. These metrics include ETH highest balance, ETH lowest balance, US highest balance, and US lowest balance.

Moreover, Etherscan displays a handy chart which shows a wallet’s balance over a specified period of time. Additional charts include Transactions, TxnFees, Ether transfers, and Token transfers.

Comments allows Etherscan users to leave comments on someone's wallet address. These comments can be useful to warn others of scams and suspicious wallet activity. Or, you can use it to leave friendly notes, it’s up to you.

Aside from all these functions, Etherscan offers their users even more analysis tools, let's take a look.

2. Search by TXN Hash is used to lookup a specific transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. A TXN hash is simply a transaction ID. Every transaction on the blockchain is given a unique ID, which permits you to search for any transaction that has ever occurred on the blockchain.

Searching by TXN hash is a great tool to use if you want to verify that a transaction has been completed successfully, or not. You can find an NFT’s TXN hash by going to OpenSea, selecting an NFT, locate the Trading History, go to the Date, and then click on the box with an arrow, this will take you to Etherscan which will display the TXN Hash.

When viewing a transaction’s hash, you have a visual on several metrics, including:

3. Search for a specific Block is used to search a specific transaction by its block number. A block is the number of the block in which the transaction was recorded. Block height is numbered sequentially (0, 1, 2, 3,e etc) beginning from the very first block height (0).

Searching by block height will produce similar data points as searching by txn hash. The only main difference is the block search will also show who mined the block, the difficulty of mining, as well as the size which is determined by the block’s gas limit.

4. Search by Token ID will show you the price of the token, the total supply, number of holders, as well as any updates that may be attached to the token.

5. Search a specific ENS allows you to search an ENS (web3) domain. Searching for this info will lead you to discover the controller of that domain (the account that owns the rights to edit the records of the domain).

Searching Etherscan via ENS also allows you to see who the registrant (the owner of the domain name) is. This is good to know because the ENS ownership rights can be transferred to another address. Also, you can see when an ENS expires.

These 5 methods of searching for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain using the Etherscan platform will surely allow you to discover whatever it is you may be looking for. In my experience, the best way to learn how to use Etherscan is by trying it out for yourself.

You can literally choose any NFT on the marketplace and find out any information you want. I recommend going to a marketplace such as OpenSea, choosing an NFT, and then using the data provided on that specific token to start investigating it on Etherscan.

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