If you want to launch a project running on the Cardano blockchain, you need to make sure it keeps track of what is happening in the ADA network 24/7. Your wallet, exchange, analytical platform, or decentralized application needs to have constant access to data about block height, transactions status, wallet balances, and more. 

An ADA explorer will help your project sync with the blockchain. A Cardano block explorer will provide you with any data that you request from it in real-time. Let’s explore ADA and see how an ADA explorer works. 

What is Cardano (ADA)?

Cardano is similar to Ethereum in the way that it is a platform where you can deploy dApps and run smart contracts, thus leveraging the blockchain for any use case you want. Cardano has just enabled smart contracts on its platform, so now may be a good time to start developing on Cardano as the ecosystem is very young and the competition is yet low. 

Although being a dApp platform, Cardano is very different from Ethereum. It was launched with the purpose to overcome the latter in terms of the three key parameters:

  • First, it’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Cardano leverages the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm which allows it to consume much less energy than BTC or ETH running on Proof of Stake.
  • Second, it’s scalability. ADA boasts of 257 transactions per second rate (compared to 4.6 in Bitcoin and 15-20 in Ethereum) and fees of $0.2 (while Bitcoin and Ethereum start with roughly $15 and sometimes hit the moon).
  • Finally, it’s security and decentralization. Cardano makes a strong emphasis on building a community of nodes that run independently. 

What is Cardano (ADA) block explorer?

The ADA block explorer is a tool that allows you to browse the blockchain in the same way that you use Google to browse the internet. Here is the official Cardano explorer:

The website displays the basic data about the Cardano blockchain: the number of the current epoch (a pack of approximately 21250 transactions, passes once in 5 days), the number of blocks and transactions included, their time, and the output in ADA. 

Here is the same table but for separate blocks:

By clicking on the block height, you can access the details regarding this block, such as the number of confirmations and transactions, size, and more. Below, the data about each transaction in the block is provided:

In the search bar at the top of the page, you can type any wallet address, block hash, or other data that you want to learn more about, and the ADA explorer will display the necessary information.

However, if you run a crypto project on the Cardano blockchain, this type of block explorer won’t work for you. We brought the pictures from the official Cardano explorer just to give an example of what data the block explorer provides. Your Cardano-based project can’t make automated queries to this website: this would be too slow and cumbersome. You need something better. 

This is where nodes that operate as Blockchain-as-a-Service come on stage. These nodes are full-fledged members of the network and have the copy of the blockchain updated in real-time. You can access these nodes via crypto API key and make as many requests as you want with a fast response time.

How to use the Cardano block explorer?

NOWNodes allows you to access an ADA explorer starting with 20,000 requests a day for free. To begin, get a free blockchain API key. Hit the corresponding yellow button on our main page

Enter your email and submit — you will receive the key in a few seconds. With the API key, you can start using the ADA block explorer right away! To see the samples of the requests that you can make to the explorer, go to our Docs. Here’s one:

To execute a request with your crypto API key, paste the key into the end of the query URL. For instance, the complete request from the example above would look like this: 

https://ada.nownodes.io/v2/network/information/?API_key={your_API_key} 

If 20,000 requests a day seems too few for you, kindly contact us at [email protected] — we will help you choose one of the Pricing plans. Whatever your needs are, we fulfill them — any number of requests is possible.

Why NOWNodes? 

  •  We offer a fast and reliable connection. The response time of our API is less than 1 second, and the node uptime is 99.95%. Whatever happens, your service will have constant access to the blockchain data. 
  • 40+ block explorers in one place. If you ever need to access another blockchain explorer, more than 40 nodes are at your service. Save your money and time by not switching from one platform to another — access all the needed explorers at once. 
  • The industry trusts us. NOWNodes has successful partnerships with Guarda, Atomic, Trezor, SecuX, and other great projects in the crypto space. 

Summary

ADA block explorer is a tool that helps your Cardano-based crypto project stay updated on the current state of the blockchain. Get your blockchain API key, see the request examples in the Docs, and make queries to the explorer 24/7 to provide your customers with the best experience. Feel free to contact us at any time — we are always ready to help and answer any questions about the Cardano explorer!