Hedera mirror nodes store transactions that have occurred on the Hedera network, exposing them to consumers and developers alike through user interfaces (explorers) and APIs. Their ability to provide trusted transaction history makes it possible to access historical data, like who sent cryptocurrency to whom at which time or when the latest message was sent to a topic, from a variety of different parties. We’re excited to see that the Hedera ecosystem is constantly growing, with each new service providing unique offerings.
Here’s a snapshot of the Hedera mirror nodes and services currently available:
DragonGlass - Built and operated by OpenCrowd, a leading IT and software consultancy, DragonGlass is a cloud-based service that provides access to search and historical data across a variety of distributed ledgers, beginning with Hedera Hashgraph. Developers can sign up for their APIs which support all of the Hedera network services here.
Hash-hash.info - The first network explorer which provided insights into the Hedera Hashgraph public network, taking frequent snapshots of Hedera account activity, was developed by Hedera MVP, Dr. Nikolaos Siafakas. Hash-hash.info provides an easy to use interface which allows hbar holders to see transactions flowing to and from known exchange accounts, providing insight and transparency into the hbar marketplace.
Kabuto - LaunchBadge, a software development firm focusing on blockchains and decentralized applications, builds and operates Kabuto.sh. It provides UI and API based support for all of the Hedera network services and can be used without registration. View their documentation and see how easy it is to get started here.
Note: Kabuto was deprecated on October 15th, 2022.
Trust Explorer - TrustExplorer is a suite of blockchain and DLT enabled solutions for the digital asset industry powered by Armanino. Armanino is a top 25 independent accounting firm, and the largest headquartered in California. Armanino’s Trusted Node on Trust Explorer offers a full archival node for the Hedera Hashgraph network that is SOC 2 compliant, adhering to industry-standard accounting and security practices. You can sign up for access to their API here, which recently began supporting gRPC subscriptions for the Hedera Consensus Service!
Each of the options above provide either API or UI access to Hedera transactions. Another related service that is worth giving a shout out would be HashLog, developed by Acoer. HashLog provides unique cross-mirror validation, allowing users to input a transaction hash or ID and query each DragonGlass, Kabuto, and others, to ensure consistency across each provider. This is fundamental to their work providing modern technology and data provenance in the healthcare industry.
Since all of the above offer varying services and support, I would suggest that developers look into each, and see how they can support their efforts building on the network. It is also up to each provider to determine its pricing model, if applicable.
The Hedera mirror node software is open-source, currently in alpha, and being developed on our GitHub. You can follow along, suggest features, and contribute to it here. We will soon be making it possible for anyone to run their own, and would love feedback along the way.