What happens if you initiate a transaction to a non-existent address in geth? Is there any way to determine if an account exists as a legal address?

Hope you can give me some help, thanks!

  • 1
    Technically speaking, all addresses are legal, even if not (yet) owned by anyone. You can check the nonce and see if it's larger than zero, which would give you a pretty good indication whether or not the account is already in use. Dec 2, 2020 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


There is no official checksum for Ethereum addresses, which means that any combination of 40 hex chars (excluding 0x) is a valid address.

There is a workaround though that was proposed by EIP-55. It specifies an algorithm for encoding addresses using a mix of upper and lower cases. According to the original issue 55:

(...) convert the address to hex, but if the ith digit is a letter (ie. it's one of abcdef) print it in uppercase if the ith bit of the hash of the address (in binary form) is 1 otherwise print it in lowercase.

Before sending any transaction, you could check whether the target address follows the EIP-55 pattern. But be warned: if it doesn't follow, it doesn't mean it is an invalid address, as goodvibration pointed out in his comment.


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