I’ve sent BCH to BTC address

Bitcoin Questions and AnswersCategory: General questionsI’ve sent BCH to BTC address
Kevin asked 2 weeks ago

Last updated on November 19th, 2017 at 05:47 pm

Despite knowing that you should never send Bitcoin (BTC) to a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) address or vice versa, whilst in a rush on a very busy day I accidentally sent some BCH from my exchange account to a BTC address on my Trezor.
The BTC address was Segwit (-3 address) and according to the customer service of both the exchange (CEX) and the wallet (Trezor), it’s not possible to access the coins.
Do you know if there’s anything I can do to get my coins back?
Kind regards,

3 Answers
Steven Hay answered 2 weeks ago

Hi Kevin,
My understanding is that it’s not possible to recover the BCH. This is because BCH doesn’t feature SegWit. If they’d gone to a standard Bcash 1-address, then your BTC private key would worked to access them. However, as the BCH wallet can’t understand SegWit address format, they’re lost.

Kevin replied 2 weeks ago

Hi Steven,

Many thanks for your reply, it’s really appreciated. Just to let you know I didn’t get an email to let me know there had been a reply, as I think that’s supposed to happen, otherwise I would have responded sooner.

Someone has suggested the following possible solution to my predicament, and I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on it?

They told me that BCH and BTC share the same address and key system but hardware wallets generate different private keys for each. They gave me an address of a site that has a BIP39 Mnemonic code converter/generator (https://iancoleman.io/bip39/) and said I could enter my seed/passphrase here to generate the key and address I sent the BCH to in BTC mode and then copy that private key and import it in to a BCH wallet, then send the funds to a new address. They mentioned that I should only enter my seed/passphrase in to this site in offline mode.

I’m not sure i’ve understood correctly, but I think they are saying that to recover the coins I need the private key for the address that I sent the BCH to, and since I own the wallet and have the seed I should be able to generate the private key. My immediate thoughts were to be wary of entering my seed to a website, but thought that if I did this on a computer disconnected from the internet it should be ok. However having read your reply, i’m wondering if this solution would only work if the BTC address had been a 1-address instead of a 3-address (segwit) and that perhaps this person hasn’t fully understood my situation.

One other person has also told me that if Segwit were to be implemented on BCH in the future i’d be able to access my coins then. From the limited knowledge I have, I don’t think this is ever likely to happen, do you?

Any advice would be gratefully received. It was a large sum of BCH that I transferred so i’m really hoping there is a way to get access to them.

Kind regards,

Steven Hay replied 2 weeks ago

Oops, I meant standard *Bitcoin* 1-address. Sorry for any confusion.

Steven Hay answered 2 weeks ago

Hey Kevin,
I agree that SegWit in Bcash is highly unlikely. Their ostensible reason for forking from Bitcoin was that they didn’t want SegWit and believed bigger blocks were the superior scaling option. I think the chances of them impementing SegWit any time soon are practically zero.
As for using this code… It doesn’t *appear* to be malicious, given that it’s open source from a coder with a variety of other projects. Provided you do this on an offline computer and never allow that computer to go online in the future, it shouldn’t be *too* risky… But there’s always a degree of risk involved in messing about with your private keys. It might not be this particular software which gets you, there are various other problems which could arise. If you got your Bcash for free in the fork, it’s probably better just to write it off…
I don’t believe it will work in any case. If you import your Bitcoin private key into a Bcash wallet, sure, you’ll get access to the addresses it controls. The problem is that this 3-address won’t be readable by the Bcash wallet. You won’t be able to use the Bcash wallet to send the funds and, even if you could, the Bcash network won’t accept the transaction…
You can try requesting further help on reddit.com/r/btc, I did see a Trezor thread from someone who  experienced this same problem:

As Spudowiar says, you’d need to be or trust a Bcash miner to be able to retrieve the coins… Spudowiar is an expert on this stuff, you can trust what he says.
BTCTroubador from that thread then started one on r/btc, to see if this miner thing could be arranged. You can add your voice there, might help:

Attention, benevolent BCH miners: A BCH segwit-recovery service is sorely needed! from btc

anthony replied 1 day ago

Hi, I managed to make the same mistake, and now I’m trying to find a way to recover the money, have you found any solution?

Kevin replied 2 weeks ago

Hey Steven,

I actually reached out to btctroubador via a private message on reddit earlier today, mainly just to thank him for putting in the effort to try to find a solution to this problem. The amount of negative comments he’s received on that post baffles me, most people seem to just want to have an argument about which cryptocurrency is the best or who is to blame for this situation, rather than just trying to find a possible solution. Thankfully there are still some helpful people like btctroubador and yourself around!

I agree that there’s practically 0% chance of seeing segwit on BCH, and I also agree that the potential solution I mentioned in my previous post wouldn’t work because of the reasons you’ve described (would work on 1- address but not 3-). Unfortunately I think the only possible way of getting the coins back would be via a benevolent BCH miner (for which i’d happily pay 10% of coins recovered), but I don’t know any miners. I’ll keep following those threads but i’m beginning to lose hope of getting them back.

Thank you again for your advice, it really is much appreciated.

Kind regards,

anthony answered 1 day ago

Hi, I made the same mistake, I’m currently trying to find a way to recover the funds, have you found any solution?
Thank you!

Steven Hay replied 4 hours ago

Hey Anthony,

Unfortunately I’m not aware of any progress on this issue, except for the fact that Bcash intends to change their address format in future (I believe January was mentioned). This should prevent this problem occurring, although I realise this doesn’t help you with your particular case. I believe the Bcash dev(s) should have made this change in the original code, as it was predictable that these errors would occur.

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