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I was browsing Hacker News this morning and I came across this thread. I've tried searching for answers, but it still baffles me. If Ethereum is "safe" how can things like this happen?

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    The tokens didn't dissapear he sent them to an address that didn't support those tokens. In many popular blockchains if you send funds to the wrong wallet you will lose them, it is not an ethereum particularity. The ERC20 standard has flaws and limitations. you have to be careful and know what are you doing. Inform yourself before performing an irreversible action on a blockchain.
    – Ismael
    Dec 16, 2020 at 18:52

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It does not randomly disappear. That person sent his tokens to the wrong address. When sending a large amount of money, you should make sure that you pasted the correct address in the destination field.

That being said, there are preventative measures that wallet providers should take to help eliminate this problem. For example:

  • When sending tokens to a contract address, the wallet should check whether the code of the contract contains any calls to the token contract's functions. If it does not, display a big red warning message to the user before letting the transaction go through.

  • When sending ETH to a contract address, the wallet should check whether the code of the contract does anything to register the receival. If not, display a warning to the user.

  • When sending anything to a destructed contract address, the wallet should completely prevent the transaction from going through.

  • When sending anything to an address that has no contract code, and that has never sent any transaction, display a warning to the user.

  • If the value of the transaction is larger than a certain amount, have the user go through additional confirmation steps where they are strongly advised to double-check the destination and the amount.

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  • So he could've prevented this from happening by sending a small amount first?
    – user65419
    Dec 16, 2020 at 19:14
  • @IThinkImOKAY Yes, that would have helped
    – Jesbus
    Dec 16, 2020 at 19:39

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