Monitoring economic activity is a lot simpler with blockchain tech. Leverage these tools to make the most of it!Imagine this: You want to investigate and validate a bank’s financial assets and transactions. You know the account numbers of a few accounts that the bank uses to transact. You also have access to the bank’s quarterly reports and the total assets that went through them.Regrettably, this is where your journey ends. Without internal documentation and a clear trail of bank money, there is no way to track the data in question. Of course, you could manage twenty different email conversations with bank employees for some crumbs. But that is a painstakingly long process that no one wants to do.Photo by Dmitry Demidko on UnsplashNow imagine another financial instrument whose data and transactions are handled via a blockchain. Here is the stuff you won’t have to go through:Internal financial documentationThird-party reportsThose twenty email conversationsOnce transferred on a blockchain, the transaction data remains open to everyone. And the leads you need are even more minuscule. With just the address of a crypto wallet, you can check out all the transfer details of any past transaction.Suppose I sent 1 ETH from my MetaMask wallet to my Binance wallet. If you had my wallet address, you could plug it into a tool like Etherscan and ascertain all the prior transaction data. Any transaction I did, the time of the transactions, the amount involved, and the recipient’s address are all information stored on the blockchain. And with sufficient knowledge and basic skills with these tools, you can gather all the data you need for blockchain investigation.Here are my top 4 blockchain tools for an easier understanding of the ecosystem:CoinMarketCap:Everyone has used CoinMarketCap either knowingly or unknowingly. You come across a new fancy token and want to know its price history. What do you do? You open CoinMarketCap and read about the project. Its market cap, liquidity, and anything else you can find about it.This is the first crypto-adjacent application that many of us use!Etherscan:Etherscan is a blockchain navigator built for the Ethereum blockchain. With Etherscan, you can see all the latest block data, transactions as they happen, and the details of every wallet’s transactions.Etherscan home screenAs I write this, the latest transaction on Etherscan is by a wallet named builder0x69.eth. So, I just clicked on the wallet address, and here are all the transaction details of the wallet:Pretty fascinating, right? With over 180k transactions, the wallet probably belongs to some organization.builder0x69.eth’s Ethereum transaction dataAs the name implies, Etherscan only works for the Ethereum blockchain. However, there are blockchain explorers for every major blockchain out there. I chose Ethereum because I am most familiar with it. Ethereum is also home to some of the most significant crypto projects. So, it is the best point to start!(A bit of a tangent, but I found the builder0x69’s Twitter account. It seems to be a blockchain-building tool. It seems I would need to do more research on this project!)DefiLlama:DefiLlama is to DeFi what Etherscan is to Ethereum. Etherscan records the data on the Ethereum blockchain. DefiLlama compiles all the data of DeFi protocols on most blockchains.It doesn’t matter if you want Uniswap’s financial data on Ethereum or some random DeFi protocol with a TVL of just a million dollars. You will find something of use on DefiLlama.DefiLlama has so much data that I haven’t gone through it all yet. Someday!DeFiLlama provides data on the yield rates, market dominance of different protocols, and more complex metrics like CEX transparency.My favorite feature is the annotations that come with the different graphs. The de-pegging of $UST and the collapse of $LUNA severely affected the market. Just take a look at the effect that the event had on LIDO, the biggest DeFi protocol today:Yes, you can toggle these bears. DefiLlama has a sense of humor!DappRadar:DappRadar is an aggregator for all the dapps you could ever need. Sometimes, you don’t know how to find new dapps for a particular task.Suppose you want data on some prominent NFT collections. Going to their OpenSea might be a good starting point, but it won’t lead far. Instead, you could try DappRadar and snuff out every relevant data about the project.Can’t argue with that tagline!In the case of Bored Apes, OpenSea only shows the sale data. DappRadar collects volume data, transaction history, and lots of other stuff.And NFTs are one of the MANY avenues where DappRadar collects data. This tool is a great starting point for data collection on any crypto-related asset. DappRadar is like a combination of CoinMarketCap and DefiLlama with tons more utility.One screenshot’s worth of Data. Tons more besides this.

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