BlockScout: The first full-featured open-source Ethereum blockchain explorer

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Both what you need and what you want at your fingertips.

Meet block explorer BlockScout. Developed by POA Network and helped along with community support, it was funded by a grant from ETHPrize, has been about a year in the making and is unique in several ways.

Points of difference

Like other block explorers, BlockScout lets users explore the blockchain, including transactions, balances and similar, but it also goes further with details like gas costs, real-time blockchain data, smart contract verification and querying, and more.

Uniquely, it’s the first fully-featured open-source Ethereum block explorer. This open-sourceness is significant. It makes it a much safer and more reliable option for use in third-party applications. This is facilitated with a flexible API.

It’s also unique in that it supports Ethereum Classic as well as Ethereum Ethereum, bringing a significant dose of interoperability, and some good vibes, to the systems.

“While building POA Network, we realized the existing block explorer options were closed source and limited in functionality,” said POA Network tech lead Igor Barinov. “This meant we couldn’t propose updates, contribute to development or integrate sidechain platforms. BlockScout sets a new standard for blockchain exploration tools by providing detailed insights for users looking to easily verify transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, sidechains and private chains.”

The solution took shape across more than 2,000 GitHub commits and with the help of 27 community contributors over the year. It was first released for community input in August 2018 after a year in development.

“It’s thanks to the hard work of our technical contributors and the detailed feedback from our dedicated community that BlockScout is so advanced in functionality,” said BlockScout project lead Andrew Cravenho. “We are proud to deliver a high-quality product that is open and available to all users, and remain committed to closely collaborating with our ever-expanding community to refine and strengthen BlockScout.”

It’s definitely pretty slick, and serves as a clear example of how open-source community-based development efforts can achieve results that wouldn’t necessarily be an option inside closed business environments, where development efforts would instead need to focus on more immediate and directly profitable work.

But in a decentralised system you can get these kinds of tools that make it all that much better for everyone.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, ADA

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