Coinbase Introduces Recovery Tool for Lost ERC-20 Tokens: Report

Users will be able to recover more than 4,000 as-yet unsupported Ethereum-based tokens starting in a few weeks, according to TechCrunch.

AccessTimeIconDec 15, 2022 at 4:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 15, 2022 at 5:37 p.m. UTC

U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) has introduced a feature that will help customers recover more than 4,000 as-yet unsupported ERC-20 tokens sent to its ledger, according to a TechCrunch report. An ERC-20 token refers to any cryptocurrency created on the Ethereum blockchain.

“It’s been a pain point for customers who sent ERC-20 tokens to a Coinbase receive address,” Will Robinson, vice president of engineering at Coinbase, told TechCrunch. “When people accidentally sent these assets, they were effectively stuck up until this point.”

The feature will become available in the next few weeks for customers, except those in Japan or users of Coinbase Prime. There will be a 5% recovery fee for amounts over $100 in addition to a separate network fee that applies to all recoveries.

While transfers of ERC-20 tokens aren’t significant, they are popular among developers who want to create their own tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and other users who believe in the networks behind those tokens.

Some of the most popular ERC-20 tokens are uniswap (UNI), aave (AAVE), 0x (ZRX) and chainlink (LINK).

Before the tool was launched, customers who sent unsupported ERC-20 tokens to a Coinbase address would receive a notification saying the funds were delivered, but they weren’t actually sent to the receiver’s wallets. This would cause users to lose those tokens and funds associated with them.

Some of those tokens can now be recovered, according to Coinbase, if users can provide their Ethereum transaction identification for the lost assets and its contact address.

“We make no quality representation of these assets, as they haven’t gone through our review process, but we’re facilitating the returns that accidentally sent it in the first place,” Robinson said.

A recovery for other tokens besides ERC-20-based ones could become available in the future, Coinbase said, but it’s not something the exchange wants to commit to right now.


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Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.