Introducing Blockchair: dubbed the ‘Google of blockchain’, we investigate

Introducing Blockchair: dubbed the ‘Google of blockchain’, we investigate

  • Ali Raza
  • 18th May, 07:02
  • With all the data ever recorded on blockchains available, having an easy way to find it was lacking.
  • The Blockchair project comes as a method of navigating multiple blockchains with ease.
  • The project is revolutionary, and it acts as a search engine that allows for detailed blockchain exploration.

Blockchain technology came as a revolutionary new invention that promises transparency, immutability, and simply — truth. However, one thing that developers seemingly forgot about is navigation. 

In the sea of data that is even a single blockchain, finding the specific block, or a specific transaction comes as nearly an impossible task. Bitcoin’s blockchain, for example, grows a block longer after every 10 minutes, and it has been growing without pause for the last 11 and a half years. 

This dilemma led to the idea of a blockchain explorer – a Search Engine for blockchain transactions – and that is how Blockchair came to be.

Navigating blockchains with Blockchair

Blockchair is an online service created for blockchain navigation, which pretty much acts as a search engine for blocks. It is a tool that can find any information recorded on blockchains within seconds, simply by searching for specific keywords, amounts, dates, and alike.

Any information that is recorded on a blockchain when transactions take place can be used for finding that specific transaction, regardless of whether it was made 10 minutes ago, or 10 years ago.

It is an excellent tool for blockchain enthusiasts, investigators, or anyone else interested in navigating blockchain as easily as travelling through the web via Google.

The way it all works is rather simple — Blockchair keeps an entire library containing all blocks, transactions, and outputs. All you need to do is go to its website, and type whatever you are interested in finding into the search field. After that, hit ‘Enter’ and that’s it. The process is identical to using a search engine.

The company was founded four years ago, in 2016. Back then, it only focused on Bitcoin’s blockchain. In fact, it kept focusing on Bitcoin until early 2018. Just after the altcoin explosion, the firm decided to expand.

Today, it keeps track of as many as 15 different blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Bitcoin SV, Cardano, Stellar, Monero, Zcash, Dash, Mixin, Dogecoin, Telegram Open Network, and Groestlcoin.

While this is a fantastic start, with over 3,000 currently active crypto projects – we expect more to be added in the future. 

Searching for blocks

The project currently supports multiple blockchain projects. This allows users to see the average size of blocks by day, even hour, and for multiple months. This can help new crypto traders who wish to get the idea of how a specific project ‘breathes,’ when are payments rising or dropping, how the hashrate distribution works, and more.

After more than 11 years of consistent growth, the blockchain industry is ripe with information and data that can reveal hidden patterns and help traders improve their trading strategies.

Researching transactions

Diving deeper, it appears it’s also possible to search for specific transactions. Every single transaction ever made for 15 different projects is currently available; a revolutionary circumstance when you take a moment to think about it. Which other ledger in existence has a freely available, open, public system like this? It also allows one to observe how the coins of a specific project are circulating as months go by. 

Another use-case is that the project allows for keeping track of how the number of transactions grows, and how the fees rise or fall over time. Users can also study different blockchains to observe when the coins’ ecosystems are becoming busier or watch as ‘coin days’ get destroyed over the course of multiple months.

The search result can be rather specific, depending on what the user needs. Some examples include looking for transactions that only include amounts higher than $1 million, or transactions that only include a specific cryptocurrency. Blockchair can instantly find out how many transactions there were that only involve satoshis, or check out all the addresses starting with 1dice.

There is almost no limit to specific data that researchers can find by specifying their search, and with a few attempts, anyone will easily get a hang of how to organise their searches.

Why is this useful?

There are quite a few reasons why something like this is useful, but the main one is, freely available data: research. In essence, it is possible to ‘see’ anything that has ever happened to BTC coins. Imagine you could track a dollar bill’s full lifecycle, from when it was first printed to where it currently is now – that’s what anyone in the public can do here. With Blockchair, anyone can see the biggest transactions ever made, or the smallest ones, in the last 11 years. 

Go to your local bank and ask them if they’ll let you do the same thing, ahem… centralised!

It can track transactions involving a specific wallet, or find how many people received crypto for their birthday simply by searching the keyword ‘Happy Birthday.’

Having this kind of transparency, while still allowing people to be fully anonymous, is great for realising useful statistics to governments, corporations and marketers – without exposing anyone’s private data or pointing fingers.

Obviously, this is a goldmine of information for researchers who can access it with ease. Though it is also useful for those who are simply curious to learn what people are doing with their crypto, and maybe get a few ideas on what they can do.

And, as crypto adoption continues to spread, this will provide companies with a lot of interesting information, without ever sacrificing user privacy.

Who’s behind the innovative new block explorer

Blockchairs’ team has put a lot of effort into creating and expanding the search engine over the course of the last four years, it appears. The project lead is a Moscow-based engineer and Bitcoin explorer developer, Nikita Zhavoronkov, alongside one of Kazakhstan’s top Ethereum explorer developers, Yedige Davletgaliyev, and Germany-based communications officer, Alexandra Ivanisenko.

However, while the team did start small and on their own, they’ve since attracted a lot of attention. And, as expected, with all that attention came partnerships which are hardly surprising considering the project’s usefulness and potential.

As more and more partners arrived, the project’s legitimacy started becoming easier to establish. At this point, the project is partnered with all kinds of companies including crypto mining gear maker, Bitmain, as well as Github. Other major partners include Russia’s National Research Nuclear University, as well as Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Centre.

Then, there is the blockchain veteran, Bitcoin.com, as well as wallets such as Exodus, Magnum Wallet, Cryptonator, BitKan, Guarda,  Edge, Trust Wallet, and many others, including multiple hardware wallets. The project also partnered up with plenty of exchanges, such as ChangeNow, Catex, LiteBit, CoinEx, Big One, Bilaxy, Crypto.com, SimpleSwap, and others.

Its services are employed by multiple mining pools, including ViaPool, Sigma Pool, UniCrypt, mempool, SBI Crypto, and Poolin, among others. The list of partners is long, and it keeps growing all the time. It also includes other explorers featuring blockchain, such as Blockin, ViaExplorer. BlockScout, BTC.com, and Bitcoin.com.

There are also market data providers (CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, COIN360, BitKan), various crypto processors (WestWallet, CryptoWoo, NowPayments), dApps (DuckDice, OpenBazaar, Thunderpick, etc.) academic partners, and media partners.

The project has clearly come a long way in a very short period of time, and it is doing a lot to make the blockchain industry as transparent and as interconnected as it can possibly be.

What does the future hold?

Blockchair is based on a simple idea — having the ability to quickly and easily find specific data stored on the blockchain at any point since its creation. It has grown to become the ‘Google for blockchain’ and similar to Google, is finding more partnerships, growing the number of blockchains covered, and the number of users to whom it is useful.

As the blockchain industry itself continues to grow and develop, the service will become useful. We are also fairly confident that competition in the blockchain search engine space will be fierce, with more challengers expected to pop-up over the coming years.

While the idea may be simple, the project is certainly revolutionary, as it makes the complicated blockchain industry simple and user-friendly for everyone.

By Ali Raza
A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications. Raza is the co-founder of 5Gist.com, too, a site dedicated to educating people on 5G technology.

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