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Author Topic: If i send my bitcoins to a wrong address, what happens?  (Read 10168 times)
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January 21, 2014, 03:28:43 PM

Yes you lose them unless the stranger is kind enough to send them back.

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Reply with quote  #2

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January 21, 2014, 04:09:48 PM

Finally they let me post on here...  I learned the hard way and believe this post should be resurrected for newbs to the currency.  Don't let the "coin" part of bitcoin fool you into thinking it's not worth much.  On the other hand, realize that it is "coin".  Just like giving a rare coin to a homeless guy on the street, you MAY never see it again if you make a mistake...

I think a reason bitcoin is so difficult to understand for newbies is because it's name is so misguiding. Bitcoin is not a coin. It is not a physical thing. You can't touch it or hold it. It acts like cash but it in no way resembles cash. It's simply numbers assigned to addresses and that's it.

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Peter Lambert
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January 21, 2014, 04:16:48 PM

If that happens on a regularly basis I might switch to "mine" addresses by creating new ones until I get one of those "forever lost" coins.

I've thought about that - I believe generating batches of keys and scanning the blockchain for keys with a balance is going to be prohibitively expensive. As in, not entirely unlike the lottery of running a solo cpu miner, but with vastly more variance in the payoff.

If you solo mine with a cpu you might get a block within 200 years which contains a few bitcoins plus transaction fees. If you generate keys of addresses and check to see if they hold anything, you might get a hit within 500000 years worth a few millibits or microbits.

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January 21, 2014, 05:10:01 PM

It's simply numbers assigned to addresses and that's it.

It's not even that.  Numbers assigned to addresses is an abstraction that we humans use to make discussions about transfer of value easier.  Technically, the value is represented as a number that is encumbered with a requirement that must be met before being allowed to divide up and encumber portions of that number with a requirement of their own.
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January 21, 2014, 07:28:24 PM

if you do.  just send an email to the owner of the incorrect answer and request your dough back?  why would there be an error?

btw there's a checksum in case you get one letter/number wrong.  but why would that happen? 
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