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Question: I was thinking of purchasing a cold wallet for offline storage.

  1. Does the sending of bitcoins from my cold wallet require me to first download the entire blockchain to my pc in order to validate my balance?

  2. Also, I have read that the blockchain includes the latest balance after every transaction, which make sense, but I also read that the blockchain does not include the latest balance. So just curious which is correct.

Thank you very much, Andy

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You won't be sending bitcoins from your cold wallet because it has to be offline to be cold and you have to be online to send bitcoins. So when you need to send bitcoins you will need to use some other wallet (in another machine that isn't offline).

You could use a wallet like Electrum that downloads only the headers of the blocks, requesting far less space and far less time, or an online walletwhich takes no time but is generally regarded as a less secure option.

As for point 2 it does not techincally store your balance. The balance of your account is the sum of all transaction in which coins were sent to you that you have not spent yet.

To avoid looking at the whole blockchain to calculate your amount a list of unspent transaction is kept in memory, so that you will only have to look through that to know your balance.

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