Block Explorer

1 min read

A block explorer is a service that allows anyone to browse and query the blockchain. Bitcoin’s blockchain is publicly accessible to all. Tens of thousands of nodes maintain full copies of the exact same blockchain, allowing them to verify any transaction or block and prove their Bitcoin balances. A block explorer allows those who do not run a node to do the same and in a simpler way.

These benefits come at the cost of potential loss of privacy and the need to trust a third party. Most block explorers exist as websites, which may collect data linking your IP address, physical location, and the Bitcoin addresses you queried. Some block explorers allow users to use their service locally with their own node, bypassing the aforementioned privacy leaks.

Try out Blockstream’s Explorer to browse a complete list of Bitcoin blocks and transactions. You should avoid looking up your own addresses in order to preserve your privacy.

Notice: River does not provide investment, financial, tax, or legal advice. The information provided is general and illustrative in nature and therefore is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax advice. We encourage you to consult the appropriate tax professional to understand your personal tax circumstances.