If you’re involved with crypto, DeFi, or NFTs you have likely heard of Etherscan and used it a little. In this guide we’re going to cover the basics of this tool and why it’s important!
Etherscan is a blockchain explorer which allows you to see all the activity on the ethereum network.
Etherscan itself is pretty simple once you jump in and know where to look, so let’s start exploring! The easiest way to start is to visit etherscan.io and then type in your own public wallet address or ENS in the search bar.
Searching an address:
If you’re searching an ENS name, you’ll be brought to a small subpage called the Ethereum Name Lookup. This page gives some more info about the ENS name’s registration, control, and reverse records.
Address Transaction Screen:
There are two main sections here: the overview and the transactions.
The overview area gives you the wallet’s current Ether balance, but not the total value of all the tokens. You can click on the dropdown menu to see a list of all the tokens that Etherscan has detected in your wallet.
- This includes ERC20, and ERC721 / ERC1155s
If you choose any of these from the dropdown, it will bring you to a new page. This will have an overview of the token, the price, the number of holders, the market cap, as well as the max total supply of the token.
It’s important to note that just because a token is listed and has links, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s trustworthy or safe. There are plenty of scam tokens out there with fully filled out Etherscan profiles!
The transaction area will show all of the transactions of a specific section (Transactions, Internal Transactions, ERC20/ERC721/ERC1155 Token Transactions) for your wallet. These transactions can include:
- Sending and receiving tokens
- Setting approvals for contracts
- Buying and selling NFTs
- Sending on chain messages
If you want to filter the transactions by a specific type, you can do so by the different available tabs. If you want to learn more about a transaction, you can simply click on the “Txn Hash” link and it will take you to a new page with new information.
Lets look at a transaction as an example:
Transaction Hash: The transaction hash is a pseudo-random string of numbers and letters assigned to a transaction in order to help make referencing easier.
Status: The status will almost always be either Success or Failure. If it’s a failure it will list a reason why.
Block: The blockchain is just a sequential ledger and the ledger items are all called blocks. So the “block” number is the exact spot in the blockchain where this transaction took place. Your transaction, along with a lot others, is all part of the block that is listed here!
Timestamp: When the transaction was confirmed.
From / To: The from and to are just from whom and to whom the transaction went.
Value / Transaction Fee: The value will tell you how much the transaction was in Ether. You can click the little blue box next to it and it will toggle between the current day Ether value and the Ether value at the time the transaction took place.
- Some transactions involving NFTs or self-sends will be very little or 0 Ether value, but these still cost gas. The Transaction fee is the final amount of Ether spent on gas.
Gas Section: The gas section here goes more in depth into what exactly went down with the transaction’s gas. You can learn more about what all these terms mean in our gas article.
Others: The most important thing to note here is the nonce number. Every wallet has to assign a sequential nonce to every transaction that it does. In the example photo this is the 572nd transaction my wallet has done!
Additional Etherscan Tools:
In addition to being a blockchain explorer, etherscan has also developed a few good tools you should know about.
- Token approvals tool: Here, you can revoke the permissions you have given any contract to access the various assets of your wallet.
This can be super helpful if you’re worried about a scam, or just trying to keep your wallet healthy. We’d recommend going in and revoking the approvals for any sort of sketchy token or website you may have given permission to your wallet. It will cost gas to revoke though, so keep that in mind!
2. The gas tracker: This tool not only gives you the general price of gas, but also estimates the transaction cost in USD for a lot of popular transactions. It also gives you some fun statistics on current “gas guzzlers” among other things!