How can I recover BTC sent to BCH or vice versa?

Freewallet usually supports cross-chain transactions via smart exchanges. So when you post, for example, an Ethereum address in your Bitcoin wallet, we provide you with an exchange service, converting Bitcoin to Ethereum on the go.

Our system has an integrated address validator. Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses are different and the system understands it. Some addresses, however, are of the same format, and no validator can see the difference. In the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks, addresses looks the same as well. This is common for the coins that forked from the main network, such as BTC-BCH, ETH-ETC, and others.

You can’t transfer coins from the BTC to BCH network without exchanging them, and if you are sending your BCH to a Bitcoin address without conversion, your coins will not leave the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Good news! Your coins aren’t lost (if they weren’t sent to a Segwit address). Every BTC address has the same alias in the BCH network: that’s how forks work. To access your coins you need to access that address. Here is a brief guide to start:

  1. Check the transaction in your wallet - if it was a smart exchange, it will be marked.
  2. Check the destination wallet address in both chains. Use any blockchain explorer. Find the destination address there.
  3. You will probably see that the amount you’ve sent is there - now let’s retrieve it.
  4. You need to understand who has access to this address. The answer is simple: someone who has the access to the similar address in the destination network also has the access to this address. Usually, it’s a wallet or an exchange provider.
  5. If your wallet provides you with a private/public key pair, you can access your funds yourself. If you are using a hosted wallet, you need to contact its support.

Once again: if, for example, you tried to send coins from the BCH Freewallet to a Coinbase BTC wallet and the exchange has not been completed, you need to contact Coinbase to access your coins (as the Bitcoin address is managed by their service). Unfortunately, this will be your responsibility as we can’t prevent our users from sending Bitcoin Cash to Bitcoin addresses or vice versa.

Here is what Freewallet will do to fix the problem:

  1. We are writing a step-by-step guide right now.
  2. We posted a notification in our app with a warning about BTC-BCH transactions.
  3. We are going to contact other wallets and service providers to find a way to manage this issue in the future, as more and more hard forks are going to happen.

P.S. Don't worry If your funds are stuck at a Freewallet address, we'll try to make a refund. In that case, the estimated time frame for recovering coins is given in our Terms of Use.

IMPORTANT: Please note that we won’t be able to recover Bitcoin Cash sent to a Segwit Bitcoin address (starting with 3). A BCH network vulnerability revealed recently allows anyone to claim such funds even without the access to the recipient’s private key.


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