Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News

Over $500 million’s Worth of ERC20 tokens Sent to Ethereum’s First Address by Mistake


When it comes to genesis blocks in the crypto world, their symbolism is everything. Since they represent the beginning of a new cryptocurrency, the maiden block will always stick in the hearts of its users and be referenced reverentially. One of the most notable in this case is Ethereum’s first address. It didn’t help that it is the most memorable of all with 0x, then 40 zeroes. Based on this aspect alone, it has unintentionally received over $500 million in ERC20 tokens and $6 million of Ether.

The Interesting Relationship Between the Tech Savvy and the Religious

As much as tech-savviness and atheism have hitherto been seen to be synonymous, the religious undertones tend to get stronger when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Simply put, crypto is becoming a god for the geeks, considering the opposing dogma adopted by both little and big blockers, and the hard forks which cause schisms.

Previous reports have indicated that people have indeed been sending Bitcoins to its maiden address but as a way to acknowledge the mysterious founder, Satoshi. However, for Ethereum, the case is different as the transactions have not been a bid to reward the efforts of Vitalik Buterin and his group, but are instead the result of sending error. This is mostly because of the address’ ease in sticking in the minds of most people.

0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 et Voila!

What an easy number to remember. In most cases, all it will take for someone to enter the address is rest their finger on the zero button. Within a split second you will be bidding your ERC20 tokens goodbye as they fly away to an address you never intended to send them to. Interestingly, some wallets used to have this address as default before they was configured. This means that if you forgot to enter your specific address, your tokens would go to Ethereum’s maiden address.

This problem seems to be widespread as seen from a comment from one Reddit user:

Is there any way to get the golem I sent to [the genesis address] back? I was transferring my tokens from my ethereum wallet to my ledger nano s and forgot to input an address before hitting send. Ethereum wallet apparently sends to [the genesis address] as a default. Has this happened to anyone else?

In fact, there have even been cases of users sending their entire savings to this address in error. As a result of this, this address has since received over 750 transactions within three years alone.

Well, for BTC, it is understandable that it cannot be retrieved because of the disappearance of Satoshi as well as its complicated architecture. For Ethereum however, it is possible to retrieve the funds as long as the founders have access to the address’ private key.

Do you think it is ethically right for Ethereum to keep holding these funds even with the possibility of them being retrieved? Should they be compelled to do so or simply advise users to be more careful when entering their address? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.