After being in crypto for a while you start to take some very simple (yet really very complex things) for granted. I have spent thousands and thousands of hours reading, researching, testing, writing, and talking about cryptocurrency and that has allowed me to find a ton of great stuff to share with all my followers. Sometimes I take for granted the very simple things that we learned when we first started out and I tend to forget that others need this very basic guidance as well. Even something as simple as finding your transaction on the Ethereum blockchain is a hurdle that any beginner or newcomer will have to jump at some point.
The Basics Of An Ethereum Transaction
If you are new to Ethereum (the #2 cryptocurrency at the moment) then being able to simply find your transaction on the blockchain may be a bit of a puzzle. Of course, if you still need to brush up on what Ethereum is, then you can read my previous article that goes over Ethereum basics.
Anytime you make a transaction using Ethereum (or most blockchain projects) you will get a transaction hash (transaction ID or "TxID") that represents your transaction on the Ethereum Blockchain. Typically the TxID is a long string of hash-generated numbers and that won't really make any sense to you, but it is how blockchain transactions are represented. Ethereum transaction ID's look like this:
Most sites like Coinbase or Binance will show you this transaction ID right after you make your transaction and the numbers are typically a link to full transaction details hosted off site on one of the popular "block explorer" websites. Of course, you can always just copy the transaction ID and paste it into your own block explorer site of choice.
Block Explorers To The Rescue
The great thing about finding your transaction on the Ethereum blockchain is that the information will ALWAYS be there. You can go back and reference it (as long as you have to TxID) for eternity. Knowing how to look up your ETH transactions can help you if a transaction fails or gets stuck and it also gives you all the information you might need to for your own record keeping.
There are some great websites out there that just allow you to "explore" the blockchain using various different pieces of information. The main thing we will focus on is using our TXID to find our recent transaction on the blockchain. The two major block explorer sites for ETH are EtherScan and EtherChain. They both do the job and have similar features, but I tend to use EtherScan the most as it was the first one I started using and has been very reliable for me. Here is a screenshot of my WAX token transaction I did a few month ago. You can see it shows my the TxHash or Transaction ID and a whole lot of other information including the date, where it came from and where it went, gas values, and final transaction costs. While some of these are self-explanatory, there are a few that are not which I will touch on.
Diving A Bit Deeper
We just went over what a "TxHash" is and I feel TxReceipt Status, Value, To & From are all obvious. The confusing part is when we get hit the Gas! Gas is the name for transaction fees on the Ethereum network. They work somewhat similar to Bitcoin transaction fees in the fact that each Ethereum transaction needs a certain amount of gas to be processed by miners. I won't get into the complexities of how GAS is calculated for each transaction, the folks over at MyEtherWallet actually have a great article that breaks GAS down to the details here. The two main numbers you want to check for GAS are the GAS Limit and GAS price. The GAS limit is the maximum amount of GAS you are willing to use to complete your transaction. Setting this higher can help to avoid a failed transaction because you didn't allocate enough GAS, but will be more expensive. The GAS price is how much each unit of GAS will cost you in ETH. Increasing how much you pay per unit of GAS will help to get your transaction processed faster. Most exchanges and programs set the GAS Limit and Price for you, but many also allow you to adjust the rate yourself.
All this stuff is to calculate your Actual Tx Fee which is one of the more important pieces of information as it tells you how much you spent in Ether to send the transaction. GAS can seem very complicated at first, but like I said, most of the time it is calculated for you. You can check out some good resources to Calculate GWEI or to see what fees Ethereum miners are accepting here.
Crush The Basics
One of the things I like to recommend to beginners in Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency is to "crush the basics". By that I mean, learn the basics really really well... So well in fact that they start haunting your dreams! Ok... well maybe not that intense, but the better we know the fundamentals and basics of crypto the better we will fair out in the wild. I even forget this sometimes and dig into deeper subjects, but need to remember my own advice and then translate that to more beginner articles for everyone JUST jumping into the world of crypto.