Navigating the Ethereum ecosystem can be confusing if you do not know where to begin. For starters, knowing the fundamentals of Ethereum transactions (particularly how to track them) is a great way to start.
So, if you already know how to send and receive transactions, why not go a step further by deciphering ways to confirm the statuses of your transactions and track the amount you pay in fees?
Why check your Ethereum transactions?
No matter what your interest in cryptocurrency is, it’s more than likely you’ll end up interacting with the Ethereum blockchain at some stage. After all, its ecosystem contains some of the most widely used platforms, tokens and services in the industry.
In light of this, it makes a lot of sense to have a basic understanding of how to keep track of your Ethereum-based activities.
Get to know your confirmation status
On average, it usually takes anywhere from 15 seconds to five minutes to process ETH transactions, depending on the amount you pay as a transaction fee and network congestion at the time.
With the Ethereum blockchain, which is based on proof-of-work, your transaction is first logged in Ethereum’s mempool before being picked up by validators and loaded into the blockchain. Think of the mempool as a waiting room where pending transactions are queued.
Your transaction is completed once a validator enters the data into a block and subsequently adds the block to the blockchain. While this is a given, it is advisable to wait for six additional blocks to be mined and added on top of the block where your transaction was entered. When this happens, your transaction is said to be finalized and irreversible.
Remember that the blockchain is a chain of blocks containing transaction details. In a situation where validators add two blocks to the chain at the exact same time, the blockchain will momentarily split into two. Going forward, the chain that subsequent validators add their newly created blocks to will eventually become valid, while the second block will become orphaned (that is, not accepted into the main chain). Simply put, the longest chain is widely regarded as the main chain or the most valid chain.
By checking the status of your transaction, you can determine whether your transaction is pending or successful. You can also confirm the number of blocks that have been created since your transaction was added to the blockchain.
Get to know the cost of transacting on Ethereum
Ethereum participants must pay to use the network in order to transfer value and create or deploy a smart contract. However, unlike the fixed fee structure we are used to with conventional payment systems, the amount paid to process each transaction largely depends on the number of participants looking to execute transactions at any given time.
If the demand is high, expect the transaction fee to rise in cost. The opposite is the case when demand is low.
That said, checking your transaction details helps keep track of the cost of using the Ethereum network. In addition to this, you can determine when your gas fee is not enough to trigger the confirmation process. This is paramount, knowing fully well that miners tend to prioritize transactions that will fetch them the highest reward.
Read more: What Are Ethereum Gas Fees?
Now that you understand the importance of tracking ETH transactions, it is time to highlight the steps required.
How to track your Ethereum transactions
Depending on the Ethereum-supported crypto wallet you are using, you should be able to access your transaction history.
If this is the case, you will most likely find the status of your transactions, the time they were executed and other basic information. However, for an in-depth analysis, it is advisable to utilize an Ethereum blockchain explorer – the search engine for Ethereum.
Some of the prominent blockchain explorers that you might opt for are:
Regardless of the blockchain explorer you choose, you will need either your public address or the unique identifier of the specific transaction you wish to track. When you have these details, you can head to the Ethereum blockchain explorer of your choice to execute the following steps:
Enter the Transaction ID or public address in the search field of the blockchain explorer and click the “Search” button.
If it was your ETH address you entered, you will be taken to an overview of your wallet activities. From here, you can navigate to the section which houses your transaction history. Subsequently, you can click on transaction IDs/Hashes to access the details of each.
For those that have entered the transaction ID into the search bar, you will be taken to the overview page of the transaction in question.
What can you check on Ethereum blockchain explorers?
There is a lot you can play around with on blockchain explorers. Some of the available data sets include:
Block confirmations: The number of blocks mined since your transaction was confirmed.
Status: This shows whether the transaction is successful or pending.
Timestamp: The date and time the transaction was added to the blockchain.
Transaction fees: The amount paid to the miner or validator as a fee.
Gas limit: This is the maximum amount of energy or gas you are prepared to expend to process the transaction.
Base fees: Here, you will find the lowest fee required to interact with the Ethereum blockchain.
Nonce: This is a number that increases by 1 with each transaction executed on your wallet. Hence, each transaction has a unique nonce.
ETH price: The price of ether at the time the transaction was processed.
What happens if an ether transaction fails?
Remember that one of the benefits of checking transactions is that it allows you to quickly identify when low gas fees delay or truncate your transactions. Such transactions usually remain pending for as long as the gas fees remain below the minimum fees required to interact with Ethereum.
In such scenarios, you can resend the transaction by resubmitting it and upping the accompanying gas fees.
To do this, resubmit the pending transaction and ensure that it carries the same nonce. However, this time around, confirm that your gas fee is high enough to be included by validators. By doing so, you have duplicated the pending transaction and set the fee such that validators would naturally prioritize the most current one.
Since both transactions carry the same nonce, only one (most likely the latest one) will be added to the blockchain.