According to a Bitcoinist report on February 26, in two years, an unknown miner managed to take away all the BCH in the erroneous Bitcoin Segregated Witness address, claiming the coins as their own rather than returning it to the owner.
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The number of BCH losses has increased since 2017
BCH had problems shortly after the hard fork in August 2017. Because its address format is very similar to Bitcoin, for many years, BCH users have often sent coins to Bitcoin's SegWit address by mistake, and the BCH network does not support this type of address. Over the years, up to 18,000 BCHs have been incorrectly sent to the Segregated Witness address. Since the Segregated Witness address has been used in the last two years, incorrect transfers occurred mainly in 2018 and 2019.
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The latest data from Coinmetrics shows that some known mining pools have been known to successfully recover about half of the BCHs sent in error through the coin recovery program and return them to the owner. However, after an "unknown" miner successfully mined enough blocks, more than 9,000 BCH were taken away. Bitcoin supporter Jameson Lopp tweeted:
An unknown miner took away nearly 9,000 BCH, and these BCHs were sent to the Segregated Witness address by mistake (it can only be recycled on the Bitcoin network). Today it is worth more than $ 3 million.
Coinmetrics has been tracking this issue since the beginning, when hundreds of BCH were lost. Miners like BTC.com even opened a temporary service for users' small claims. Later, the mining pool decided to stop recovering a small amount of BCH, and set a minimum recovery of 100 BCH, while the minimum recovery cost was 10 BCH.
51% attack in May 2019 prevented "unknown" miners from recycling BCH
So far, BTC.com and BTC.top are the mining pools that collect the most BCHs by mistake. In addition, a total of at least 8763.16 BCH were obtained by an "unknown" miner. To recover the BCH that was sent in error, you must first become a miner, or contact a miner who is willing to mine blocks containing non-standard script transaction blocks. Regular users send the required transaction types to the blockchain by mistake.
For a time, BTC.com and BTC.top used a 51% joint attack on the BCH blockchain to successfully prevent another attempt to recover the lost BCH. This action prevented the behavior of "unknown" miners and invalidated a special block that would have allowed miners to access the lost BCH.
By the end of 2018, BCH had changed the address format. Since April 2019, the number of BCHs sent by mistake has decreased significantly. Wrong transactions can be avoided by sending a small amount of cryptocurrency. First, see if the receiving address is feasible, so that you can avoid huge losses. The search for lost BCH is still going on, and the owner may find that it has become very difficult to recover the small amount of BCH.