Every Bitcoin that has ever been created has its entire history stored on the Bitcoin blockchain. This distributed public ledger is available for anyone to see and is updated in real-time. This allows users to immediately be able to see where their transaction is in the queue, how many confirmations are still required, and when it clears.
Brief Overview Of Blockchain
Blockchain is the backbone technology on which Bitcoin functions. You might have heard of blockchain being implemented in other industries, this refers to the technology and not the cryptocurrency itself. Blockchain is the distributed public ledger, while Bitcoin is the digital currency.
See here for a more in-depth look at what blockchain is.
Brief Overview Of Blocks On A Blockchain
Blockchain is made up of blocks that link together in a chronological manner (for added security). Each block holds the hash key of the previous block and its own, so as to ensure that blocks are all presented in the correct order. Transactions are logged and stored in each block, and once that block has reached its capacity, another block will be created.
Each time a new block is created, a Bitcoin miner gets rewarded. This reward is to compensate the miner for their time and electricity. In order to create a block, miners fight to solve a cryptographic puzzle and the first one to solve it receives the reward.
Miners are not only responsible for verifying transactions and adding blocks to the blockchain, but they are also responsible for keeping the entire network secure. If any bad actors tried to do something illicit, the network will immediately pick up on this and reject the activity.
Brief Overview Of Transactions
Each transaction on the blockchain is logged under the sender and receivers’ wallet address, which is a 26 alphanumeric code. While no identities are necessarily attached to the wallet, users who know someone's wallet address can easily trace their transactions on the blockchain.
This is why Bitcoin transactions are referred to as pseudonymous. See here for a more in depth look at how Bitcoin transactions work.
Transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain typically take 10 minutes to be completed, after which the block will appear on the blockchain. Merchants typically require three to six confirmations before the funds are available. Each time a new block is added to the blockchain following the block with your transaction, a new confirmation is logged.
How To View The Bitcoin Blockchain
As we previously mentioned, the entire Bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger, allowing anyone to see what is happening at any given time.
For an entire overview: https://blockchain.info/
To view just one block: https://blockchain.info/blocks
Or, if you’re looking to search for a specific transaction: https://cutt.ly/MhTe3SL