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Coinbase announces new asset recovery tool for ERC-20 tokens


  • Coinbase’s new asset recovery tool will enable users to recover almost 4,000 unsupported ERC-20 tokens  

  • We’re delivering a self-service tool that makes asset recovery a simple step-by-step process while protecting the private keys for customer deposit addresses

By Vignesh Muralidharan


, December 15, 2022

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Sometimes our customers mistakenly send unsupported tokens to their Coinbase address. When this happens, the result is that these funds don’t get registered on the Coinbase ledger. Historically, these assets have been unrecoverable, in part because our employees and support channels don’t have access to the private keys needed to reverse these transactions.

Understandably, this has created frustrations, where assets are locked away with no timeline for recovery. To help more people get started in web3 and participate with confidence, we're making it easier to manage and recover assets. 

Today, we’re announcing Coinbase’s new ERC-20 self-service asset recovery tool.

A simple and safe ERC-20 asset recovery tool

Our industry-first solution provides a simple, safe, and secure way for customers to recover almost 4,000 unsupported ERC-20 tokens that were mistakenly sent to a Coinbase address. Over the next few weeks, all eligible customers will have access to the asset recovery tool.

To recover funds, customers only need two things: 

  1. the Ethereum TXID for the transaction where the asset was lost and

  2. the Coinbase address where the asset was lost.

With just a few clicks, for eligible assets you can recover mistakenly sent funds and send them to your Coinbase Wallet, or any self-custodial wallet (that you can prove ownership over). Our recovery tool is able to move unsupported assets directly from your inbound address to your self-custodial wallet without exposing private keys at any point. We did this by using patent pending technology to send the funds directly from your inbound address without processing the funds through our centralized exchange infrastructure.  

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Which assets are eligible for recovery?

We support the recovery of select ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum base layer (e.g., wETH, TUSD, STETH). Not all ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum are eligible for recovery, and the eligibility of any given token is subject to change. 

We’re investigating expanding the scope of this feature to support additional assets. Due to the technical complexities surrounding the recovery of unsupported assets, we can’t guarantee that any particular asset will be eligible in the future. It’s important to note that the assets eligible for recovery have not gone through Coinbase’s rigorous asset listing review process. Customers will need to do their own due diligence to determine the authenticity, safety, and security of the assets they choose to recover.   

What makes our tool different?

Put simply, we’re the first major crypto company to offer ERC-20 recoveries, at scale, while preserving the security of customer deposit addresses.   

Unlike other asset recovery solutions that may charge up to 15% for asset recovery and require a customer service agent to send you the funds manually, we do not charge a recovery fee for recoveries estimated to be worth under $100. For recoveries estimated to be worth over $100, we charge a small recovery fee (5%) to cover development and maintenance costs for the service. (A separate network fee applies to all recoveries. For more information, see our pricing and fees disclosures.)

We’re reducing the points of friction and focusing on improving usability to better serve and earn the trust of our customers.  Our mission at Coinbase is to increase economic freedom in the world, and we are continuing to invest in tools like this as the most trusted platform for buying, selling, and exchanging digital assets. 

*This feature is currently not available in Japan & is not available for Prime. 

Correction: a previous version of this blog post stated that customers needed the contract address of the lost asset.

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Vignesh Muralidharan

About Vignesh Muralidharan