The Ethereum block explorer space is evolving as a new open-source block explorer dubbed, BlockScout, hits the platform. There is a dearth of popular block explorers on Ethereum (ETH), unlike Bitcoin (BTC). Some popular options include Etherscan.io, Ethplorer, Etherchain, and Blockchair’s Ethereum block explorer.
However, not all of these options are open-source. Thus, the latest block explorer arrival has the chance to change the dynamics of the game.
BlockScout – A Fully-Featured Ethereum Block Explorer
The BlockScout Ethereum block explorer is the brain-child of the POA network. The explorer includes everything from block information, to vanilla transactions, to token values, sidechains, and private chains.
The POA Network is an Ethereum smart contract network and sidechain. POA uses the Proof-of-Authority, a modified version of Proof-of-Stake, to secure the network. Proof-of-Authority uses a real-world identification of individuals. It also uses attached reputation to make sure that all actors are acting correctly.
POA Network tech lead, Egor Barinov, expressed optimism on the launch of BlockScout.
“While building POA Network, we realized the existing block explorer options were closed source and limited in functionality. This meant we couldn’t propose updates, contribute to development or integrate sidechain platforms,” says Barinov.
“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.”
Some Useful Features About BlockScout
BlockScout is not the first Ethereum open-source block explorer. There are already available options like Etherchain Light. However, it functions more like a lightweight, lacking support for smart contract integration, token support, and sidechain support.
Further, some explorers allow API integration for other projects. This isn’t the same as a project, but allows users to completely rewrite the code according to their specifications.
The block explorer also doesn’t mandate you to believe in the viability of POA’s Proof-of-Authority. It still allows users to use it for all their block explorer needs. The great thing is that if you don’t have a feature you need, you can still add it by yourself.
BlockScout is originally funded by Web3Foundation, TrueBit, and L4Ventures. It recently won an ETHPrize for an open-source block exchange worth a quarter of million dollars.
The arrival of an open source block explorer has stepped-up competition in Ethereum’s open-source block explorer space. BlockScout project lead Andrew Cravenho says:
“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. 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.”
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