Analyzing on-chain data is always a useful method for investors to make any investment decisions. This leverages the transparency of blockchain technology as every transaction leaves a visible trait on the network. Everyone can look it up and see it.
Thanks to TXID, we can easily access each transaction on the blockchain. Let’s discover what it is and how it became a game-changer to crack down on blockchain hacks.
What is TXID?
TXID (Transaction ID or simply TXHash, Txn) is a unique string of letters and numbers that is created to represent a verified transaction on the blockchain.
To differentiate popular types of TXID:
- TXID in traditional finance (banks, bank wallets, e-commerce, etc.): The business decides the rules to create TXID for their transactions. Those IXIDs are mutable for changes and only the business owners have the access to the data which TXID stands for. As users, we have no idea of what actual data is behind TXID.
- TXID on blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, Cardano, Solana, Avalanche, etc.): Each blockchain has a set of rules to create TXID for each completed transaction. Once created, it can not be changed or manipulated. It contains all relevant on-chain information about the transaction. On-chain data is transparent and accessible via blockchain explorers.
For example, a TXID for a Bitcoin transaction has a total of 64 characters (32-byte data) which contains alphabetical letters and numbers. As a result, it is almost impossible to have two transactions with the same TXID.
Here are some examples of TXID of Bitcoin transactions:
- The first Bitcoin transaction: f4184fc596403b9d638783cf57adfe4c75c605f6356fbc91338530e9831e9e16
- The biggest Bitcoin transaction in terms of value, 161,500 BTC (Approx. $11.3B if Bitcoin price was $69k): b36bced99cc459506ad2b3af6990920b12f6dc84f9c7ed0dd2c3703f94a4b692
- The popular Bitcoin transaction to buy Pizza: cca7507897abc89628f450e8b1e0c6fca4ec3f7b34cccf55f3f531c659ff4d79
You can look them up yourself on the Bitcoin explorer: blockchain.com
What is TXID used for?
TXID is like the key to unlocking the on-chain data treasure. In terms of technology, blockchains are considered as distributed digital ledgers to store transactions’ data in blocks. Each block containing data is linked to each other to form a blockchain network. Therefore, with TXID, we can access the data in blocks.
Learn more about how blockchain technology works in this article: What is Blockchain?
For example, with a TXID on Ethereum, we can access the following information:
- Status: The status of the transaction can be successful, failed, or pending.
- Block: The block number where the data is stored.
- Timestamp: Time when the transaction is executed.
- From-To: Sender’s wallet address and the destination address.
- Value: The number of tokens is sent and the value at that time.
- Transaction Fee: Gas fees in ETH (or cryptos on other blockchain platforms like Cardano (ADA), BNB Smart Chain (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC),...).
To become on-chain wizards, we must know what TXID can tell us about the transaction. If we dig deeper, we can pan gold out of rivers of blockchain data. Besides tracking our own transactions, we can hunt whales by looking at their wallets. Therefore, utilizing data on any blockchain network can offer users countless potential.
Characteristics of TXID
Immutable to changes: Blockchain technology is famous for its transparency and integrity. Data on blockchains is stored permanently so everyone can see through the scope of blockchain explorers. As mentioned, it is impossible to change or replace any data on blockchains.
Transparency: TXID can show everything about the transaction in extreme detail. Whales in crypto sometimes have to stay low, sweeping their traits by using privacy blockchains such as Monero and Zcash.
“Google of blockchains”: TXID is a unique house number of each transaction. Blockchain is where we are able to look in everyone’s house to see what they have.
Last but not least, TXID keeps blockchain stable since data is well arranged with unique TXID. TXID stores the status of the transaction. Even if the transaction is failed, it gets labeled by a specified TXID.
How to find TXID on Blockchain
Ethereum is undoubtedly the most crowded blockchain platform since it is leading the crypto market. Each day, over 1M transactions are created on the Ethereum network, which means there are over 1M corresponded TXID.
To find TXID on Ethereum, we can go to Etherscan.io, a blockchain explorer on Ethereum. After a few clicks, we are able to see what we’re looking for with the TXID. Other than that, we can follow whales on Ethereum via Etherscan.io or other explorers.
Last but not least, TXID is not the only way to explore data on blockchains. We can use wallet address, ID of tokens, or even Ethereum Name Service (.ens) to fuel our discovery in the crypto space.
Learn more: How to use Etherscan
BNB Smart Chain
BNB Smart Chain handles around 5M transactions each day and the number can skyrocket to 10-15M transactions per day in case of huge demand. In general, data stored on BSC is abundant for investors to seek competent projects. To find TXID on BNB Smart Chain, you can use BscScan, a blockchain explorer for BSC.
Learn more: How to use BscScan
Akin to other blockchain explorers, Polkadot Subscan provides investors with well-organized information. Gavin Wood, founder, and CEO of Polkadot, donated nearly 300k DOT ($5.6M at the writing time) to support Ukraine in the midst of the harsh war. The Ukraine government received the donation via a Polkadot wallet.
Go to Polkadot Subscan: polkadot.subscan.io/
During the war in Ukraine, crypto has proven its cross-border utility since users can transfer crypto/tokens to each other without any border limitation.
Besides introducing blockchain explorers, there are also explorers from other developer teams. Because the crypto market is permissionless, anyone can create a well-represented website to serve the community’s needs.
Track hackers with TXID
During the Bitcoin ATH crusade to the $69,000 price mark, the crypto market has been more mainstream. New investors might come to the crypto market in the hopes of archiving their goals in just a market circle. Hooping in and hooping out is always not a good option.
Along with the growing number of investors, hacks and exploits are leaving serious consequences. Investors always want to take back what hackers have stolen. To solve itching crimes and bring justice back to victims, there are companies or organizations that specialize in hunting hackers.
2016 Bitfinex Hack
One of the notorious hacks in the crypto space was the Bitfinex hack in August 2016. At the time, hackers found an exploit in the code and manipulated it to steal nearly 120,000 BTC (approx. $72M at the hack time). If Bitcoin was $69,000, the hack would damage over $8B value in BTC.
After 6 years of tireless investigation, in 2022, the case was finally solved then the U.S. Department of Justice seized the unused Bitcoin loot. This has concluded the hack of the decade, which is an unforgettable event in crypto history.
Where did 120,000 BTC from the hack go? Hackers distributed their BTC loot to interrupt the investigation process. They use different methods to transfer money and crypto across borders. For example, hackers might use business in disguise to do money laundering. In addition, hackers use numerous wallets and exchanges to transfer hacked crypto.
However, the crypto transfer of the hack left on-chain data for investigators to keep an eye on. Then the police found the culprits and arrested them because the assets from the hack were moved. The hackers are Ilya Lichtenstein (34 years old) and his wife Heather R. Morgan (31 years old). They were accused of fraud.
Although the hack was successfully solved, the compensation for victims is the next challenge. The Bitcoin price has drastically increased since the hack. Therefore, it might take years for the government to give back the money.
⇒ In this case, the TXID played the key to unlocking the hackers’ movements, helping the investigative agency to track the hacked amount. With the original wallet address, investigators can create a transparent map of where criminals go. There are still a lot of hacks/exploits being investigated via TXID and data on-chain but do not come to conclusion. In our perspective, sooner or later all the culprits will be found.
FAQs about TXID
Is TXID unique?
TXID is often created in the form of a string that contains letters and numbers. It is unique because every transaction requires a unique thing to differentiate from other transactions.
If calculated, the maximum number of Bitcoin TXID will be 58^64 (total valid characters power the length of the string). This can be considered an infinite number and it is impossible to have a duplicated TXID number.
Is TXID same as hash?
As mentioned above, TXID is a string including random letters and numbers. It can be called the transaction hash (TxHash) because it is created using a cryptographic algorithm.
For example, Bitcoin TXID uses the double SHA256 hash and SHA256d. Once completed, a TXID will be glued to the transaction.
Where is TXID on Coinbase exchange?
Coinbase is a centralized exchange for cryptocurrencies, not a blockchain. Thus, users can not use TXID on Coinbase to look for either on-chain data or relevant information.
In fact, with TXID generated by Coinbase, users are able to talk with the customer service of the exchange to get support.
TXID is a unique identification number representing the blockchain transaction. It helps the blockchain to arrange information in each completed block. The structured storage of blockchains facilitates the look-up of investors. Blockchain TXID has features that digital TXID does not have, such as transparency and immutability.