Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What Happens If You Send Crypto To Wrong Address

What Does Immutability Mean

Crypto gone wrong. Sending Crypto to the wrong address. Part 1

When something is immutable, it means that it is permanent and unable to be changed. In blockchains, this is accomplished by cryptography and the hashing process.

Once a transaction is received by the network, it is timestamped and embedded in a block. Blocks are cryptographically secured by a hashing process that links to and incorporates the hash of the previous block. Blocks take place in chronological order, forming a chain – this is why networks in crypto are also known as blockchains.

Once blocks have been hashed, they include metadata from the previous block, and this chronological linking makes the chain unbreakable. Cryptographic hash can’t be reverse-engineered.

Transactions are data that is contained in a block. You can’t modify or delete data once it has been included in a block, because this would break the blockchain. So once a transaction has been included in a block , it cannot be canceled, altered, or reversed.

How To Recover Crypto Transferred To The Wrong Network

1. Recovering funds from wallet that supports ETH and BSC

If you incorrectly sent tokens to a wallet that supports both the blockchains then there shouldnt be a problem in finding your tokens.

Trust wallet by default shows you the tokens so there is no recovery process involved there. If you have sent it to MetaMask then the token wont show up initially. You need to switch to the right networks for the tokens to appear. Use Ethereum Mainnet for ETH and ERC20 transfers. Switch to Binance Smart Chain for BSC and BEP20 tokens.

Binance Smart Chain network is not available on MetaMask by default. Youll have to add them manually and here is how to connect MetaMask wallet to BSC. Even after connecting and switching to BSC if you dont see the token then it could be a custom token which youll have to add it manually. Here is how to add custom tokens to MetaMask. But remember to use BSC scan to fetch the contract address.

Once added the lost token should appear in your wallet.

2. Recovering funds from wallet that only supports ETH or BSC

If the wallet where you sent your tokens to only supports ERC 20 or BEP 20 then you need to access the private keys. Export the private keys and import it into a wallet that supports both the blockchains.

Once the private key / mnemonic seed is imported choose the right network and you should see your lost tokens which you sent from Binance. The tokens will show up in your wallet balance.

No Refunds On Bitcoin

Bitcoin functions as a peer-to-peer cash system and store-of-value. Since Bitcoin operates as pure code and its decentralized nature, there is no way to provide refunds to users. For these reasons, you must take extra care before you send your sweet Satoshis out. The internet is filled with horror stories of millions in Bitcoin lost forever due to simple human error.

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$45 Million In Btc Lost

One of the largest losses ever incurred due to wrongly sent funds happened back in June 2014. In this incident, an investor known only by their Reddit handle, TheDJFC, sent 800 Bitcoin to the wrong address. He explained in his post that he was moving the coins between wallets when he accidentally selected the wrong address.

After posting his struggle on Reddit, a helpful user came to his rescue and located the now bountiful Bitcoin address owner. Sadly, the address belonged to the defunct exchange Mt.Gox. Consequently, he was unable to retrieve any of these coins. In later comments, he explained that he was contacting the exchange to get a refund but to no avail.

At the time, the coins were worth $520,000. Today, these coins are worth around $45,257,600. This incident stands as one of the largest Bitcoin miss-sends to date. However, its hardly the last time Bitcoin was lost on a large scale. Notably, around 2.78 million Bitcoins have been lost since the cryptocurrency was created in 2009, according to a report by Newsweek.

Case : Sending Your Bitcoin To A Differing Blockchain

How to Make Sure You Wont Send Crypto to Wrong Address

This is nearly impossible as almost all wallet clients are implementing a checksum to validate a destination address. If you put say a Litecoin address as the recipient of a Bitcoin transaction, nearly every wallet will say it is an invalid address. This is because each Blockchain has its own way of building an address. Bitcoin wallet addresses start with a 1 whereas that of Litecoin starts with an L.

Multi-signature wallet addresses are an exception to this rule, as Bitcoin and Litecoin multisig wallets often start with a 3. In this particular case, an accidental cross-Blockchain transfer could really happen. If the Blockchain recognizes the address as a valid one, then it is difficult to trace the money. Once the transaction is confirmed by the network, there is no stopping it.

However, if there are no confirmations, one could attempt to resend the transfer to a different address by using the child-pays-for-parent method.

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Situations When Recovery Is Impossible:

  • Withdrawal to a wrong address.

NOTE: The above list is only indicative and in no way a guarantee or commitment that CEX.IO will try to recover your incorrectly sent coins/tokens. We will investigate every case and estimate whether or not we can attempt to recover the funds. This decision remains at the sole discretion of the CEX.IO team. The process of recovery is complicated, time-consuming, and requires much effort from the technical team.

Sending To An Existing Wrong Address

A more likely blunder is sending bitcoin to a valid address other than the one you intended to transfer it to. For example, if you have a list of addresses and want to copy one but unintentionally copy another, you may send it to the incorrect but legitimate address. The transaction will be irreversible if this occurs.

Keep in mind that bitcoin is a form of electronic currency. If you unintentionally give it to the incorrect person, like actual currency, the only way to get it back is if the individual freely returns it. If you provide bitcoin to a friend by mistake, you might be able to persuade them to pay it back to you. However, if you accidentally transmit bitcoin to a stranger, you may be out of luck.

Another method to transfer bitcoin to the wrong address is if your computer is infected with bitcoin-stealing malware. Some viruses identify bitcoin addresses and replace them with their own, causing you to transfer bitcoin to the hacker rather than the intended recipient. One of the reasons we dont advocate using a general-purpose computer for bitcoin is because of infections like this.

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Bitcoin Payments Are Irreversible

A Bitcoin transaction cannot be reversed, it can only be refunded by the person receiving the funds. This means you should take care to do business with people and organizations you know and trust, or who have an established reputation. For their part, businesses need to keep track of the payment requests they are displaying to their customers. Bitcoin can detect typos and usually won’t let you send money to an invalid address by mistake, but it’s best to have controls in place for additional safety and redundancy. Additional services might exist in the future to provide more choice and protection for both businesses and consumers.

What Transactions Are Eligible For Tag/memo Recovery

how to recover crypto sent to wrong address (cryptocurrency, btc, ethereum metamask, trust wallet)
  • Deposit to Binance accounts with wrong or missing tag/memo
  • If you entered the wrong address or tag/memo for your withdrawal, Binance is unable to assist you. Please contact the platform you are withdrawing to for assistance. Your assets might be lost
  • Deposit of crypto that is already listed on Binance. If the crypto youre trying to retrieve is not supported on Binance, please retrieve it via

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What Should I Do When The Crypto Asset I Sent Is Not Received By The Destination Wallet

Blockchain transactions require settlement time. Bitcoin transactions generally take 30 minutes, while other assets take 5-10 minutes. If your transaction takes more than the specified time to complete, you can check your transaction on the Blockchain Explorer.

To access Blockchain Explorer, you can

  • go to the Wallet page
  • Select an asset
  • Go to the Transaction Details page by tapping the transaction which status you want to see Then tap View in Block Explorer.

If the transaction is declared invalid on Blockchain Explorer, please contact our Customer Support and share us your Pintu ID, Pintu Transaction ID, Blockchain Transaction ID, and a screenshot of the Transaction Details page.

If your transaction is declared valid, but hasnt been received by the recipient, please check the transaction with the recipients wallet.

How To Refund A Transaction

This article is originally published for Etherscan but applies to BscScan, PolygonScan, HooScan, HecoInfo, and FTMScan as well.

Some of the most common cases where a refund request is usually submitted are:

  • Sent ETH/tokens to the wrong address
  • Sent the wrong amount of ETH/tokens
  • The transaction took too long
  • The transaction is dropped by the network

Due to the irreversible nature of digital currency protocols, successful transactions cannot be cancelled and are irreversible. As such, when cases such as the above happen, you are most likely to never be able to recover the lost fund.

The only person able to issue a refund is the person holding the coins the owner of the address. If you do not know the owner of the address, there is no other way to retrieve the funds.

There is also no guarantee that anyone has the private key to a certain address, especially if the address has no outgoing transactions. Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution whenever you are sending funds. Always double-check that the address you are sending to matches the address of the recipient exactly. It is best practice to double-check the address before confirm or executing the transaction.

Funds sent wrongly to exchanges may be recovered at the exchanges discretion. Exchanges may be able to help you if you open a support ticket and give them the details they need,i.e., the address you meant to send to, and the transaction hash that went to the wrong address.

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How To Recover Bep20 Tokens Sent To Metamask

If you use MetaMask for storing Ethereum and ERC20 tokens, you can easily recover BEP20 tokens sent to an Ethereum address on MetaMask.

Lets say youve accidentally transferred BEP20 USDT or BEP20 ETH to your MetaMask wallet, the process of recovering these BEP20 tokens is quite simple and straightforward.

First log in to your MetaMask wallet by unlocking it and then click Ethereum Mainnet. After that, click custom RPC among network options to add Binance Smart Chain.

Add Binance Smart Chain to your MetaMask wallet by entering the following information:

  • Network Name: Smart Chain
  • Symbol: BNB
  • Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com

Now youve connected your MetaMask wallet to Binance Smart Chain. But, the BEP20 token that youve transferred to your Ethereum address may still not be visible.

In that case, you should manually add that token to MetaMask using the custom token option on MetaMask.

To add a custom BEP20 token to MetaMask, click the add token button and then click the custom token tab on MetaMask.

Lets say you want to add BEP20 USDT to MetaMask, you can get the contract address, token symbol and the decimals from BscScan.

First visit BscScan and then search the BEP20 token that youve transferred to MetaMask by mistake and want to add to MetaMask manually.

You can see the contract address and other information for the token that you want to add to MetaMask as shown in the image below.

Adding BEP20 USDT to MetaMask:

What Could Go Right

What Happens If You Send Your Coins to the Wrong Address ...

Each address has a fixed format and can be validated. Bitcoin addresses have between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters. It is possible that the address was so badly mangled that the transaction was rejected since the string of characters itself did not meet the criteria for a Bitcoin address. Breathe a huge sigh of relief and try again with the correct address!

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What Has Happened To My Cryptocurrencies

Sending crypto to the wrong network can happen only if the addresses have the same format, i.e. the blockchains are compatible with each other. If your crypto asset is on the wrong network, it wont be operable for any purpose it serves. For instance, if you send Ether to BSC, it wont work with DApps, NFTs, and smart contracts.

The most reported cases come from users who have sent Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash wallet and holders of tokens built on Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain.

If youve sent crypto from and to an independent hardware wallet, itll be almost impossible to narrow down the recipient. The situation is a bit different when dealing with an exchange. Some cryptocurrency exchanges dont offer a recovery option at all while others do, but under terms that are financially inefficient since as they claim the recovery process is excessively long and risky.

Coinbase, for example, hasnt established a clear policy on this matter, while HitBTC transparently distances itself from involving in issues of this type. On the other hand, Bittrex is willing to help you if you accidentally send crypto to another address, but in return, it charges 0.1% BTC for the service. Given the fact that BTC hasnt gone below $25,000 since the beginning of 2020, this compensation seems ridiculously high.

How To Avoid Sending Funds To Wrong Chain / Network

Before you deposit into your Binance account or withdraw from Binance, please pay careful attention to the network type you are choosing. It is easy to confuse between Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain . Just because BEP2/ BEP20 offers lower fees do not choose that.

So which one should I be picking when withdrawing my crypto to a wallet or another exchange?

You should always and only choose the network that is supported by the target exchange or the receiving wallet. To clarify other than Binance most exchanges do not support BEP2 or BEP 20 networks. So if you are sending Ethereum based ERC20 token then choose the ERC20 token standard for transferring. Even though the fees for ERC20 transfers are high.

If you are transferring it to wallet such as MetaMask or Trust wallet then it doesnt matter whether you choose ERC20 or BEP20. Both the wallets supports Binance Smart Chain so you can recover them. Learn how to connect your MetaMask wallet to Binance Smart Chain.

Similarly when depositing to your Binance account it doesnt matter whether you transfer through Ethereum blockchain or BSC. On Binance your deposit address is same for ETH, ERC20 tokens and BEP20 token transfers. Also there is no need of Memo or Payment ID. So the BEP20 or ERC20 tokens that you sent to your Binance account ETH deposit address will show up anyhow.

If youve already made an incorrect deposit or withdrawal then here is what you need to know.

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The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets For Security

While you may accidentally send your cryptocurrencies to the wrong address, what is even worse is getting hacked and losing most or all of your cryptocurrencies.

If you dont have a safe cryptocurrency wallet and use computers that are connected to the internet, you can be hacked and lose your coins.

The most secure cryptocurrency wallets you can use are hardware wallets. If you dont have a hardware wallet yet, check out our Ledger Nano X review below.

You can also use other wallets such as MetaMask and Trust Wallet, but be sure that your computer or mobile device is safe and you dont download random files that may infect your device.

Unlike hardware wallets, desktop and mobile cryptocurrency wallets, aka software wallets, are connected to the internet and more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

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What Happens If I Mistype The Address When Making A Payment


I sent bitcoins to an address, but I think I made a typo when I copied it. Where did these bitcoins go. Can I get them back?

Bitcoin is very resistant to typos because the addresses contain a built-in check code. So if you had simply mistyped a few of the letters or numbers in the address, it’s unlikely the client would have let you send them. If, however, you pasted in a different and valid address, the coins are already transferred to it permanently. In this scenario, Bitcoin works pretty much like cash–there is no way to get it back after giving it away.

  • A note for anyone passing by : nowadays the usual address format is even more resistant to typo.

It is highly unlikely, you made a typo and were still able to send coins. There is a difference between an invalid address and an incorrect address.

All bitcoin wallets/clients check if addresses are valid.Bitcoin addresses are the PubKeyHash encoded in Base58 with a version value and a checksum. The checksum is the leftmost 32 bits of a double hash of the PubKeyHash. The format of the address is often referred to as Base58Checked in technical documents.

To actually lose coins to a typo you would need to produce not just any invalid address, but one that is valid but incorrect and the odds of that happening are almost zero.

Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. If you were connected to the network when you made the transaction, your coins are lost.

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