There are many different cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks in the cryptocurrency market.
Because of that, when you make a transaction, you may accidentally send coins to the wrong address which can happen to anyone, even experienced users.
As addresses of some cryptocurrencies that belong to different networks are compatible with each other, it is quite common to send coins to a different network by mistake.
In this guide, I will give you information on common cryptocurrency transaction mistakes and show you how to recover coins sent to the wrong address.
How to recover Bitcoin sent to a Bitcoin Cash address?
Bitcoin Cash has mainly two address formats: Legacy address and CashAddr address (Cash address).
CashAddr is Bitcoin Cash’s new address format and is different than the address format of Bitcoin.
So you simply can’t send Bitcoin to a CashAddr address as the address format of BTC and CashAddr are not compatible with each other.
But Bitcoin Cash’s legacy address format which looks like a regular Bitcoin address is still widely used. So you can actually send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash address by mistake.
If the Bitcoin Cash address to which you’ve sent Bitcoin belongs to an exchange, you should contact the exchange and provide relevant information such as TXID.
Depending on the policy of the exchange, your coins may be recovered with a certain amount of fee that will be used to cover transaction fees or left stuck in the address forever.
If you own the Bitcoin Cash address and the private key too, you can simply import your private key into a Bitcoin wallet such as Electrum and recover your Bitcoin.
How to recover Bitcoin sent to an Ethereum address?
As address formats of Bitcoin and Ethereum are not compatible with each other, you can’t basically send Bitcoin to an Ethereum address.
But there are a few exceptions to that. First, there are some ERC20 tokens that are backed by and represent Bitcoin such as WBTC and BBTC.
Second, if you’re withdrawing from an exchange, even if the transaction has not been made, the Bitcoin you’re trying to withdraw might be deducted from your balance, which is very rare though.
If you’ve sent tokens like WBTC and BBTC to an Ethereum address, you can simply ask the exchange to return tokens to your Ethereum address if they are not supported on the exchange.
How to recover tokens sent to the BEP20 address?
BEP20 tokens on Binance Smart Chain has an address format that just looks like and is compatible with Ethereum addresses.
Besides that, transaction fees on Binance Smart Chain are extremely low compared to the Ethereum network which is notorious with its very high gas fees.
So you may send ETH or tokens to a BEP20 address by mistake just because they use the same address format or due to the low transaction fees the BSC network offers.
When you withdraw Ethereum or an ERC20 token from Binance, you may be mistaken due to low fees and withdraw tokens using BEP20 as your transfer network.
Though there are reminders on Binance’s withdrawal page about the transfer network, it could still happen and there are some ways to recover tokens withdrawn using BEP20.
After importing your private key into a wallet that supports the BSC network, you also need to send some BNB to that address to cover transaction fees.
Binance Coin (BNB) is used to pay for transaction fees on Binance Smart Chain. If you use Binance, you can withdraw some BNB using the BEP20 network to that address.
Once you have enough BNB in your wallet, you can send the token back to any BEP20 address you want.
If you want to transfer it back to your Binance account, you should first get your BEP20 deposit address for that token on Binance.
Sometimes, the token may not be visible on your MetaMask wallet though you’ve connected MetaMask to Binance Smart Chain.
In that case, you need to add the token to your MetaMask wallet manually using the ”custom token” option. To learn how to add a custom token to MetaMask, you can refer to our MetaMask tutorial.
If you don’t own the private key to your Ethereum address, you should contact the provider of that address, whether it is an exchange or a custodial wallet.
To learn how to use and trade on Binance, check out the tutorials below:
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.
Let’s say you’ve 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
- New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
- ChainID: 56
- Symbol: BNB
- Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
Now you’ve connected your MetaMask wallet to Binance Smart Chain. But, the BEP20 token that you’ve 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.
Let’s 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 you’ve 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:
- Token contract address: 0x55d398326f99059ff775485246999027b3197955
- Token symbol: BUSD-T
- Decimals: 18
After adding the BEP20 token to MetaMask manually, you can view the token and the balance on your MetaMask wallet.
If you want to transfer it to another BEP20 address, you need some Binance Coin (BNB) in your address to cover transaction fees.
You can withdraw a small amount of BNB from Binance using BSC (BEP20) network to your Ethereum / BEP20 address.
After that, you can transfer the token back to Binance or any other BEP20 address. If you want to transfer it to a cryptocurrency exchange, make sure that exchange supports BEP20 deposits.
You can also use Binance Bridge to transfer your BEP20 tokens to the Ethereum network.
Sending XRP without tag
If you’ve sent XRP to an exchange without a tag or with a wrong tag, you should contact the exchange and provide TXID and other details about your transaction.
When you use no tag in your XRP transaction, your coins are not lost. But, as there is no tag in the transaction, the exchange can’t identify the owner of the coins.
As a result of that, the coins will not be credited to your account though the transaction is successful.
You should just contact the support and provide required information about your deposit. Once you’ve done that, coins should be credited to your account.
Sending Stellar without MEMO
Cryptocurrency exchanges require users to include a MEMO in their Stellar transfers to identify the sender and credit coins to the correct account.
If you’ve made a Stellar transfer to an exchange without a MEMO, you should contact the support of the exchange and provide required information about your deposit.
How to recover Tether (USDT) sent to a Bitcoin address?
Tether uses the Omni Protocol which is based on Bitcoin and has the same address format with Bitcoin.
Because of that, it is possible to send USDT to a Bitcoin address by mistake.
USDT is also available on other blockchains such as Ethereum, Tron and Binance Smart Chain. But, if you’re using an OMNI address, such mistake may happen.
If you’ve sent USDT to a Bitcoin address of an exchange by mistake, you should contact the support. But it is less likely that your USDT will be recovered as the networks are different.
Though it is technically possible to recover USDT sent to a Bitcoin address by mistake, when you send a coin to a totally different blockchain, exchanges are less helpful.
If it is your own Bitcoin address and you have the private key, you can import your private key into OmniWallet and access your USDT.
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 don’t 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 don’t 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 don’t 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.
Check out Ledger Nano X and other wallet reviews: