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Watch-Only Wallet Addresses: Explained

Published on: Mar 26, 2024
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In Brief

Discover how watch-only wallet addresses work for tracking assets securely without spending. Learn to set them up and avoid watch-wallet scams with our guide.

Watch-Only Wallet Addresses: Explained

Watch-only wallets, also known as view-only wallets allow you to observe or track assets of any wallet’s public address. This can be a wallet that you own the private keys to, or a wallet that you do not control. In this guide, we’ll get into why watch-only wallets are useful, how to set one up using Trust Wallet, and how to spot a watch-wallet scam.


What is a watch-only wallet address?

Watch-only wallet addresses allow you to keep an eye on your cryptocurrency balances, or the balances of any public address, without having the ability to access or spend the crypto. In other words, with watch-only addresses, you have read-only access to the wallet, and can't make any transactions. This feature is particularly useful for monitoring the activity of wallet balances.

Whether you're tracking your own balances or simply observing the asset portfolios for others, watch-only wallets provide a secure and easy way to stay informed about the asset movements without the risk of unauthorized access to the funds.

How to add a watch-only wallet address to Trust Wallet

Adding a watch-only address to Trust Wallet is simple. Here’s how:


Understanding Watch-Only Wallet Scams

Scammers often trick individuals by adding a watch-only wallet to your Trust Wallet, making it appear as if you've received funds. They then falsely claim that your wallet needs "unlocking" to access these funds and may ask for a payment or your private key or seed phrase to "unlock" it, aiming to steal your assets.

How to Avoid Watch-Only Wallet Scams

Frequently asked questions

How do I withdraw from a watch-only address on Trust Wallet?

You cannot withdraw funds from a watch-only address. The only way to access the funds of any wallet is if you control the private keys or secret phrases of that wallet. Beware of any scams that say you can access funds from a watch-only wallet. Learn more here.

Why is my Trust Wallet showing a watch-only wallet?

If you’ve added a public address, but not the secret phrase or the private key of a wallet, you’ll see the wallet marked as “View-only wallet”. You cannot access the funds in a view-only wallet. If you have access to the secret phrase or private keys, you can use these instructions to import the wallet and access the funds. Again, beware of any scams saying you can access funds that do not belong to you.

How do I get a private key for a watch-only Trust Wallet?

When you initially set up a wallet, you are given a 12-word secret phrase. Best practice is to note this down somewhere safe and keep it secure. You can only access the funds in watch-only wallets if you own the wallet and control its secret phrase or private keys. Beware of any scams that say you can access private keys you do not own.


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Note: Any cited numbers, figures, or illustrations are reported at the time of writing, and are subject to change.

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