hi all I'm new to trading I'm hoping someone can help me out here I purchased a good bit of ethreum on the coinbase platform I made a ether wallet I had all the accounts and my security accounts saved I accidently transferred my ethreum from coinbase to the wrong address that being my private key address I went under the etherscan and sure enough its sitting in my private key address instead of my wallet account I contacted coinbase and explained the situation thinking the worst they explained to me that basically it will be sent back to them but it may take awhile and it would be credited back to my ethreum wallet on their platform .I am just curious if this has ever happened to anyone else and if this is correct what they are saying thank you


2 Answers 2


Firstly, you shouldn't share your private key, even with tech support for a company. But then again, you sent ether to it so it's already out there, so this is a weird case. Don't use the account the key is associated with. It's compromised!

Secondly, to sign transactions from that account, you'd need the private key for the account associated with the address you sent ether to. And you do not (nor, presumably, does anybody else) have the private key associated with the private key associated with that account. As such, nobody can access that ether if Ethereum is working correctly.

I'm not sure how Coinbase plans on undoing that transaction which your post suggests they can, so I'm guessing what you heard is not correct.

Uh... I just realized I didn't actually answer the first half of your question. I'm guessing you're not the first person to have done this, but having not met such a person myself, I cannot say for certain.

  • no I didn't share the private key address with them I simply explained when I sent my ether from coinbase to this account I thought it was myether wallet address but I accidently put in my private key address I explained to them and they said in 30 to 40 days if it wasn't owned by anyone else it would simply be sent back to coinbase is this not true ?I'm confused
    – tim
    Dec 4, 2017 at 1:37
  • I'm sorry; what you heard can't be true. There's no way to know if an account is "owned" (i.e., someone has the private key for it) until a transaction originates from it. And if the Ethereum protocol were to allow rollbacks if no transactions originated from an account ever would be weird; that would pretty much require every cold wallet to send a transaction to prevent its funds from being cleared out. I would personally treat the e-mail telling you this with suspicion as it may be in order to elicit more information from you lest you ever use the account linked to that private key.
    – lungj
    Dec 4, 2017 at 15:43

If you can see the Ether in Etherscan under your Private Key there is nothing you can do. Only the user which has the Private Key belonging to the (in your case wrong...) Public Key can access that account. Since Coinbase does not have the private key they cannot access it.

Also your private key is now visible on the blockchain. Even if you did not tell the address to the person at CoinBase he can still see it if he knows the transaction......

So you should move all funds form the compromised address to a new one.

And always make a small transaction first to make sure you are using the correct addresses

  • thank you I am new to this I don't have any funds in the wallet the private key is associated with when you say public key can access the account I have my files backed up on Jason can I possibably get to the funds still ?
    – tim
    Dec 4, 2017 at 13:27
  • I'm afraid you can't. You can look at your public key as your bank account number and your private key as your PIN number. When you transfer funds you have to specify the correct bank account number. You have sent your funds to the wrong bank account number (your PIN number). Only the user who has the PIN number to that bank account has access to the funds. Dec 5, 2017 at 11:01

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