BCH SENT TO A BTC ADDRESS

“What have I done???”

If you have a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet you might be especially interested in our story below, mostly because it has some serious lesson.

What one of our clients went through in the past 6 days was a real nightmare. It all started when he wanted to move some LTC, Dash and BitcoinCash from his Exodus desktop wallet to his Ledger Nano S hardware wallet on Thursday. It didn’t work out the way he planned…

His Litecoin and his Dash got to his Ledger without any problem but his BitcoinCash (BCH) sum did not arrive. He looked back on the transaction process to figure out whether he had made a mistake.

Previously he used the Chrome Ledger Wallet Bitcoin application only for BTC transactions, so after several times that the opening window of the application offered the choice: Bitcoin or BitcoinCash and under the buttons the “remember my choice” option appeared, our client decided to tick the box so next time the process would be one step shorter.

As a result, when he started the application 6 days ago, he connected his Ledger Nano S to the computer and logged in, the application took him automatically to his Bitcoin wallet. But this time he wanted to send BCH to his Ledger for the first time. There is no “back to the opening page” option in the app, so if you are not familiar with the options, it will not be very clear what to do to go back and click on the BitcoinCash wallet button.

Our client thought that if a receive address is all he needed it would work from within his BTC wallet, too, and he will not have to quit his BTC wallet and enter his BCH wallet. What he did was that he clicked on “add an account” and created a new account within his BTC wallet and named it BitcoinCash. He entered this account and clicked on “receive” to get a receive address. He checked the validity of the address that appeared and copied it.

He pasted it in his Exodus wallet, entered the sum of BCH and sent out the transaction. A few minutes later when he started to suspect that something was wrong and looked back on the whole process of BCH sending, he realized that he was a promising nominee for the Crypto Lemon Award of the day.

The address that he copied and pasted was not good for sending BCH to his Ledger wallet. Only Bitcoin could have been sent to that BTC address. So, the BitcoinCash that he sent out was floating weightlessly somewhere in outer space. It seemed that his BCH was lost.

That was the moment when our client turned to us. Our Irish expert, Coin Farrell J got the task to find a solution (if there was a solution out there). According to Ledgerwallet.com, if the BTC receive address is a legacy address, it is easy to retrieve the “lost” BCH. Unfortunately it was not the case. Our client sent his BCH to a segwit BTC address. Well, there is a whole complete chapter on the ledger support website. We started to dig in. At first sight it looked chaotic. We didn’t really understand how to do and what to do. So we went step by step, meticulously following the process description.

It turned out that the link was really worth something, and not only for us. The introduction starts like this: Fee: 10% of the retrieved BCH. If somebody, like our client, was thinking a minute ago that he lost his BCH, having found a ray of hope like this link will not hesitate whether it’s worth 10% for them to get back the remaining 90%. So, our client said yes, we sat down together and clicked on the link:

https://bch.btc.com/docs/help/bch_segwit_recovery

Having got to the end of the process we submitted the required data and waited. We waited for 24 hours. The Ledger’s BCH balance showed no change. We thought it would do no harm to write an e-mail to the website’s support e-mail address. So we asked them politely how long the process usually took to retrieve BCH. Another 24 hours of silence and unchanged BCH balance. After all, we never received an answer to our e-mail but after more than 48 hours of submitting the google form, our client signaled “Success!” That’s how his BCH was lost and found. The process might seem lengthy and complicated but actually it’s not that demanding, and if you can get back (almost all of your) BCH that you sent by error to a segwit BTC address, it’s no question whether it’s worth a try.

Zsolt Balló