Over $500 Million Has Been Accidentally Sent to Ethereum’s Genesis Address
This may happen because many wallets have this as a default address.
It’s known that some users have been sending Bitcoin to the cryptocurrency’s genesis address as a way of acknowledging Satoshi. The same is happening with Ethereum’s genesis address, not to acknowledge the Vitalik Buterin’s genius, but simply due to user error.
0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 is an easy address to remember and also an easy one to enter by mistake. It’s also a dangerous one that has received without intention over $500 million in ERC20 tokens and $6 million in Ether. Also, some wallets used to have this as a default address until the user configures his actual address.
Users that forgot to input an address
For instance, a Reddit user asks the community if there is a way to get back the golem he accidentally sent to the genesis address. He was transferring his tokens from his Ethereum wallet to his ledger nano s and he forgot to input an address before hitting the send button. Apparently, Ethereum wallet sends to the genesis address as a default.
Further, another user claims to have sent his entire savings of 1,493 Ether there in error. In total, the genesis address has received over 750 transactions in 3 years, and today it holds more than 7,000 ETH worth of $6 million, and over 200 ERC20 tokens worth of $517 million! While some of these tokens were sent on purpose to public ETH addresses, the majority of them were transferred there by mistake. In cryptocurrency’s earliest days, the address received mostly Ether, including transactions of 100 ETH at a time, at a time when the coin was cheap. Later, as Ethereum projects started to take off, the stream of ETH gave way to ERC20 tokens. Currently, this address holds 750,000 Golem, 33,000 Aeternity, 9.5 million Bytom, almost half a million BAT, and many more.
Can a user take his tokens back if he sent them by mistake?
Considering that the founders of the project can still access the private key for this address, it seems to be possible setting up a smart contract that automatically returns everything sent to it. Until that time, the genesis address will keep absorbing tokens on a regular basis.
Also read: Virtual Tokens Rise While SEC Bears Down