This article is published on Medium.
A block explorer is a tool typically used to visualise the current and historical state of a blockchain including all transaction information. Coda, a succinct blockchain, presents some interesting challenges in this regard as this prior state information is not required to be stored by end-users or even block producers, but rather the protocol relies on cryptographic proofs to prove the current chain state (and thus everything preceding it).
Coda currently provides an option for users to run an archive node that persists block data. This data is then exportable via the GraphQL API and it is this data that has been used to produce a prototype block explorer to help users become better acquainted with the testnet and Coda’s functionality.