What is a Block Explorer
A block explorer is a term for software used to get information on a certain bitcoin transaction, address, or other bitcoin block information.
Any transaction made on Bitcoin is open for anyone to see, including things you may not want others to know.
Popular Block Explorers
How to Use It
Go to one of the URLs above, we will use Mempool as the example
Enter the Transaction ID, Block Height, or Bitcoin Address you would like information on.
Learn how to read the information it gives back. You can do this for any transaction in bitcoin’s entire history.
This is good because having everything public and auditable disincentivizes a lot of negative things, but it also comes at the cost of people being able to see what you are doing as well!
If you run your own node, you are able to do this without going to any website or trusting anybody.
You are also trusting these sites to not log your IP address or other info. If you are new to bitcoin or just testing, this is ok, but otherwise see below.
Build/Run Your Own Block Explorer
Some node software and platforms offer Mempool built in.
Additionally, these are some other alternatives: