A watch-only wallet is perfect for users who want a high-security savings account. It is a two-app-setup where the seed (containing spending keys) is stored securely in one app, and the public keys in another.
The app with the seed is kept under heavy encryption or offline, and is not accessed regularly. The app with the public keys is used regularly, and has the capabilities to generate new receiving addresses and view balances.
The only downside to this setup is that the coins in the watch-only wallet can’t be spent immediately. In order to spend, the seed must be exported into a “normal” wallet. For this reason, a watch-only wallet is perfect for #hodlgang users that plan on holding onto coins for a long time.
If I hypothetically owned any Bitcoin… 😉 I would hypothetically keep 90% of my coins in a Qvault + Sentinel watch-only setup, and the other 10% I would keep in a hot wallet (like Samourai) for regular spending. I like to think of them as saving and checking accounts respectively.
Download the Apps
Download Qvault for your computer: https://qvault.io
Qvault is a password manager that has a built-in Bitcoin wallet generator. It is an open source app that can be used offline or online. If you use it on an offline machine, hacks become nearly impossible. If you use it online and sync your encrypted vault to Qvault’s cloud, then it is easy to keep multiple backups.
Download Sentinel for your Android Phone from the play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samourai.sentinel&hl=en_US
Sentinel is a watch-only wallet for android. It will allow you to generate new Bitcoin addresses for your wallet and view your balances, all without having access to the sensitive private keys.
After downloading Qvault, create a new vault. If you have Qvault cards (for enhanced recovery and encryption options) then follow the instructions to set them up. Otherwise, click skip for now and set a new master password or passphrase. That master password is known only by you and is used to encrypt the Bitcoin seed (and other vault contents) that will be stored in your vault.
Use a password that you will remember! If you forget the password and don’t have a recovery card setup, you won’t be able to get back into your vault!
If you want to keep a copy of your encrypted vault file in the cloud, then sign up for a free cloud account using a valid email address. If you are going to stay offline, then be sure to save a copy of the encrypted .qvault file on a USB drive or another machine.
Generate the Wallet
Add a crypto wallets box in the app and click the ‘+‘ sign in the box to add a new wallet. Continue through the steps to finish setting up the wallet and at the end of the process you will have a new Bitcoin wallet that looks like this:
The ‘seed’ contains the spending keys for your new wallet, and will remain safely in the password manager. If you don’t feel that have have enough digital backups, or are worried about forgetting your Qvault password, then it would be a good idea to also write the seed down on paper just in case.
Open the sentinel app on your phone, and you should be presented with:
To create a segwit wallet (recommended), choose the bottom option and tap the icon to scan a QR code. In the Qvault app, click the dropdown menu on the ZPub entry, and select “Show QR”.
By scanning the public key, your sentinel app will NOT be able to spend your coins, but it will be able to view balances and receive coins.
You are ready to go! You can use Sentinel on your phone daily to receive new coins and view your balance, all without ever decrypting the seed which is kept safely in your vault.
Keep your seed safe. If someone gets a hold of your seed, they can steal all of your coins. Keep it encrypted in your vault, and avoid copying it to your computer’s clipboard.
Don’t lose your seed. Ensure your encrypted ‘.qvault’ file exists on multiple devices. You can keep a backup on Qvault’s cloud from within the app automatically, on a USB stick, or on another device.
Don’t forget your Qvault master password. If you forget your password you won’t be able to recover access to your vault, and consequently your coins could be lost. We recommend purchasing Qvault cards (available soon) and setting up a recovery code just in case.
Use strong encryption. The longer the password or passphrase, the stronger the encryption on the vault will be. We recommend purchasing Qvault cards (available soon) and setting up dual encryption with the key card.
Thank you for reading and good luck!
By Lane Wagner @wagslane
Download Qvault: https://qvault.io
Star our Github: https://github.com/q-vault/qvault