Blockchain Blog

How to use Watch-only Addresses

Watch-only addresses are a Blockchain Wallet feature you can find in the Imported Addresses section of your wallet. In recent updates, we’ve made some improvements to how you can use watch-only addresses, and how the balances of these addresses are reflected in your wallet. In this post we’ll cover details on these updates and how that affects your wallet experience.

What are watch-only addresses?

A watch-only address is a public bitcoin addresses you’ve imported into your wallet. This is a cool, useful feature if you want to monitor activity at a particular bitcoin address. You can import any existing bitcoin address into your wallet as a watch-only address, which will incorporate all of its incoming and outgoing transactions into your live transaction feed. You can tell which transactions are for watch-only addresses, because they’ll be labeled as such.

To learn more about the Addresses section in your wallet, including Imported Addresses, check out this guide.

Transaction activity for a watch-only address will have a Watch Only label to the right of transaction type (Sent or Received). In this case, you can see that the third transaction at the bottom is for a watch-only address. Watch-only addresses are included in your total balance.

Our wallet will now include the balances from your watch-only addresses in your total wallet balance. This can be helpful if you use watch-only addresses to monitor addresses that you control, and if you want to know the total value of your bitcoins in your accounts, plus your imported addresses.

It’s important to keep track of which watch-only addresses you do control and which ones you don’t control, because your total balance will now represent the sum of all bitcoin addresses in your wallet. A great way to identify your imported addresses is to create unique labels for each of them. Be aware that if you have imported a watch-only address that you don’t have the private key for, your overall wallet balance may not accurately represent the total bitcoins under your control.

Spend from a watch-only address with the private key

Watch-only spending is another feature that was included in a recent update. If you have imported your funds using watch-only addresses, you can now spend from them by providing the private key when prompted.

Send from your watch-only addresses by entering the private key when prompted.

Are these updates available on mobile?
Yes, the latest version of our wallet includes both of these features on iOS and Android.

Do you have any additional questions about watch-only addresses? Leave them in the comments!