Exploring the Rise of Cost-Effective and Cross-Effective Block Explorer Alternatives
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Block explorers are essential tools for tracking transactions, checking wallet balances, and even executing transactions via smart contracts without relying on a front-end interface.
However, the block explorer landscape has remained largely unchanged, dominated by a few established players. Recently, a new wave of innovative teams has emerged, developing cost-effective and feature-rich block explorers that challenge the status quo.
In this post, we will explore the evolving world of block explorers, the influence of rollup “stacks,” and introduce exciting alternatives that are disrupting the market.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗽𝗼𝗹𝘆 𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗿𝘂𝗽𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝘁 𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗲𝘀…
Quality block explorers are wildly important for all burgeoning L2s, app-specific rollups, and general blockchain ecosystems.
Yet, we’ve seen little competition in this vertical…
As the two year, full-fledged bear market has been taking place, several teams have been heads down building top-notch explorers, for a fraction of the cost of the big names.
Protocols and chains alike have noticed this, and its become clear that…
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵-𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳.
In today’s post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of a block explorer, why the rise of the rollup “stacks” are changing the landscape, and some interesting alternatives fresh on the market now 👇
Block explorers are very important to track transactions, see your wallet balances, and even in worst case scenarios, push through transactions via smart contracts without using a front-end.
When a user searches for data on a blockchain explorer front-end, it parses through the servers and databases then through a series of APIs and blockchain nodes to finally fetch the data from the specific block of that given transaction.
As seen below, there are many steps involved:
From a user POV, it typically happens in milliseconds, requires little effort, and boom! Its done.
You have your requested information in the click of a button.
Obviously, this requires different tech processes which have associated costs (API calls, website hosting, server uptime, electricity, etc.) and this explains the costs which chains have to pay for good block explorers.
Traditional block explorers, like Etherscan, have played a crucial role in providing users with insights into Ethereum and how nonces, transactions, hashes and many key functions work.
However, the rising popularity of L2s and app-specific rollup chains has created a demand for a more comprehensive and affordable block explorer solution.
RaaS providers are looking to deploy dozens of new rollups per quarter, and its looking like we’ll have hundreds of rollups in 2024.
These RaaS providers typically offer their clients a choice of which ‘stack’ to use.
For example, with the launch of the OP stack, chains like Zora, Base, Public Goods Network, Mode and soon many more, have grown in user base and adoption.
Partially due to their own efforts, but also because the ease of use, from a technical lens, when deploying a rollup using the OP stack tooling and infra as well as the support from Optimism themselves.
This has led to more demand to deploy on the OP stack, but also more potential fragmentation of on-chain tracking…
Tracking 4 chains isn’t so bad. 40 is rough. 400 is impossible.
So, what if instead of requiring separate (bad UX) explorers for each chain, we could have all the OP stacks in one place for users to access?
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗡𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸, 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 Routescan 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺.
Superscan is an innovative, easy-to-use block explorer that offers a seamless multi-rollup experience, catering to the needs of the OP stack users and devs.
Superscan provides a cost-effective and simple setup, making it a competitive choice for any team looking to deploy an OP stack chain, or build atop of the current ones.
As of now, there are just a handful of OP stack chains as mentioned above…but if the 10,000 rollup thesis falls into line, this number will be much larger sooner than we think.
By consolidating these chains into one explorer, Superscan simplifies the user experience and enhances usability.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗹 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝘇𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗢𝗣 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘆𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.
Superscan also provides quality data about the state of chains on the OP stack. Below we can see the transaction count yesterday for each of the four chains, as well as a chart of the total transactions last month and who’s dominating.
Its safe to say FriendTech and Base hit PMF quite fast.
While superscan specifically caters to users within the OP stack, Routescan
serves as a base platform for a unified multi-chain block explorer. It utilizes indexing technology similar to Avascan and the team has improved upon the experience gained over the past three years working in the Avalanche eco.
The leading product I’m interested in there is the Ethereum L2s Ecosystem Explorer, which aims to cover the major Ethereum L2s (and more coming soon).
It provides insights into cross-chain transactions and allows users to view their activities across different chains.
If you go to the actual explorer, you can see tons of blocks being finalized across the various chains above.
The goal for Routescan with their L2 explorer & Superscan is to provide a comprehensive toolset and a unified experience for users navigating the expanding landscape of rollups and the on-chain dark forest.
As this rollup revolution takes shape, Superscan Network is positioned to play a crucial role in the development of the OP stack by providing an affordable and efficient explorer that enables developers to easily navigate and deploy dApps within the stack.
Moreover, I can definitely see Superscan as an integral part of the RaaS model. As these companies grow their operations, Superscan and Routescan
will scale with it.
𝗧𝗼 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳:
The block explorer vertical is ripe for better, more innovative tech to rise. We’ve seen it happen with wallets, with dApps, and with other infra tooling.
It will happen here, too.
By offering a better UX and cheaper alternative to traditional explorers while providing access to all OP stack chains, Superscan Network is poised to have a healthy 2024, along with Routescan and the rise of rollups.
Working with the team has been easy and a positive experience, as they understand the ins and outs of DeFi and how to build. I look forward to continuing the journey.
As for you, whether you’re a dApp builder, a power user, a person looking to launch a rollup…you have choices.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘳𝘺𝘱𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘴:
𝘜𝘴𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴. 𝘎𝘦𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘴.
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