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I’ve realized, if you want to check the balance of a cold storage address, you can setup a view only wallet in the Monero GUI client.

How does this compare with using Onion Monero Blockchain Explorer via clearnet version - Explore Monero (not to be confused with Monero Explorer) in a Tor Browser?

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Monero isn't like Bitcoin, so you can't just go to a block explorer and enter in your wallet address and ask the block explorer to tell you what funds you own.

Monero needs to perform computation on every single transaction in the blockchain to scan for incoming transactions. The block explorer won't do this for you, so you don't be able to use it to see your balance.

  • If you go to exploremonero.com/deposit you can enter your transaction ID, deposit address, and view key. – daryldavisjr Jul 16 '18 at 20:32
  • Yes, you're right that would work. But you'd need to know the incoming transaction ids. If e.g. you receive money from an exchange to your cold wallet, and the exchange doesn't tell you the transaction id, then you won't be able to know if funds have been received. The block explorer also won't be able to tell you if the funds that you've received have subsequently been spent by checking for key images. – knaccc Jul 17 '18 at 1:57

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