Digital Identity Blog

FAQ: "What actually happens to crypto getting lost when sent to the wrong address/blockchain?" 🔗

When cryptocurrency is sent to the wrong address or blockchain, several outcomes can occur, depending on the specific circumstances:

  1. Incorrect Address on the Same Blockchain: If the crypto is sent to an incorrect but valid address on the same blockchain, the funds are transferred to that address. If the address is active and the owner is identifiable, you might request them to send it back. However, there's no guarantee that they will comply.

  2. Address Doesn't Exist: If the address doesn't exist, most blockchains will recognize this and the transaction won't be processed. The funds will remain in the sender's wallet. However, this is not always the case; some blockchains might process the transaction and the funds could be lost.

  3. Sent to an Address on a Different Blockchain: If crypto is sent to an address that belongs to a different blockchain, the situation becomes more complex. Generally, blockchains are independent and don't recognize addresses from other networks. In such cases, the funds are usually considered lost. However, if both blockchains are somewhat compatible or if a cross-chain bridge exists, there might be a slim chance of recovery through technical means, but this is often complicated and not always possible.

  4. User Error and Smart Contract Interaction: Sometimes, sending to a smart contract address incorrectly can also result in lost funds, especially if the contract doesn't have a function to return them.

In all cases, the irreversibility of transactions is a fundamental feature of most blockchains. This emphasizes the importance of double-checking addresses before sending crypto. Recovery options are limited and often depend on the goodwill of the receiver (if identifiable) or complex technical interventions, which are not always feasible.

This why Center Identity's wallet app always checks to make sure the address you have entered matches the blockchain, network, and other attributes to ensure the transaction will be successful.

Posted on: 2023-12-21 05:00:16.414000

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