How to Recover Crypto Transferred to the Wrong Network on Binance

by BSC News

April 13, 2021


Binance users often make the mistake of sending their assets to the wrong blockchain network. Though it usually causes intense anxiety, especially if a substantial amount of money is involved, there are ways to recover those assets.

Introduction to Tokens

When moving funds using your Binance account, make sure you always confirm the network you wish to withdraw from or deposit crypto assets to. If people are not careful, they can easily mismatch networks, such as selecting BEP-20 when in fact they intended to select ERC-20. When such happens, one may end up withdrawing or depositing cryptos on the wrong blockchain. 

If the wallet you deposited to supports both ERC-20 and BEP-20 networks, you can recover your crypto assets on Binance within a few steps. 

What happens if you send funds to the wrong blockchain? First, you need to know the kind of wallet you transferred the funds. A wallet can be either custodial or non-custodial. If you have your wallet's seed phrase or private keys, you have a non-custodial wallet. In contrast, a custodial wallet is the opposite; you normally do not have access to the seed phrase/private keys. 

Differences Between ERC-20 And BEP-20 Explained

Why do people have these sorts of issues in the first place? The simple reason is that different blockchains are designed to work with specific tokens. The ERC-20 and BEP-20 are token standards that provide the necessary guidelines governing the use of a token. They specify rules on how token withdrawals, deposits, and transactions are done. In other words, ERC-20 and BEP-20 are standards that define how tokens interact with everything an a specific network: different wallets, smart contracts, and projects. 

Though the modes of operation of ERC-20 and BEP-20 are similar, they are token standards meant for different blockchains. The ERC-20 is built for use on the Ethereum blockchain, while BEP-20 is for the BSC.

What Should You Do When You Send Funds To The Wrong Network? 

If you happen to make this mistake, there is no reason to be anxious. Many people tend to send ERC-20 tokens like Ethereum to BEP-20 or vise versa. We will consider three possible scenarios where such could happen, and what you could do to resolve it. 

  • Scenario 1: You Transferred Tokens To A Wallet That Supports Both BSC And Ethereum

When this occurs, it is possible to send back the tokens to the correct network on Binance. 

It is relatively straightforward to recover your tokens in this case. First, check the toggle list on your wallet to ensure you have enabled the token. For instance, MetaMask has an 'Add token' feature that allows users to browse through every available coin. Where a desired token is not in the list, a user simply would input the token's contract address to import it. 

Under this category, two methods are useful for recovering your tokens. They are the "Binance Bridge" and the "Manual method."

Binance Bridge 

The Binance Bridge is a tool that allows you to convert your tokens between blockchains. All you need to do is connect your wallet such as MetaMask or Binance Chain Wallet, and then you choose what tokens you intend to transfer. However, you will need ETH for Ethereum gas fees or BNB for BSC gas fees to carry out this operation. 

Manual Method

Let us give an illustration. Here we will try to convert BEP-20 ETH back into ERC-20 ETH. The user must have BNB for gas fees. 

Firstly, on your Binance crypto deposit page, select ETH and the deposit network as BEP-20. Note that your funds will be lost if you choose the wrong network. Once you receive the ETH in your Binance account, convert it to ERC-20 by withdrawing it to a wallet that supports the ERC-20 token standard and selecting ERC-20 as your transfer network. This will ensure that your token is correctly transferred to the wallet as ERC-20 ETH.

  • Scenatio 2: You Sent Tokens To A Wallet That Supports Either BSC Or Ethereum. 

In this case, you will need to have the private keys of a wallet that supports both networks.

To recover your tokens, import the private keys of your wallet into a new wallet that accepts both blockchains. You may use a seed phrase or a private key, depending on the type of wallet. When you import a wallet's private key to another wallet, you gain access to its tokens from another wallet. You can then carry out any operation you desire with those tokens. Here is a step-by-step guide to recover your tokens in this category. We will use MetaMask as our preferred wallet for better understanding. 

  1. Download a MetaMask wallet on either Android or IOS and create a new wallet or access your old one if you have one already. 
  2. Create a new account. You will be offered the option to import your old wallet's seed phrase. 
  3. If you own an existing MetaMask account, click the extension pin and then your account profile in the top right-hand corner. 
  4. Click "import wallet" and input the private key of the wallet that has the missing cryptocurrency. After that, click "import" to finalize the process. Another way of doing this is by uploading a JSON file if you have one. 
  5. Manually add the BSC network to your MetaMask account. Navigate to the MetaMask extension pin. Click on it to reveal a dropdown menu. Locate and click custom RPC at the button of the list.
  6. Next, you will need to add details like a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) URL to give MetaMask access to the BSC. This URL allows MetaMask to query information and request transactions from the BNB Chain (BSC).  

To do this, fill in the following details in their specific fields and click 'save'. 

Network Name: BSC Mainnet

New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed1.binance.org/

ChainID: 56

Symbol: BNB

Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com

  1. Add the contract token correctly to your MetaMask Wallet. This will enable your wallet that supports BEP-20 to search for the lost token. If you want to find a list of tokens with their respective contracts, check BscScan.com. For ERC-20 ETH transferred to BSC, you can see its contract token by clicking on Binance-Peg Ethereum Token (ETH).
  2. To prepare yourself for the next step, ensure that you copy the correct contract token and take note of the decimal entry.
  3. Now, select "BSC Mainnet" from the network drop-down menu. Click on "Add Token" followed by clicking "Custom Token."  
  4. Input the Token Contract Address, Token Symbol, and Decimals of Precision. Let us use ETH as a practical demonstration. 

Token Contract Address: 0x2170ed0880ac9a755fd29b2688956bd959f933f8

Token Symbol: ETH

Decimals of Precision: 18

Click "Add Tokens" to confirm.

  1.  If all this is done correctly, you should see your lost tokens. Also, you can then send it back to your BEP-20 wallet address on your Binance account. Moreover, you could choose to convert it to ERC-20 using the Binance Bridge or manual method. 
  • Scenario 3: You Sent Tokens To A Custodial Wallet Or Exchange 

In such case, the chances of recovering the assets are quite slim. You would need to contact your wallet provider or the customer service of the exchange for assistance. While some Custodial wallet providers may charge a fee, others may give out private keys for free. Once there is access to the private keys, you can import them into a BSC-supporting wallet. However, most Custodial wallet providers may decline availing you the private keys. They are not under any obligation to do so.

Conclusion on Misplaced Tokens

The deposit/withdrawal process on Binance can be very tricky. One needs to be careful not to send tokens to the wrong network. Once you understand the whole process, you will be less prone to making such an error. However, In the event that the mistake is made, there is a good chance that the assets can be recovered.  

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