A core component of the Bitcoin blockchain is unprecedented transparency for financial transactions. As we deliver products that fulfill our mission to accelerate the global adoption of Bitcoin, our first product aims to provide that transparency better than all other solutions out on the market today. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new block explorer.
Speed is a Feature
If we were to describe how our block explorer is different and better in a singular word, it’s speed. Many of the block explorers in the market today are slow, and present data that might be lagging or inaccurate. Performance and reliability are the two critical components of any explorer, and imperative in gaining trust in Bitcoin for all users, but especially new users.
Speed is critical because both traders and merchants need the latest information on fees and verification status of transactions. Delays in either one of these pieces of information can prove costly for both parties. Accordingly, we have prioritized speed and accuracy of the explorer above all other features and functions of the experience.
The Right Balance of Information
The information and transaction detail displayed for each transaction and block on Coinninja.com is very calculated. It’s important to provide the essential and relevant details around a transaction, but not overwhelm users with stats and graphs that can make the verification process overwhelming and confusing.
As we iterate on the block explorer, we will take extra care when adding any helpful data, charts, and insights . Advanced users will be able to get all the detail they need but without overwhelming the experience for all users.
We’ve also added a news feed to help keep you up to date on the latest developments in the bitcoin space from the most reputable sources for news and content. Coinninja.com will be the one-stop-shop for our audience to be able to quickly see ‘what is happening’ and answer ‘why’ in the marketplace.
Technically Speaking: Big Opportunity beyond Block Explorer
Our engineers designed a system to process information from the bitcoin network in real-time. Bitcoin is more than just a currency, at its heart is open source and free software. As such there are many different options to choose from for interacting with the network. Ultimately, our team settled on the reference implementation provided by the Bitcoin Core team. The reference implementation gave us several advantages over others:
- Under active development
- Thoroughly tested
- Keeps up with Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs)
The downsides of using the reference implementation are few in number, but present interesting challenges that we have overcome:
- Not designed to index arbitrary address information
- Minimal interfaces to process raw bitcoin data
- Functions as a full node _and_ a wallet
This means that it is a fantastic Bitcoin full-node and wallet. However, it is not good at exposing data about the blockchain.
To find the right balance of overcoming these shortcomings, our team set few objectives for the block explorer’s use of Bitcoin Core.
- Make as few of modifications as possible to the bitcoin daemon (a piece of software that runs in the background).
- Do not modify the processing of information — consensus rules and network interaction code are left untouched.
The reason for these rules might be obvious to those experienced with bitcoin or software development. It boils down to maintainability. By making as few of modifications as possible to accomplish our goals, we are able to keep up with changes from the Bitcoin Core team with minimal challenges.
Our team has developed a system to index information about the bitcoin blockchain, in real-time. The possibilities for this system include faster exposure of important statistics to power-users, traders, exchanges and merchants. The engineers are hard at work on feature improvements, application of recent data science technology and predictive behavior.
Central to our core product development thesis is not just listening to end user feedback but acting on it whenever possible and practical. When patterns of friction or feature feedback emerge, we want to act upon it and make sure our products provide function, utility and ease of use to the greatest number of users.
Accordingly, we’d love to hear your feedback on our block explorer. What, if anything, are we missing or have we not made simple or clear in the design and experience? What changes might you make to make this the best and most functional block explorer in the world? Let us know in the comments below or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.