Written by Manabu Bannai

How to Use Etherscan. Beginners guide with free NFTs

Do you understand Etherscan?
Etherscan looks simple but very deep.

Things you can learn from this article

In this article, I will explain Etherscan and create a chance to experience it using free NFTs, which I had made.

Studying is basically boring, but active learning is fun. So lets' dive in.

Table of contents

1. How to use Etherscan (Basics)

Let's start with the basics.

Let me explain one by one. By the way, I will use Vitalik's funds as a case study. The funds are for the covid science.

(1) How to check the balance

When you click on the button below, you can check the balance.

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The balance is $100 million. You can see the detail as follows:

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You can see Ethereum, USD coin, and Mars Land. I don't know Mars Land, but maybe someone sends it to the fund's wallet for their promotion.

Debank is also useful

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Debank is a portfolio tracker. You can access it here. I think UI design is very clean and easy to use. So what's the difference between Etherscan and Debank?

There are differences. I use Debank every day, but sometimes I use Etherscan to check the detailed transactions. By the way, here is my Debank wallet. I love NFTs :)

(2) How to check transactions

Let's take a look at the screenshot below, which is the oldest transaction of Vitalik's funds.

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The important things are From, To, and Value.

Detail of "From"

The meaning of vitalik.eth is a personal wallet of Vitalik Buterin. So, of course, you want to see the balance of Vitalik's personal wallet, right? The current balance is about $20 million. Very rich.

Detail of "To"

You can see the word "Contract," which means this is a contract address. There are two kinds of addresses in Ethereum.

Vitalik had transferred his personal money to the Contract address. Why? Because if Vitalik controls the fund's money using a personal wallet, it's not good for security. He can easily use the funds for his personal expenses.

In this case, he has been using Gnosis Safe, the platform to manage digital assets with multiple people. Gnosis Safe is better than a personal wallet when it comes to keeping the funds for the charity.

Detail of "Value"

No need to explain,r right? Value means the amount of money that had been sent to others.

(3) How to check Token transactions

Let's move to the next tab which is Erc20 Token transactions.

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You can see the transactions which are related to the Erc20 token. For example, I can see the transaction as follows:

It's easy to understand that Vitalik had been sent 50 million USDC from his personal wallet to the fund's wallet.

For your information, if you want to see the transactions which are related to ETH, you have to go to the "Transaction tab." But if you want to see the transactions of the other token (e.g., USDC, WBTC, SOL), you need to go to the "Erc20 Transaction tab."

(4) How to check the contract code

Lastly, let's look at the following screenshot.

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You can see the tab of the smart contract if you visit a contract address. However, you can not see the tab if you visit a wallet address.

The wallet address doesn't need smart contracts because a human can handle it. But when it comes to the contract address, we need smart contracts. Because the machine can handle it automatically. We need code (=smart contract) to handle it from the outside.

Try to read the smart contracts

Let's take a look at smart contracts a little bit.

pragma solidity >=0.7.0 <0.9.0;

The above is the setting of the version of Solidity. In this case, it declared that we use the version of Solidity between 0.7 and 0.9. Let's see another example.

fallback() external payable {}

Fallback is a plan that can be used if other plans do not succeed. So, in this case, if the problem happens, then we call the "fallback" function to escape the situation. If you want to study more, please visit Solidity – Fall Back Function.

OK. We have finished the basics. Let's move to the intermediate part.

2. Meaning of Internal transactions

Let's move to the Internal transactions. Please look at the screenshot.

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This is a little bit difficult part of Etherscan. But when you read it carefully, you can understand it easily.

What is an Internal transaction?

First of all, let's begin with the transaction as follows:

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When you click on that, you can see as follows:

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This is not complicated. Just look at the following:

Okay, but why did Vitalik send 0 ETH to the contract address? Is this his mistake? Here is the reason.

The reason why Vitalik send 0 ETH

In short, he wanted to interact with the smart contract. Please take a look at the screenshot below.

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It's a small word, but you can see it as follows:

To summarize, the flow of the procedure is as follows:

That's it. Now you have understood Internal transactions. Great :)

By the way, the reason why Vitalik had got 1 ETH from his fund's wallet is just testing the smart contract to see if it works well.

You can see the enormous amount of transfer after his testing. Always it is very important to test the transaction before you send a significant amount of money.

A simple way to track the money flow

If you use Debank, it's easy to track the money flow.

etherscan12_

You can easily understand that Vitalik sent 1 ETH for testing and then sent 100 USDT for another testing. After that, he sent a significant amount of money which was $50 million.

Debank is really useful, right?

So why do we use Etherscan instead of Debank?

Debank is very useful, but if you want to see the very detail of the transactions, Etherscan is better. For example, is as follow:

etherscan13_

When you see the bottom of the transaction, there is the word "setup." But we have no clue about "setup." So, in this case, let's check it out using Etherscan.

Deep dive into "setup"

If you look at the detail of that transaction, you can see as follows:

etherscan14_

Okay. Let's see the details.

The value is 0 ETH so that you can easily understand that the transaction is an internal transaction. Vitalik had interacted with smart contract.

So what kind of smart contract? You can see as follow:

Contract 0xa6b... (Gnosis Safe: Proxy Factory)

This means he had created a Gnosis Safe wallet which is the platform to manage digital assets with multiple people.

In more detail, you can see the word "Proxy," which means the authority given to a person to act for someone else. In this case, the authority was given to the Contract address.

For your information, if you want to test Gnosis Safe, you can use it in the gas-free test net (= no cost). Most applications on the Ethereum network have a test version so that you can use and enjoy it without a gas fee.

3. Experience Etherscan using free NFTs

Studying is basically boring, but active learning is fun. So I had created some free NFTs to make the learning fun.

Banana Club NFTs

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Here is the NFT collection; the name is Banana Club. Why Banana? No reason, but the banana is cute, right? That's good.

You can buy these Banana NFTs using Rinkeby testnet, the free Ethereum network for testing. You can enjoy these NFTs without money.

Buy Bananas and check the transaction

You can follow these steps:

For STEP1, you can visit this page and claim your free ETH for the testnet. If you can't see the Rinkeby network on your Metamask, Please click on the button as follows:

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Now you can use the Rinkeby network from your Metamask. Ready to go.

The detail of the transaction

Please visit the Banana NFT page and then buy it. You can see the transaction as follows after buying it.

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The detail is as follows:

It's not difficult to understand, right? So let's see more detail.

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You can see two transfers:

The first one is the fee of OpenSea, whose take rate is 2.5% per transaction. And the second is the sales of NFT, which had been sent to the previous owner.

Another example of the transaction

Please look at the transaction below.

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This transaction is almost the same as the previous one, but there is a difference.

The numbers are different, right? The reason is as follows:

The beauty of NFT is that the secondary sales always go to the NFT creator. In this case, the percentage of commission is 10%. Here is the summary.

Sales: 0.01 ETH

Please look at the transaction below:

TRANSFER 0.00125 ETH From 0x520... To 0x5b3...

The money goes to the wallet of OpenSea (0x5b3...), and then the sales of 10% will go to the creator's wallet later on.

So That's it. Please enjoy NFT using free Bananas :)

P.S. The beauty of blockchains

In this article, I had explained Etherscan and NFT.

And please remember that these transactions can occur without a centralized platform. For example, if I create like Amazon.com and then make a system that transfers the fee of secondary sales to the creator, it's not that difficult to do that.

But this time, we have used blockchain, right?
So there is no centralized administrator.

Sometimes administrators become evil to increase their sales. For example, the take rate of Apple Store is 30%. And if Apple increases the take rate, what happens next? I think no one can escape from Apple Store because it's too big and there are no other choices to use Apple Store.

But when it comes to blockchain, no one can change the rule. Because the rule is the code that is on the blockchain. It means no one can change it.

The beauty of blockchain is also as follow:

» Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer. —Vitalik Buterin

This means the take rate is getting lower and lower. And the rule on the chain can't be changed. So it looks like a better world than now.

Hope this article helps people to understand blockchain and decentralization. The world will become much better in the near future :)