I have an smart contract where people had to send some ETH using a simple transfer. Some of them transferred ERC20 tokens and not ETH. Is there a way of sending this ERC20 tokens back to it's owners?

Just to make it clear: I am the owner of the smart contract trying to recover some users money, I don't have any bad intention and I have the private key of the contract deployer.

1 Answer 1


There is two different address in Ethereum. The one controlled by a private key (usable for a user). Smart contract that are address controlled by a code (no private key).

If you didn't put a function to handle ERC20 token in your contract, they are lost for the user that send ERC20 token.

You can handle token with a "safetransfer" function that revert transaction if your smart contract can't handle ERC20 tokens, but you have to implement it when deploying your smart contract.

There is a way to "add" this function after your deployment, but again, you need to anticipate it either (see "diamond standard").

I don't think I have a lot of hopes for your user to recover his ERC20 tokens.

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