Ready to Fox-Trot?
One particular area that confuses many users is how block explorers like Etherscan work.
Many users would think their Ether or token is transferred to Etherscan, and they need to send that to MetaMask to see/get the balance.
As block explorers read and publish transaction data from the Ethereum blockchain (which works in a way invisible to most users), many would think Etherscan some how processes the transactions, or stores them.
However, they are not a wallet where users can store or transfer Ether/tokens. (In contrary, they only show these data to users).
When a user sends a transaction from one address/account to another, whether it's from MetaMask to an exchange, another wallet to MetaMask, or MetaMask to another wallet, the mining network (soon to be validator network) processes the transaction and adds it to the blockchain (which is a series of immutable record).
Block explorers like Etherscan then read these data, and publish it online, so that any users (whether they own the address or not) could search it online.
An analogy which may apply here is, a block explorer is like a thermometer which shows you the temperature, but isn't the air conditioner that moderates the temperature. Or, it's like the speedometer on your car, which doesn't accelerate/decelerate, even though it shows it.
While you are unable to send your Ether/tokens from Etherscan, it’s very useful to check the account and transaction detail of an account.
For instance, if you’ve:
- Reset your MetaMask account
- Experienced a crash on your browser
- Restored your MetaMask wallet
- Had an update that refreshes your browser memory
- Used MetaMask on multiple platforms/devices
Your MetaMask display may not show all your accounts, tokens, or transaction history.
In that case, you may simply search the address, or transaction id/hash, token, or ENS on Etherscan.io
Or you may view your account detail on Etherscan directly from MetaMask:
If Etherscan shows your Ether/token balance, but MetaMask doesn’t (even though the account detail matches), you may add your tokens this way:
For more detail about how you may use block explorers like Etherscan, you may refer this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIt7jRWaiqs