When performing any type of transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, whether that’s trading tokens, buying NFTs, or anything else—it’s important to remember that all those actions are fully public. If someone knows your wallet address, they can look up your entire transaction history on a utility like Etherscan. We think that’s a good thing overall!
Venmo might have removed their public activity feed, but knowing how to read the blockchain can feel like the Venmo feed on steroids, because of all the different tokens and transaction types.
In some cases, people forget all of their activity is public and accidentally implicate themselves in wrongdoing, like the infamous case of a product manager at NFT marketplace OpenSea insider trading.
There’s lots of ways to keep tabs on Ethereum wallets, like:
Why would I watch someone else’s Ethereum wallet?
There’s a variety of reasons you might want to monitor a wallet, like…
- To learn about different types of Ethereum transactions
- To learn about different types of tokens and projects
- To keep up to date on what is trending or cool among a group of people
How to find ETH wallets to watch
Watching an ETH wallet is not something you need to get consent for.
You can watch anyone’s wallet address that you know, and often Ethereum addresses are aliased under easy to remember names called ENS (Ethereum Name Service) Domains.
Watch your friends’ ETH addresses
Watching your friends’ Ethereum wallets is a fun way to keep tabs on your friends–a kind of next level social network—and is also a great way to get started in web3.
You (presumably) trust your friends, and can always ask them to explain what you see as you’re watching. What’s that new token? Tell me about your new NFT?
Search Twitter for a “Drop Your ENS” thread and follow everyone who replied
A popular way to promote NFT or web3 projects is to ask people to share their Ethereum addresses on Twitter. If you search “drop your ENS” you can see countless prompts.
You can scrape these threads for interesting people and watch their wallets. One result of doing this is that you will start to observe trends in socially connected groups outside of your immediate friend circle.
Watch whale addresses or influencers
Many well known influencers in the Ethereum community make their addresses public.
The easiest way to find the addresses of big names? The ETH Leaderboard. This leaderboard shows you all of the top followed accounts on Twitter who have made ENS their display name.
Things to watch out for when watching ETH wallets
The biggest difference between the public Venmo feed and watching the Ethereum blockchain is that there’s only one medium of exchange—fiat dollars—on Venmo, and that medium exchange is closely regulated. You know that if you see John send Julie $10 on Venmo for tacos—John definitely sent Julie $10.
With Ethereum, it’s not as straightforward. There’s so many different types of transactions and tokens, and it might look like someone did something — but they didn’t.
Not all transactions are valid
You don’t need consent to watch a wallet address, and you don’t need consent to send something to a wallet address either. People send tokens and NFTs to wallets they know are often watched to try and promote their projects. In actuality, the influencers did not initiate the transaction.
Some of you have messaged me asking me why I am buying XYZ and what's the play? If you are going to wallet watch me you need to make sure I am actually initiating the transaction. The screenshot is ALL projects I am NOT minting. They are SCAMS that others mint to my wallet. pic.twitter.com/WTypqC5unN— Wappy (@Wappy_eth) January 21, 2022
Always use a careful eye when watching wallets, and verify transactions through Etherscan.
It’s easy to fall victim to FOMO
Finally, just because someone else does it, doesn’t mean you need to do it, and wallet watching can trigger your worst impulses. Remember that you don’t need to ape into every move you see your friends, VCs, or influencers make.
Just because you know one wallet address affiliated with a person does not mean you know all the wallet addresses affiliated with a person, and you may be trying to copy someone without knowing the full extent of their financial activity.