Potentially Lost Algo in Exchange Swap, Worried and Seeking Insight

Hey Everyone,

Reaching out here in hopes that the Algorand community might be able to shine some light on a problem I’ve encountered.

Around two months ago, I decided to swap some ALGO for another crypto (via atomic wallet). I submitted the exchange, and my Algo was deducted, but the swap never went through. I contacted Atomic’s customer service, sent the tX ID and the destination address, and they said the address wasn’t theirs or their exchange partner’s, and that they would escalate the issue to their developers.

Two months have since passed without a word back from Atomic after repeatedly contacting, so I decided start digging on my own, specifically on the address my ALGO was sent to in the exchange.

After googling, it appears that this address is Algorand’s ‘ZeroAddress’, as defined on Algorand’s developer page: “The ZeroAddress AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY5HFKQ is an address that represents a blank byte array. It is used when you leave an address field in a transaction blank.”

When I look up the tx in the explorer it shows it having gone through, and the address having the amount of ALGO I intended to be sent to swap, along with an additional quantities from other ALGO holders who have ostensibly encountered this same thing.

Writing here to ask if anyone familiar with Algorand’s protocol might be able to shine light on why my ALGO was sent to this address when attempted to be swapped, if there is any hope in potentially retrieving it, and what might need to be done in order for that to happen.

My sincerest thanks to anyone who has read this, and anyone who might have any ideas/input on what has happened/what might be done.

With appreciation,


Hi @dcryp_t,

I’m sorry to hear about the above incident. The scenario you’ve described sounds like a bug in the atomic wallet application you’ve been using. The above wallet should not have allowed you to create such a transaction ( since it would effectively “burn” the ALGOs, while keeping them in circulation… ).

From a protocol perspective, there is no much that can be done to rollback the transaction. Moving forward, I can think of two proposals which would help ( help the protocol; not the user ;-( ):

  • Change the account for the zero address to be a non-participating account. This would mean that all ALGOs directed to this account would be considered to be out-of-circulation.
  • Prevent ALGOs being sent to this address, by rendering these transactions invalid.
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Hi Tsachi,

Gosh, hard to hear but I appreciate your response. Thank you for your input, and welcoming any additional commentary from the community on this as well.