cennznet.io is a web portal and wallet where you can interact with CENNZnet’s blockchain network. On this site, you can find useful tools for crypto investors, such as managing accounts and transferring funds. It also serves as an important development tool for CENNZnet DApp developers. cennznet.io is the fastest way to read data stored on the chain, submit transactions to modify the data and to inspect the recent blocks and events on the chain (historical blocks can be explored via https://www.uncoverexplorer.com/).
This article will guide you through the main tools and options for navigating the CENNZnet.io. We will look at:
- What you can find on the Getting Started page.
- Selecting the network you want to interact with.
- The accounts feature: how to create, import and recover an account.
- The Explorer function.
If you are interested in the Advanced tools in CENNZnet.io check out the Advanced guide to cennzet.io here.
The getting started page
The Getting started page contains quick links to the frequently visited pages and tabs on cennznet.io.
Selecting a network on cennznet.io
cennznet.io can connect to 3 different networks:
- The MainNet (Azalea): is the production environment, where transactions and exchanges happen. The MainNet is used by all CENNZnet DApps. Anyone can run a CENNZnet node that connects to the MainNet and become part of the network. If you do not choose a specific network, the cennznet.io connects to the MainNet by default.
- The TestNet (Nikau): is an environment for testing bleeding-edge features before they are deployed to the MainNet.
- The Local Node: is a CENNZnet node that can run on your local machine. Typically you’d run it via a docker command. You can connect your local node to an existing network or start a new development chain. Running your own CENNZnet node that connects to the MainNet gives your DApp better performance by reducing the network latency. The development chain comes with test accounts loaded with CENNZ and CPAY, so you don’t have to spend real CENNZ or CPAY while developing new features.
To choose the network you’d like to connect to, click on the CENNZnet icon in the top left-hand corner.
Alternatively, go to the Advanced->Settings->General to select the network under the setting “remote node/endpoint to connect to”.
Having an account on CENNZnet allows you to hold and transfer currencies (currently CENNZ and CPAY). You can create as many accounts as you like at no cost. Having multiple accounts may help you to manage your specific assets and transactions.
The Accounts area has 2 tabs:
- My accounts tab lets you create and manage your accounts.
- Address book tab can hold the addresses of your own and other people’s accounts.
This tab displays the accounts you own. On this page you can create a new account or import an existing account using a key store file and password.
You can copy the public address of an account by clicking on the icon next to the account name. The public address is used to identify accounts when transferring money.
If you have no existing accounts on CENNZnet.io, you will be prompted to create one on entering the site. If you miss this prompt, or want to create an additional account you can do this by clicking on the Accounts page and then select the Create account option.
When creating your account, it’s essential that you save your mnemonic seed before clicking on Save. The mnemonic seed is the only way to recover your account, in the event that you lose your password or the key store file. You will only see your mnemonic seed once when you create your account, so make sure to make a note of it.
It’s recommended to leave the Advanced creation options as default.
When you press Save, a key store json file, is downloaded to your computer. You will need the key store file and your password to access your account.
Please make sure you backup your mnemonic seed, password, and the key store json file. These are the keys to your money on the chain.
For a visual walkthrough of the account creation process watch our YouTube tutorial: How to create a CENNZnet wallet
Importing an account
The key store file and password allows you to import an account. You may need to do this when visiting cennznet.io on a different computer.
The key store file is the json file which gets downloaded when you created your account, along with your password.
For a visual walkthrough of the account importing process watch our YouTube tutorial: Restoring your CENNZnet wallet
Recovering an account
If you’ve lost your key store file or your password, you can recover your account using the mnemonic seed, which serves as a private key.
To recover an account, simply create a new account, but use your previous mnemonic seed pasted into the mnemonic seed box. This will give you a new account (new key store file and password), but allow you to access the assets in the lost account.
Note : If you made your account before the mainnet launch and you want to restore the account using the mnemonic seed, you will need both the seed and the original password.
The address book tab allows you to quickly transfer money to other accounts. To add a contact, you will need the public address of the account.
The Explorer page allows you to see the latest updates on the chain. There are 3 tabs on the Explorer page:
- Chain info
- Block details
- Node info
This section will give an overview of how to navigate each.
The Chain info tab is located at the top left of the screen. Clicking this shows you the most recent blocks and events on the blockchain.
There are three main areas of information on this page as you can see from the screenshot above: general chain information, recent blocks and recent events.
General chain information
At the top of the screen, you can see an overview of what’s currently happening on the chain. You can see:
- Last block: This is a live countdown of the time elapsed since the last block was created.
- Target: This is the target time interval for creating the next block.
- Epoch: An epoch is the time cycle in which validators are randomly chosen to create the next block. The section shows X/Y where Y= the number of blocks in an epoch, based on the current target time, and X= the number of blocks made in the epoch so far. The orange bar beneath is a progress bar to visualise how many blocks we are through the epoch at the current time.
- Finalised: This shows the block height (a number each block has which denotes how many blocks there are preceding it) of the latest finalised block. To learn more about finalisation and the consensus protocol, please read our PoS article.
- Best: block height for the best block. This is also related to the consensus protocol.
On the left-hand side, you can see a list of the most recent blocks, with the newest at the top. Blocks on a blockchain are storage mechanisms. Practically they can each be seen as a section of the decentralised ledger which stores data, records transactions on the network and links to previous blocks. A new block is created on CENNZnet every 5–6 seconds. Every transaction that occurred on the network during that time frame is recorded in the new block.
For each block in this list you can see:
- The Block Height (or block number): The block height is the large blue number at the left of each row that represents a block. It denotes the number of blocks preceding it in the blockchain.
- Block Hash: The block hash is the long string of numbers and letters next to the block height. This string uniquely defines a block.
On the right-hand side, you can see a list of the recent events on the network. Events are data structures for CENNZnet’s runtime modules to notify external entities about changes, for example, transferring of assets.
Block details: Inspecting a particular block
To inspect the contents of a specific block, click on it’s block height (this is the larger blue number which identifies the block). This will take you to the block details tab shown in the screenshot below.
Once you are on the block details tab you can see a few sections of information.
- Block height: The block height of the specific block is displayed in the top left corner.
- Block hash: The long string of numbers and letters at the top of the page is the blocks unique block hash.
- Parent Hash: The parent hash is located just below the block hash. This allows us to link a block to its parent (the block directly preceding it in the chain).
- Extrinsics: The extrinsics section is just below the block height. Extrinsics are any data carried inside the block that is external to the blockchain. Data that is internal to the blockchain are called intrinsics. Intrinsics are the data that makes the blockchain work, for example, the block hash and the parent hash.
- Logs: Logs are located just below extrinsics. The logs are consensus specific information, for example the BABE protocol leaving information about the next epoch.
- Events: Events represent information internal to the chain. Events are often triggered by extrinsics.
The node info tab displays local details about the node that cennznet.io is currently connected to, such as the transactions that the node has in its memory pool and the peers it’s connected to. Having this information can be useful when developing a DApp or running your own node.