How do you check the balance on your Electroneum paper wallet? Can you be sure that your ETN has reached it safely?
This is a surprisingly difficult task due to the privacy features of the Electroneum codebase.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways of checking your paper wallet balance, starting with the easiest (but least versatile) method and increasing in complexity.
Make sure you have the 3 keys of your paper wallet handy.
ALSO READ: How to Create an Electroneum Paper Wallet
1. Using the Electroneum Block Explorer
The Electroneum Block Explorer is an online tool which lets you browse certain information on the Electroneum blockchain.
Due to the privacy features of Electroneum, it does not allow you to view the current balance of a specific wallet address like Bitcoin block explorers does. However, it does allow you to check if a transaction has indeed been processed.
And if you only want to know if sent ETN has successfully arrived in your paper wallet, this might work for you.
In order to check this, you’ll need the transaction ID as well as the public key and private view key of your offline paper wallet.
To check if the transaction was successful:
Type the transaction hash (sometimes called the transaction ID or TxHash) into the search box at the top of the page. If you sent ETN from the online app wallet you’ll be able to find the transaction hash by clicking on the specific transaction in the list. If you sent it from an exchange like Cryptopia, you’ll be able to find the transaction hash in your withdrawal history.
You’ll now see several details of the transaction, including the block it was mined in and the fee that was paid. In the second table on the page, you’ll see a list of outputs (amounts that were spent in the transaction) associated with various stealth addresses.
Scroll down to the tab that reads Decode Outputs. We’ll now use the public key and the private view key of your offline paper wallet to decode which outputs in the list above were sent to YOUR wallet.
Type your public key and private view key into the boxes provided and hit Decode Outputs. Note: These two keys will now be sent to Electroneum’s servers for processing, meaning that they’ll be sent over the internet. However, should someone get a hold of these two keys, the worse they could do is to view the output balances like you’re doing now.
You’ll now see a screen showing confirming the specific outputs of the transaction that went to your paper wallet.
Note that this method only shows the funds going into your wallet in the specific transaction under question. It does not show incoming funds from other transactions and also does not show any outgoing transactions.
For the total wallet balance, you’ll need to keep track of all the transaction hashes in which funds were sent to your wallet and punch them in one by one. Add the matching outputs together to find the total funds that have entered your wallet.
2. Using a View-Only Wallet in the Command Line
The Electroneum computer mining software allows one to load a view-only wallet and determine the value of all incoming transactions (without the need for transaction IDs).
This gets a bit technical since it requires working on the command line, but it’s really not that difficult if you follow the steps closely.
Before you begin, make sure you have enough hard disk space and data transfer allowance to download the entire Electroneum blockchain (nearly 7.5GB at the time of writing).
We will now download the Electroneum blockchain to your computer, then load your paper wallet, and then scan the blockchain for any incoming ETN related to the paper wallet.
Downloading the Electroneum Blockchain
Download the direct mining software for the operating system you are using (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux) from the Electroneum download page. Click on the ZIP link to download it. Be sure to scroll down to Direct Mining Software heading, and not the Beginner’s software.
Unzip the downloaded file to a folder on your computer.
Inside the folder, double-click the electroneumd file. This will start syncing the entire Electroneum blockchain to your computer. This might take a few hours, depending on your download speed.
You’ll be able to see the progress by looking at the last numbers on each line. For instance, 41000/87000 means that 41,000 out of 87,000 blocks have been synced.
When synchronization is complete, you’ll get a message saying that you can now run the electroneum-wallet-cli file.
Leave the electroneumd file running in the background for the rest of the process. This will ensure new blocks are synced as they become available.
Loading Your Paper Wallet
While leaving the electroneumd file running, open the command prompt (on Windows, click on Start and type in cmd).
Once inside the command prompt, navigate to the download folder you extracted above. Navigate by typing cd [Directory] and replacing [Directory] with the directory of the download folder. So if the download folder is located at C:/Documents/Electroneum, type cd C:/Documents/Electroneum
To load your paper wallet, type the following at the command line:
electroneum-wallet-cli --generate-from-view-key NEWWALLET
…and replace NEWWALLET with any name you would like to call your wallet (this will store the wallet in a password-protected file with the same name for easy access later).
It will now ask you for the Standard Key – which is your paper wallet’s public wallet key. Copy the key from your paper wallet, paste it in a text file, and remove the spaces. Then copy the entire key, move back to the command prompt, right-click anywhere and select Paste. Press Enter to move to the next step.
NOTE: Make sure to remove all spaces from these keys. If you don’t, the program will end and you’ll need to start again.
It will now ask you for the View key – which is your paper wallet’s private view key. Perform the same steps as above, copying the private view key of your paper wallet and pasting it into the command prompt without spaces.
You’ll now be prompted to create a password. Type in any password and press Enter. Confirm the password by typing it a second time and pressing Enter. Make sure to remember the password if you want to reload the wallet later.
It will now ask you from which block height you wish to restore the wallet, or otherwise a specific date. This might be useful to save you a lot of syncing time. If you’ve just created the wallet a few days ago, there’s no need to run through the entire blockchain from the start. Simply specify a date one or two days before you created the wallet.
If you’re not sure what to do, simply press Enter to load the wallet from the beginning of the blockchain.
The software will now run through the blockchain on your computer and check every transaction to determine if it belongs to your wallet. This is called “restoring” your wallet. You’ll see the progress as it goes.
When it has finished restoring your wallet, the software might inform you that your blockchain has become outdated since the time you started the restoring process. It will ask you permission to download the newest blocks and process them as well.
Finally, it will show you a message with your paper wallet’s balance (the true amount of ETN in the wallet) and unlocked balance (the amount of ETN that can be spent at the moment).
Note that your unlocked balance might be less than the normal balance (or even zero) for a short while after you’ve sent a transaction. This helps to “lock in” some funds to prevent double spending while the transaction is busy processing. It should return to normal soon.
The first time I ran this, my wallet balance did not reflect the 5 ETN I transferred to the wallet a few minutes before, since the blockchain has not synced entirely to my computer. In that case, it was necessary to refresh the wallet.
You might need to type “refresh” at the command line to refresh the wallet.
To see the balance of your wallet once again, type “balance” at the command line.
Note that this method is also only good for showing incoming transactions. It does not take into account any ETN that was spent. This is because the privacy controls allow only the owner of the private spend key to know the transactions that were spent.
To see the actual balance of your wallet, taking into account both incoming and outgoing transactions, you’ll need to load a full wallet into the command line.