What's that address?

11 Aug 2018, 13:05

Hosted wallets — or custodial wallets — such as Freewallet, have special features that make it different from the other crypto wallets on the market. One such feature is cold storage, and it allows us to provide our users with top-level security.


When users send their funds to Freewallet, it’s not kept in their hot wallet - that is, at the same address to which it was sent. Instead, we transfer it to cold storage — an offline vault where the funds are kept until the user decides to make a withdrawal. This is done for the purpose of security: in the event that you lose your mobile device or your account gets compromised, it won’t be that easy for a hacker to take over your assets.

So, the funds are deposited to the user’s personal address, aka their hot wallet, but are later sent to the Freewallet address, aka cold storage, which causes confusion. We’ve asked our support team to explain the most common situations in which people don’t recognize the transaction address and consult our support agents for clarification.

Why do I see a different address in my app to the one to which my transaction was sent?

Freewallet is regularly updating the wallet address database. This helps us improve privacy to cut the possibility of tracking the operations record of a certain wallet’s address.

You can generate new BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH pay-in addresses in any of our apps. We also recommend that you only send funds to these new addresses (currently displayed in your app in the Receive section).

However, all funds sent to your previously generated addresses will still show up in your wallet.

Why do I see my Ethereum coins being sent from a different wallet address (rather than my personal one?)

The address displayed in your app is a so-called "hot wallet" used for receiving transactions. Keeping the funds there as well as storing your private keys locally could be a risk because, if access to your device is compromised, it would give a hacker the opportunity to steal your assets.

That is why after you've received a transaction, the funds are moved to the cold storage. Whenever you need to make a transaction, your funds are transferred from the cold storage as well. Your actual balance is displayed in your app; what you saw on an Etherscan were intermediary transfers of funds in/out of the cold storage

Thanks to the cold storage technology, even if your phone gets lost or stolen, you can easily access your wallet using another device.

Why can the wallet address change beyond the Freewallet actions?

This was the case with BCH addresses in Jan 2018. To prevent sending coins to BTC addresses, developers had to change the BCH format of the wallet addresses.

With Freewallet, all transactions sent to the previous BCH addresses were recovered and credited to the new BCH addresses.

I’ve participated in the ICO and sent ETH from my wallet. But for some reason my tokens haven’t arrived yet. What’s going on?

Hosted wallets are not designed for participating in ICOs. Technically, it is possible to deposit new tokens to your account, but in reality it is complicated and very time-consuming. That is why we have a notification in our apps warning users against participating in ICOs without making sure the tokens in question are supported in our Token Wallet.


Here’s what happens when you try to purchase unsupported tokens. When you send ETH from your Freewallet account, technically it is sent from our payout address, not the pay-in address in which you’ve initially received them. That is why, when you participate in the ICO, your tokens are sent not to your ETH address, but to our pay-out address from which the issuing service received the payment. To deposit your tokens in your wallet, our support team agents need to manually transfer them to your account, and for that the token needs to be supported in our Token Wallet. If it’s not, then to add it, we will have to wait until it is available on an exchange.

Please note that we’re still working on a feature that will allow our users to participate in the new ICOs. It means that we can’t automatically add any token to your account if we don’t support it in our Token Wallet. If you’ve participated in an ICO and purchased ERC20 tokens, please contact our support team once this token is present on any exchange: only then will we be able to add it to your wallet.

Unfortunately, it’s not an automated operation and may take up to several weeks. To make sure that you don’t need to wait for so long to receive your tokens, before participating in an ICO, check if Freewallet supports the token here or contact our support team.

Your support is asking me to provide a lot of information about the source of the tokens. Why?

To deposit the tokens sent to our payout address in your wallet, our support needs to verify the legitimacy of the transfer. We fully understand the inconvenience it causes for the users, but the request may just as well come from a scammer trying to appropriate someone else’s funds.

So, to confirm the ownership of the funds, our support agents usually ask for the following information:

  • The hash of the ETH transaction the external service received from you;

  • The amount of ETH they received;

  • The hash of the refund transaction;

  • Screenshots of that transaction from the external service.

Please note that Screenshots of blockchain explorers are not accepted.