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What is Etherscan? How to use Etherscan for newbies

What is Etherscan? How to check ETH transactions? Detailed instructions on how to use Etherscan to check ETH wallets and other features! Please read below
Published Aug 19 2019
Updated Sep 05 2023
13 min read

Etherscan plays a crucial role in the cryptocurrency market. Etherscan is one of the most popular tools you should learn about once you start joining crypto. 

Etherscan is often used for a bunch of purposes such as checking wallet balance, checking transaction history, or even Txn Hash... These are all very basic features for crypto players. However, Etherscan has many more interesting and useful features.

In this article, I will share the full details of interesting and useful features of Etherscan and how to use it properly.

What is Etherscan?

Etherscan is a Blockchain Explorer for Ethereum. Etherscan allows you to search through transactions history, blocks, wallet addresses, smart contracts for ERC-20 tokens, and other on-chain data. All interactions on Ethereum are public, and Etherscan aims to create transparency for the Ethereum Blockchain by allowing users to check all information clearly. 

Although you don't need your private keys or sign up to use Etherscan, it would be great if you can create an account for extra functionality. For example, you can get alerts or notifications whenever your addresses have incoming transactions, access developer tools, and create data feeds.

Easily, Etherscan acts as a source of blockchain information and a database of smart contracts. Etherscan is NOT a service that provides wallets or manages portfolios. We also have other tools similar to Etherscan on other blockchains like: 

  • Solscan for Solana.
  • Bscscan for BNB Smart Chain.
  • Ftmscan for Fantom.
  • ….

One remark is that Etherscan is not under the management of the Ethereum Foundation but owned by a third party. You can access Etherscan at:

The landing page of Etherscan.

What is Etherscan used for? 

Etherscan is a popular block explorer for Ethereum which provides detailed on-chain information. Using Etherscan can help you understand exactly how you interact with the blockchain, other wallets, and DApps. Therefore, you can use Etherscan for multiple purposes like:

  • Checking ETH wallet: You need to have the wallet address you want to check and paste it into the search box. You can then check the basic information of that wallet such as the balance of the whole wallet in USD, the types of tokens in the wallet as well as the balance of each asset.
  • Checking transactions for ETH and ERC-20, ERC-721, ERC-1155 token. Also, we can check the status of that transaction: success, pending, or canceled. 
  • Retrieving wallet information with the transaction hash.
  • Check the Smart Contract of the project token.
  • Checking wallet balance or project (balance fluctuations, ICO, track what the founders of a project are doing with their project's tokens, if a large amount of a cryptocurrency has been moved onto an exchange...).
  • Create a Watchlist to track token fluctuations in the wallet.

Besides that, Etherscan provides an API for developers to implement this API for their applications (website, app,...).

How does Etherscan work? 

Basically, you can see Etherscan is a search engine for everything related to the Ethereum network. 

The information you need to provide for this engine is wallet address, transaction hash, transaction ID, smart contract of the token or even a domain (Ethereum Name Service).

After that, Etherscan will be in charge of the process to interact with the Ether blockchain network, get, arrange and visualize data for end-users.

Understanding Etherscan: How to read Etherscan 

Etherscan Interface Overview

The homepage allows us to have an overview of the Ethereum Blockchain. Some basic information on the Etherscan interface include:

(1) Search box: Where you can paste directly the Address, Txn Hash, Block, Token, or Ens domain (Ethereum Name Service) in that block to search for information.

(2) Ether (ETH) basics: You can see the price, 24h price movement, and the total market cap of ETH.

(3) Real-time information about activities within the Etherscan Blockchain network, include:

  • Transactions: The total number of transactions executed.
  • Med Gas Price: The current average gas price on the Ethereum network.
  • Difficulty: Difficulty when mining coins.
  • Hash Rate: The hash rate.
  • Ethereum Transaction History in 14 Days: A graph showing the change of transactions on the Ethereum Blockchain in the last 14 days.

Blockchain Section

Blockchain section on Etherscan

The Blockchain button allows you to see more detail of all important information about Blocks, transactions (txns), top accounts:

  • View Txns: View all completed transactions on Ethereum.
  • View Pending Txns: View pending transactions.
  • View Contract Internal Txns: View ETH transactions.
  • View Blocks: The pool that creates blocks.
  • Top Accounts: List of wallets with the highest amount of ETH in order.
  • Verified Contracts: List of verified contracts (with verified source codes).
  • The rest: Forked Blocks (Reorges), View Uncles, Verified Contracts,...

Tokens Section

Token section on Etherscan

This contains information about 3 popular types of tokens of Ethereum: ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155, including:

  • Top Tokens: List of tokens.
  • Views Transfers: View transactions of these 3 types of tokens.

Resources Section 

Resources section on Etherscan

Items in the Resources include:

  • Charts And Stats: It includes graphs about multiple data: market, network, blockchain data, dashboard, ENS data, and statistics in the Ethereum Blockchain network. There are a lot of useful graphs which you can use to have insights about Ethereum network such as Ether Supply Growth Chart, Transactions fee…
  • Top Statistics: Data statistics of top transactions, tokens, etc.
  • Developer APIs: Create APIs based on Etherscan's API.
  • Ethereum Directory: Contains information about a number of related projects, websites, and exchanges that provide services related to Ethereum.


“More” section on Etherscan 

We have 4 categories, including:

  • Developers: Contains information about API Document, Verify contract, Compiler,... that programmers can use for their development purposes. 
  • DeFi: Check information related to DeFi projects and DEXs (decentralized exchanges) on Ethereum about transactions, NFTs tracker,…
  • Explore: Check gas fees, Nodes, Etherscan connections, Eth2 Beacon Chain deposits and Ethereum Names,…
  • Tools: Check information about mining calculator, signature, token approvals, converter,...

Etherscan tutorial: How to use Etherscan 

How to search for a transaction and wallet on Etherscan

Exploring a wallet address on Etherscan under the “Transactions” tab will show a list of all ETH transactions (Txns), or transactions that have used gas (Gwei) associated with that specific wallet.

To search for Ether transactions, you need the address of a transaction. You can paste the address of a transaction into the search box and click “Search”.

To read Ether wallet information with Etherscan, you first need a wallet address. After that, paste the address into the search box and click “Search”.

For example, I’ll take a random address 0xd8dA6BF26964aF9D7eEd9e03E53415D37aA96045 (under the ENS domain vitalik.eth).

The information includes:

(1) Balance: The balance of the wallet, in ETH.

(2) Ether Value: The balance of the wallet, in USD.

(3) Token: List of tokens inside this Ether wallet. Click on the box next to it to see the full list.

(4) Transaction: List of transactions performed with that wallet.

(5) Internal Txns: Internal transactions.

(6) Erc20 Token Txns: Transactions made with ERC-20 tokens.

(7) Erc721 Token Txns: Transactions made with ERC-721 tokens.

(8) Erc1155 Token Txns: Transactions made with ERC-1155 tokens.

(9) Analytics: Some statistical and analytical graphs related to transactions and wallet balances.

(10) Comments: Comments of Etherscan accounts with that wallet.

How to check tokens on an ETH address

If you want to check more details about the types of tokens and the balance of each token inside that wallet, you can do as below:

Clicking the “View expand ERC-20 token holding” button will display detailed information about the tokens in the wallet:

The list of tokens and the balance of each is clearly shown below.

→ Checking this detailed information is suitable for those who often do Airdrops or Bounties. There will be many projects that pay tokens, but you may not know the token payment schedule, so use this method to check if the token has been transferred to the wallet or not.

In addition, if you want to check quickly, you can click the arrow in the Token section as shown in the image ⇒ Search or scroll down to see the corresponding tokens and balance.

How to check Gas Price with Etherscan Gas Tracker

“Gas” refers to the transaction fee associated with a transaction to be executed successfully on the Ethereum blockchain. Transaction costs on Ethereum are referred to as gas fees.

Using Etherscan’s gas tracker to determine a transaction’s gas fees with accuracy, users can see the difference in gas prices at various time intervals, and how much gas a transaction requires.

→ Users receive a gas fee estimate so they can adjust the timing of their transactions to avoid high network traffic → saves transaction costs and allows smoother transactions.

Click More → choose Explore Gas Tracker.

How to read Etherscan transactions

Txn Hash is the transaction code. Each transaction taking place on the Ethereum Blockchain has a unique Txn Hash code. As long as you have the Txn Hash code information, you can check that ETH transaction, and retrieve the transaction history and information of that wallet.

For example, I will paste the Txn Hash: 0x68a5f55a8b81e644e1564575bacec34c86d08d555407981f37798b80eb542d54 into the search box to check the transaction.

Some information received include:

(1) Transaction hash: 0x68a5f55a8b81e644e1564575bacec34c86d08d555407981f37798b80eb542d54

(2) Status: Successful.

(3) Block: The transaction is recorded at block 14482655.

(4) Timestamp: The transaction took place over 14 days ago. Specifically 14 days 14 hrs ago (Mar-29-2022 06:10:48 PM +UTC).

(5) From (Sender Address): vitalik.eth

(6) To (Recipient Address): 0x220866b1a2219f40e72f5c628b65d54268ca3a9d.

(7) Value: The value of the transaction is 0 Ether or $0.

(8) Transaction Fee: The value of the transaction fee is 0.003341745 Ether or $10.22.

Whenever a user transfers assets to other people on the Ethereum Blockchain network, the transaction takes time to confirm. They can copy this Txn Hash code and send it to the Receiver so that both parties can check the transaction status.

How to search for smart contracts on Etherscan

When you interact with smart contracts in DApps, it's a good idea to learn how to find them on Etherscan. By this, you can make sure you're sending your funds to the correct contract.

To find a token address, you can head to CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, check directly with the project dev team or the project's official website . Always double-check the token address with the websites mentioned above.

For example: The Uniswap ERC-20 token on Ethereum. Copy and paste the smart contract address into the search field: 0x1f9840a85d5af5bf1d1762f925bdaddc4201f984

You'll now see details on the contract balance and other general information regarding the Uniswap (UNI) token contract. At the Tracker section, you will also see the token name, ticker and the current price of the token. Checking the correct Smart Contract of the project is important when investing in any project.

Tips to check the exact Smart Contract of the project: 

You can simply distinguish it by observing: Standard Smart Contracts always have a blue “tick” to their right (as shown in the picture). At the same time, there is always the official link of the project attached. 

For example: USDT, USDC, UST,…

After that, you can double-check the information on etherscan such as Max Total Supply, Holders,  Transfers, Exchange,…

How to get Etherscan API

To get Etherscan API, you need to log in to your account on Etherscan. Otherwise, select Click to Sign up as shown below and fill in some information: username, email, password and agree to the terms of Etherscan.

After logging in to Etherscan, select API-KEYs in the personal information section → Click Add to add an API.

Then fill in the necessary information and select Continue.

This API Key is for developers who want to get information on Etherscan and display it on their application (app or website). The information that Etherscan's API provides includes Accounts, Contracts, Transactions, Blocks, Event Log, Geth/Parity Proxy APIs, Stats…

How to connect Etherscan to Web3

Following the example about Uniswap:

Step 1. Click Contract to see the options available for interacting and reading Uniswap’s rules.

Step 2. Clicking Write Contract allows you to interact with the contract directly. This is useful when DeFi platforms and DApps are unavailable, perhaps due to a technical issue or website outage. In some cases, you can try to interact with the smart contract instead, without using the project's API.

Step 3. Clicking Connect to Web3 allows you to connect to a crypto wallet like MetaMask or Wallet Connect and interact with the contract.

For example: You can take some actions here such as transferring coins. Using the [transferFrom] function, you can transfer tokens from an address you have permission over to other addresses.

How to mint NFTs from contracts on Etherscan

We can mint NFTs directly from contracts on Etherscan. Usually, when a new NFT project goes live, collectors will mint NFTs from the project's website. 

But, sometimes if it's a hyped launch, chances are high for the website to slow down or crash due to increased traffic. In such cases, a better alternative is to mint the NFTs directly from the project’s smart contract on Etherscan. 

NOTE: This option only works for new projects that have not yet sold out.

Here are the steps to mint from a smart contract:

Step 1. Have enough ETH in your wallet to mint the NFT.

Step 2. Find the project's smart contract on Etherscan. Connect Etherscan to Web3 by: Clicking Contract → Write Contract  → Connect to Web3.

Step 3. Select the mint contract function. Usually, this starts with 'mint' or 'claim'. For example: 

  • A random NFT address of BAYC: 0xBC4CA0EdA7647A8aB7C2061c2E118A18a936f13D
  • In this case, it is ‘mintApe’. For each project, make sure to select the correct function.

Step 4. Next, input the amount of ETH and the number of tokens you want to mint. Double-check to ensure that you gave the right details. Then, click Write.

Step 5. Finally, confirm the transaction in the MetaMask dialogue box that pops up.

Where to find Token Decimals on Etherscan

You can find token decimals in the profile summary of the token.

How to check DEX activity 

With Etherscan, you can check some basic information about DEXs. To check DEX Tracker Statistics, visit:

The chart below is the Top DEXs and the number of trades performed on those exchanges. You can customize the measurement time and download the chart in the preferred format.

According to the chart above, Uniswap is the DEX with the highest trading volume with V2 & V3. The total trading volume of these two exchanges in the past 7 days accounted for more than 89% of the total transaction volume on the Ethereum Blockchain.

How to check information on the Ethereum Blockchain on Etherscan

To check the most comprehensive and full information about Ethereum (ETH), please visit:

For example, in the picture, at the time of writing (Apr 13, 2022):

  • Total amount of ETH in circulation: 118,775,530.95 ETH.
  • Market Cap: $362,666,830,677.00.
  • Mining Block Rewards: 42,298,935.91 ETH.
  • Burnt Fees: 2,109,439.62 ETH

Other Etherscan FAQs

Is Etherscan safe?

Using Etherscan is safe. The reason is that users simply go there to search for information about wallets and transactions without providing any private key or access rights for them. So no one has access or control over your account/wallet.

Is Etherscan a wallet?

It’s important to remember that Etherscan is not a wallet nor is it a wallet service provider.

Etherscan is an independent Ethereum-based block explorer. It only serves as a source of information, displaying the results like a search engine.

With the address of the wallet, everybody can see the transactions and the token assets in that wallet.

My transaction is pending for too long, what should I do?

If your transaction is pending or stuck, you can manually resubmit that transaction to the Ethereum network. When you do so, you're effectively replacing your previously submitted transaction with a new transaction. 

For your new transaction, you're free to change the transaction details however you'd like. You can set a higher gas price, to get it processed more quickly.

How do I get Etherscan's notifications?

The purpose of this management is that you can track multiple Ether wallet addresses (in/out txns) at the same time 

To use this feature, you need to register an account on Etherscan. Registering an account is quite simple so you can do it quickly.

First, you need to know the exact wallet address you want to follow and receive notifications. Next, add these wallet addresses to the Watch List and then follow up.

Later, go to My Account → Watch List. Or visit: and Click Edit next to the address you want → Choose Notify on Incoming & Outgoing Txns.

Do we need to register an account on Etherscan?

No. You don’t need to register an account if you only use Etherscan to check basic information.

Etherscan Alternatives 

Beside Etherscan, there are many extremely useful tools for checking the state of the network, individual transfers, contract calls and more on the Ethereum network like:

  • Ethplorer:
  • Etherchain:
  • Blockscout:
  • EnjinX: or 
  • Blockchain Explorer:
  • Ethtective:
  • Bloxy:


Etherscan is a useful, free and straightforward tool for everybody. It can track and watch wallets, transactions, review smart contract codes, track gas prices and monitor the Ethereum blockchain in real time. Etherscan is a fantastic place to start in crypto.

To sum up, I have provided full information about Etherscan and how to use to check all necessary information on the Ethereum Blockchain.

If you have any questions or problems with the process of using, please comment below or join the Coin98 Insights Chat group for support and exchange ideas with admins and many other members.