When withdrawing or depositing crypto into your Binance account, pay careful attention to the network you choose. It’s easy to confuse BNB Smart Chain (BEP-20) with Ethereum (ERC-20) and send your tokens to the wrong blockchain.
If the crypto wallet you deposited into supports BEP-20 and ERC-20 tokens, you can send your crypto back to Binance with a few simple steps.
If your wallet only handles ERC-20 or BEP-20, you will need to import your wallet’s private key into a new wallet that supports both blockchains.
Depositing to the wrong blockchain in your Binance account, another crypto exchange, or custodial wallet is more tricky to resolve. In this case, contact your wallet’s support team to see if they can help.
If you’ve been making withdrawals from Binance, you’ve probably noticed that some coins have different transfer networks available. Even seasoned HODLers are sometimes puzzled about choosing the correct blockchain for their transactions. Which one do you pick when withdrawing your crypto to another wallet?
In short, you should choose the same network as the one used by the target receiving wallet. Technically, that will depend on which token standard you are using, such as ERC-20, BEP-20, or BEP-2.
If you have sent your crypto to the wrong blockchain, it’s essential to figure out the type of wallet you sent them to. If you can access your private key or seed phrase, you have a non-custodial wallet. If you don’t, your wallet is custodial. With this information, you can then try out our three possible solutions.
I’ve sent funds to the wrong network. What to do?
First of all, don’t panic. If you’ve sent ERC-20 tokens (like ETH) using BNB Smart Chain (BSC) or sent BEP-20 tokens via the Ethereum network, you should be able to retrieve them. There are three different situations, each with its own solution:
1. You sent the tokens to a wallet that supports BSC and Ethereum.
You can send the tokens back to the correct network on Binance.
2. You sent the tokens to a wallet that only supports either BSC or Ethereum.
You will need to access your private key to import into a wallet that supports both.
3. You sent the tokens to a custodial wallet or crypto exchange.
Ask your wallet provider for help or the exchange’s customer service. It may not be possible to recover your funds.
Before working on a solution, it’s worth understanding what’s happened to avoid the same problem in the future.
What’s the difference between BEP-20 and ERC-20?
ERC-20 and BEP-20 are token standards that describe specific rules and technical guidelines for tokens. They govern how transactions, deposits, and withdrawals are all made. Both ERC-20 and BEP-20 standardize how a token interacts with different wallets, projects, and smart contracts.
The two standards share many similarities in how they operate, but ERC-20 is exclusive to Ethereum, and BEP-20 is exclusive to the BNB Smart Chain. In simple terms, they are token standards that each belong on a different blockchain.
If your crypto is on the wrong network, it might not be usable for the purpose you need. For example, ETH sent to BSC won’t be usable in Ethereum DApps and smart contracts.
What happens when I send a BEP-20/ERC-20 token to the wrong blockchain?
If you send an ERC-20 token to BSC or a BEP-20 token to Ethereum, the token will land in the same wallet address on the chosen network. Your BSC and Ethereum wallet addresses are identical and are accessible with the same private key.
For example, sending ETH to BSC will end up as a BEP-20 token pegged to Ether in your wallet address on BSC. You can use BscScan.com to check this with your transaction ID or Etherscan.io when you’ve sent BEP-20 tokens to the Ethereum network.
Here is an example (from BscScan) of someone who withdrew their ERC-20 ETH and chose the BSC (BEP-20) transfer network in their Binance wallet. These tokens now show up as Binance-Peg Ethereum under the same wallet address on BSC.
Fortunately, your crypto won’t have disappeared. All you need to do now is send it back to the correct blockchain you need. Check our solutions below that match your situation.
Recovering from a wallet that supports BSC and Ethereum
You should have no problem finding your tokens in a wallet that supports both blockchains. Check for a toggle list of tokens for each network to enable if you can’t already see your crypto.
MetaMask, for example, has an [Add Token] button that lets you browse through all its available coins.
If you cannot see the coin on the list, you will need to input its token contract into your wallet. You can see this process in step 5 of Recovering from a wallet that only supports either BSC or Ethereum.
If you want to return your token to its original blockchain, there are two options: Binance Bridge or the manual method.
Manually converting your tokens requires sending your cryptocurrency back to Binance. The deposit network in your Binance spot wallet must match the blockchain your token is currently on. Once it has arrived, you can send it correctly back to your external wallet.
In this example, we will convert Binance-Peg ETH (BEP-20) back into ERC-20 ETH. Make sure the wallet you are sending from has BNB for gas fees.
1. On your Binance crypto deposit page, select ETH and the deposit network as BEP-20 (BSC). If you deposit to the wrong network, Binance will not be able to recover your funds.
2. Once your ETH is back in your Binance account, convert it to ERC-20 by withdrawing it to an Ethereum supporting wallet and selecting Ethereum (ETH) ERC20 as your transfer network.
Your funds will now be safely on their way to the correct blockchain in your external wallet.
Recovering from a wallet that only supports either BSC or Ethereum
To recover your tokens in this situation, you will need to import your wallet’s private key into a new wallet that supports both blockchains. Depending on the importing wallet, you may also be able to use your seed phrase instead of your private key.
Importing a private key
When you import a wallet’s private key into another wallet, you get access to the funds related to that private key, even when using a different wallet.
In other words, importing a wallet’s private key will not send the funds to your importing wallet. It will just make the external wallet accessible from a different application. Note that custodial wallets will typically not have this option as they do not provide you with a private key.
This example will use the MetaMask Google Chrome extension and retrieve ETH that was accidentally sent to BSC.
Retrieving your funds
1. Access your MetaMask wallet or create a new one if you don’t have one already. MetaMask is also available as both an app for iOS and Android.
2. If you are creating a new account, you will be given the option to import your old wallet’s seed phrase.
3. If you already have an account, simply click the MetaMask extension pin, followed by your account profile at the top right.
4. Click [Import Account] and then input your wallet’s private key with the missing crypto. Click [Import] to finalize. You can also upload a JSON file if you have one.
5. Next, you will need to add the BSC network to your MetaMask account manually. Click the MetaMask extension pin, followed by the network dropdown menu at the top middle. Click [Custom RPC] at the bottom of the list.
6. You will need to add details to allow MetaMask to access BNB Smart Chain. These details include a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) URL. This URL enables MetaMask to query information from BSC’s blockchain and make transaction requests.
Fill in the following information in their respective fields and click [Save] at the bottom.
Network Name: BSC Mainnet
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed1.binance.org/
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com/
7. Now, add the correct token contract to your MetaMask wallet. This step will allow your chosen BEP-20 supporting wallet to scan for the lost token. You can find a list of tokens and token contracts on BscScan. For ERC-20 ETH sent to BSC, click on Binance-Peg Ethereum Token (ETH) to find its token contract.
8. Copy the token contract in preparation for the next step and take note of the Decimals field.
9. Select [BSC Mainnet] from the network dropdown list, click [Add Token], and then click [Custom Token].
10. Input the Token Contract Address, Token Symbol, and Decimals of Precision. For our ETH example, these are:
Token Contract Address: 0x2170ed0880ac9a755fd29b2688956bd959f933f8
Token Symbol: ETH
Decimals of Precision: 18
Click [Add Tokens] to confirm.
11. You should now see your lost ETH tokens in your wallet balance. From here, you have the option of sending it back to your Binance account’s BEP-20 wallet address. You can also use Binance Bridge with MetaMask to convert your token to ERC-20 if you wish.
See the Recovering from a wallet that supports BSC and Ethereum section for more information on bridging your tokens.
Recovering from a custodial wallet or exchange
If you attempt to withdraw your funds to a custodial wallet without BEP-20 support, such as another crypto exchange, you will need to contact the wallet’s custodial holder.
Some custodial wallet providers may help for a fee or allow you access to your private keys. You can then import the private key into a BSC supporting wallet. Most, including exchanges, will unfortunately not be able to provide you with your key.
If you deposit tokens into your Binance account with the wrong blockchain selected, Binance cannot help you retrieve your crypto.
Choosing the correct transfer network is one of the most tricky parts of withdrawing your crypto from Binance. But once you’ve got your head around it all, you won’t be sending your BTC or ETH to the wrong network any time soon. In most cases, with a standard wallet, your funds are SAFU and retrievable with a little bit of work.