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What Happens If You Send Crypto to the Wrong Address?

What Happens If You Send Crypto to the Wrong Address?
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Crypto addresses are generated from private keys. There are two types of keys: public and private. The crypto wallet usually stores these keys. The public uses the public address for sending and receiving crypto.

How Do You Create a Public Address?

Creating a public address is super easy, especially on a trading platform. You need to sign up and select the create address option. Within a few minutes, you have your address.

These addresses are often in the form of letters and numbers. They are super long and somehow complex to prevent hacking. Sometimes, people make mistakes while typing these addresses. It is experienced when traders try to send crypto to someone else.

So, what happens if you send crypto to the wrong address? Typing the wrong address can result in two things an invalid or incorrect address.

What Is an Invalid and Incorrect Address?

Invalid Address

An invalid address is like an unregistered address. In the crypto world, an invalid address means that the imputed address is inconsistent with the network of your wallet.

This can be because the address has an old format that isn't supported. It can also be that the address format is new, and it’s still not supported. However, entering an invalid address doesn't result in the loss of crypto.

The transaction won't go through, and you will be required to enter the address again. This time make sure you do it right.

Incorrect Address

On the other hand, an incorrect address means that you entered the wrong address. Not only was the address wrong, but it was valid. Meaning its format was supported, and the address has an owner.

In this case, you are likely to lose your crypto unless you know the owner. If you don't, you can identify and try tracing who is the owner of the address. However, this is super tricky as no human information is offered on the blockchain. Maximum care is a must when sending crypto.

Transfer  Between Blockchains

You can also key in the wrong address when sending funds to a blockchain. Maybe you wanted to send funds to Bitcoin. Then you unknowingly type an Ethereum address; what will happen? Will you lose your funds?

You won’t lose your funds as the address will be declared invalid. Most blockchains have unique addresses that begin with a specific character. However, there are blockchains whose addresses begin with the same character.

For example, Bitcoin and Litecoin addresses begin with "3". If you want to send your funds to Litecoin and key in a Bitcoin address, the funds will go through. It’s impossible to cancel the transaction, but you can still retrieve your funds.

The only problem is that retrieving funds consumes a lot of time. However, you can always set up a commission to speed things up.


Cross-checking an address before sending crypto is a crucial part. Besides, you get to avoid the problems associated with wrong addresses, especially losses.