Creating Bitcoin Watch-Only Wallet for Android

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We have previously discussed what a Bitcoin watch-only wallet is, why you should get one and the risks involved in setting one up. Today, we would discuss how Android users can create their own Bitcoin watch-only wallets. A procedure for setting up Bitcoin watch-only wallets for iPhone users and for Windows users is also available.

There are two different types of Bitcoin wallet structures – deterministic and non-deterministic. We would be discussing how to set up Bitcoin watch-only wallets for both and would begin with deterministic wallets. If you are tracking particular addresses, follow the process for non-deterministic wallets.

Deterministic wallets

Get relevant wallet information

Step 1: Determine what kind of wallet you are using

Check if you are using a deterministic wallet. Hardware wallets such as Ledger or Trezor are deterministic wallets. If you have a non-deterministic wallet or only wish to track particular addresses, skip to the section below on non-deterministic wallets.

Step 2: Extract your Extended Public Key

The Extended Public Key determines the format of the wallet addresses you have. The table below provides a summary of various Extended Public Keys and their associated addresses.

Address TypeWallet TypeExtended Public KeyAddress Format
Legacy BitcoinLegacy walletXPUBBegins with 1
P2SH-P2WPKHSegWit walletYPUBBegins with 3
P2WPKHSegWit walletZPUBBegins with bc1

Thus, if your wallet address is 339xN86kVE2DosHZN9D6AnzkGA2KpMLHdQ, you should be obtaining a YPUB since your address begins with 3.

Ledger

L1. Plug in your device and access Ledger Live.

L2. Select the wrench icon in the top right-hand corner.

Selecting the wrench icon in Ledger Live

L3. Under the Advanced Logs section, you would see a long string of characters beginning with XPUB. This is your Extended Public Key.

Extracting XPUB from Ledger Live

Ledger currently has an issue where the Extended Public Keys do not work properly. In other words, even though Ledger addresses begin with 3, the XPUB is shown instead of the YPUB. This is a known issue which Ledger is currently fixing. The workaround is to extract YPUB using Electrum as shown here.

Trezor

T1. Plug in your device and access Trezor Bridge.

T2. Click on the name of your device. After that, select Basic. Finally, select the Show XPUBs button.

Getting the XPUB from Trezor

Download and configure app to track funds

Step 3: Go to the Play Store and download Sentinel.

Sentinel on Play Store

Security tip: Before downloading any app, always check the reviews. Complaints of scams by reviewers would alert you about malicious apps.

Step 4: Select the Start button.

Getting Started in Sentinel

Step 5: Select the appropriate option based on the Extended Public Key you extracted in Step 2. For example, if your address starts with 1, you have the legacy bitcoin address format. Thus, you should have extracted the XPUB for import. In this case, you would select the second option ie. Bitcoin Wallet.

Selecting address type in Sentinel

Step 6: Sentinel would then ask you how to input your Extended Public Key. Select Manual.

Select mode of entering address in Sentinel

Step 7: Enter your Extended Public Key. For our example, we entered the XPUB.

Entering extended public key in Sentinel

Step 8: Give a name to your watch-only wallet.

Giving a Bitcoin watch-only wallet in Sentinel

Security tip: We have only imported our Extended Public Key for creating our watch-only wallet. Under no circumstances should you import your Mnemonic Seed or Extended Private Key!

Step 9: Your watch-only wallet would show up on the main screen.

Successful wallet creation in Sentinel

Verify that your wallet works

Step 10: Check that the balance in your watch-only wallet agrees to your Ledger or Trezor balance. If you have yet to transfer funds to your wallets, you can send some funds to them and check that your watch-only wallet updates for them.

Step 11: Give yourself a pat on the back! Your Bitcoin watch-only wallet for Android has been successfully created.

Non-Deterministic wallets Or tracking specific addresses

The process for setting up is similar to deterministic wallets. However, instead of importing the Extended Public Key, you would be importing addresses you wish to track.

Get relevant wallet information

Step 1: Extract the addresses you wish to import. For simplicity, we would import the address shown in our Ledger Live screenshot below.

339xN86kVE2DosHZN9D6AnzkGA2KpMLHdQ

Address in Ledger Live

Download and configure app to track funds

Step 3: Go to the App Store and download Sentinel.

Sentinel on Play Store

Security tip: Before downloading any app, always check the reviews. Complaints of scams by reviewers would alert you about malicious apps.

Step 4: Select the Start button.Getting Started in Sentinel

Step 5: Select the first option Bitcoin Address.Selecting address type in Sentinel

Step 6: Sentinel would then ask you how to input your address. Select Manual.

Select mode of entering address in Sentinel

Step 7: Enter the address you wish to track.

Entering address in Sentinel

Step 8: Give a name to your watch-only wallet.

Naming Bitcoin watch-only wallet in Sentinel

Step 9: Your watch-only wallet would show up on the main screen. Repeat the above steps as many times as needed to import all the addresses you wish to track.

Successful wallet creation in Sentinel

Verify that your wallet works

Step 10: Select the blue + sign in the bottom right-hand corner followed by Watchlist. Check that the address indicated in the screen agrees with what you inputted in Step 7.

Check address added in Sentinel

Step 11: Check that the balance in your watch-only wallet is correct. If you have yet to transfer funds to the addresses you track, you can send some funds to them and check that your watch-only wallet updates for them.

Step 12: Give yourself a pat on the back! Your Bitcoin watch-only wallet for Android has been successfully created.

Conclusion

Did you like our method for creating Bitcoin watch-only wallets for Android? Have another app or method to recommend us?

Let us know in the comments below!

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