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Ask CryptoVantage: Is it Possible to View the Entire Blockchain?

In its simplest form, a blockchain is a digital ledger that is constantly updated, can never be altered and keeps a freely accessible record of each transaction that has ever occurred on the network. All this is publicly available for anyone to view. All you need is a decent connection to the internet and you are off to the races.

The question of whether it is possible to view the entire blockchain is not as straightforward as one might think. Let us explore this in today’s edition of Ask CryptoVantage.

A visual representation of a blockchain.

Bitcoin is An Example of a Public Blockchain

Blockchain tech is arguably one of the most innovative inventions in modern times. It sets out to create a trusted, unfilterable, uncensorable flow of data and information that is accessible by anyone, from anywhere on the globe. And although blockchain is just emerging from its embryonic stage, it has enormous potential to have a positive impact on the coming future.

To further explore the idea of whether we can view the entire blockchain, it is essential to realize that there is not just a singular blockchain. In fact, there are 3 main types of blockchains: public, private, and hybrid blockchains.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two examples of public blockchains. Currently, there are at least 1,000 different blockchains and because they all exist as separate ledgers, they each have their own blockchain explorer. This is where you can freely access all transactions ever made on a specific blockchain.

For example, if you wish to check the status of your latest ETH transaction, then all you need to do is to consult the Ethereum blockchain explorer. This is where all of your ETH transactions are freely accessible and where you can also explore all other ETH transactions that were ever made.

So, if you have the need to view the entire Ethereum blockchain you can do so. Simply, visit and start exploring. You can search for transaction data specific to your cryptocurrency transaction, or search by different parameters, such as the receiver’s address, the sender’s address, or the transaction ID.

If you want to explore other crypto transactions, you can repeat the process for each of the different public blockchains. Below we provide a few explorers for some of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap:

  • Bitcoin:
  • Ethereum:
  • BNB:
  • XRP:

For Their Eyes Only

Private blockchains typically operate on a much smaller scale with controlled access. These blockchains are not decentralized, are not immutable and control who is allowed to view, edit, and delete data. Clearly, most data on a private blockchain is not intended for public scrutiny.

The most significant use case of a private blockchain would be a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency).

Hybrid blockchains find themself in the middle of it all, combining elements of both private and public blockchains. This allows them to control who can view data stored on the blockchain, and what data can be viewed publicly.

Two big examples that use hybrid blockchain in the supply chain are the IBM food trust and Walmart.

Conclusion: It Depends on the Blockchain

So, if we take this question at face value, then the answer has to be no. You cannot view the entire blockchain, just because of the fact that private blockchains exist to which you have no access. You cannot see all blockchains at the same time either. You can, however, view the entire Bitcoin blockchain. You just need to use blockchain explorers that belong to specific blockchains. In other words, you can view them, but only one at a time.

Unless you open up a few thousand tabs in your browser maybe?

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About the Author

Joeri Cant

Joeri Cant is a Vancouver-based freelance writer and social media specialist who is passionate about all things blockchain and cryptocurrencies. When he is not immersed in the online crypto community, Joeri loves to explore the urban surroundings and the beautiful outdoors of British Columbia, Canada. He hikes, bikes, climbs, photographs, and shares it all with his family.

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