How do I find transaction information on a block explorer?
Everything you need to know about how to find information on a block explorer!
In this article:
- What is a block explorer?
- Why should I use a block explorer?
- How do I read a transaction on a block explorer?
- Practical example: I sent funds but they are not in the destination wallet:
- What are some different block explorers?
What is a block explorer?
A block explorer is like a search engine for a blockchain. It allows anyone to explore current and historical data related to transactions, addresses, blocks, and more.
Blockchains, such as those of Bitcoin and Ethereum, can be thought of as public ledgers for cryptocurrency transactions. As public records, the transactions that take place on them are transparent and open for all to see.
Block explorers are an essential part of this transparency as they allow us to find information on the blockchain.
Why should I use a block explorer?
The most common use of a block explorer is to check the status of incoming or outgoing transactions. For instance, if you sent funds but they are not in the destination wallet, you can verify the status and recipient address of the transaction.
With a block explorer, you can also search your own address using the search field to see your personal transaction history, the current amount you hold of an asset, and other details. However, block explorers can also offer more technical real-time information such as block difficulty, block height, hash rate, transaction fees, transaction volume, and more.
How do I read a transaction on a block explorer?
In order to read a transaction on a block explorer, it is important to understand the kind of information revealed in a query.
All block explorers will have a search field that allows you to query specific information from transaction IDs (hashes) or addresses. If your transaction has been broadcast to the network, the results page will show you important details about the transaction.
To query a blockchain about a particular transaction, enter the transaction ID into the search field. The results will show the following:
|a)||Transaction ID||A transaction ID (aka transaction hash) is a unique identifier made up of a string of characters generated for every transaction broadcast. It is often used to track and check the status of a transaction.|
|b)||Transaction Status||Transaction statuses are used to track the state of transactions. For instance, if your transaction has been written successfully to the blockchain, the status will show as confirmed.|
|c)||Amount||Depending on the block explorer, this could either be the amount of an asset sent before or after deducting network fees.|
|d)||Network Fees||For transactions to be processed on blockchain networks, outgoing transactions incur a network fee. Network fees are 100% paid to the network and Exodus does not keep any portion of this fee. For more about this, please see the article Does Exodus have transaction fees to send or receive?|
|e)||Time and Date||This is the time and date a transaction was first broadcasted to the network. It is based on how your computer/device's location is configured.|
|f)||From Address||This is the outbound address the funds were sent from.|
|g)||To Address||This is the destination address the funds were sent to. If you sent funds but they are not in the destination wallet, this is where you can confirm that the address is correct.|
|h)||Additional Information||Though it depends on the blockchain, this can include information such as transaction size, gas limit, nonce, and extra details about the transaction.|
Practical example: I sent funds but they are not in the destination wallet.
The following are actions you can take with a block explorer when funds that you sent did not arrive at the destination wallet. Though we are using a Bitcoin transaction as an example, the same concepts apply to missing deposits on other networks.
Checking that the destination address is correct.
The first step is checking whether or not the destination address is correct.
Here is how you can find your transaction ID in Exodus: How do I find a transaction ID?
We will use the popular Bitcoin block explorer, Mempool.space, and this transaction as an example:
Scroll down until you see Inputs & Outputs.
- On the left is the Inputs or the Senders, this is where you can see the address the crypto was sent from.
- On the right is the Outputs or the Receivers, this is where you can verify whether or not the address destination is the same as the address you wanted to send your crypto to.
Look to see how many confirmations the transaction has.
Next, it is important to look at how many confirmations the transaction has. To do this, open up a transaction. We will use this one as an example:
When a transaction has been confirmed on the blockchain you will see the number of confirmations in green. This means the transaction is included in a block and verified by the network. The funds should be in the destination wallet.
If the transaction has not been confirmed, it will instead read Unconfirmed in red. An unconfirmed transaction has not been processed by the network.
If you are sending a Bitcoin transaction and it remains unconfirmed for a while, you can accelerate it by paying a higher fee to the network. In doing so, your transaction will be prioritized ahead of other transactions with a lower fee.
- Here is how to speed up your slow Bitcoin transaction: What should I do if my Bitcoin transaction is stuck?
- For more information on unconfirmed transactions and why transactions are stuck pending, you can check out this article: Why is my Transaction Pending
What should I do if everything looks normal on the blockchain?
If you have checked that your transaction has been confirmed on the blockchain and all the addresses are correct, then the best course of action here is to reach out to the support team of the destination address and let them know that you are not seeing your funds display in the wallet.
When you do this, please include the transaction ID in your message to them, as this will also help them to identify what has gone wrong.
What are some different block explorers?
Most block explorers offer blockchain data for one particular chain. Here are links to block explorers for the assets that Exodus currently supports.