Blockchain technology has made it possible to create many payment systems. The first of them was the Bitcoin network. All participants of the system have a cryptocurrency wallet. To transfer BTC coins to it, it is necessary to specify an address. Memo in cryptocurrency is used by some other blockchains in certain cases. It is an identifier that needs to be specified along with the address for transactions. Otherwise, there is a chance of losing the sent digital assets.
The concept of memos in cryptocurrency
Destination Tag is a unique identifier (ID) of an account on a digital asset exchange or service. It is used to identify the specific user to whom coins are transferred. Entering the tag will be required when sending cryptocurrency in some blockchains (Binance Coin, Stellar, Ripple, Cosmos, and others).
The memo can be called differently in individual networks. In Ripple, it is a 6-digit Destination Tag made up of numbers. In the NEM blockchain, the memo entry field is called Message. Some users get confused and leave it blank or type some message for the recipient. The Destination Tag in some networks consists of numbers, while in others letters are added to it.
In most blockchains, it is possible to leave a comment on a transaction to identify it within the network.
When to specify Payment ID
To work with some blockchain networks (Ripple, NEM, Stellar) it is necessary to add cryptocurrency ID in 2 cases:
When using custodial services. In them, clients’ digital currency is stored on one common wallet for all. Therefore, a special identifier is created for each user of such a service or application. If you do not specify a memo when transferring funds to a custodial cryptocurrency wallet, the assets will not be credited to the right recipient.
When exchanging altcoins through an exchange. In such cases, coins need to be transferred to the trading floor. Exchanges use a single wallet for all clients (more often with a cold method of storing private keys). Therefore, users are given a unique identifier, which is used to fund the account.
Adding a memo is not required if a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet is used. Such a service does not store clients’ private keys, so it is enough to specify the address to identify payments.
Which cryptocurrencies require MEMO, Destination tag, or Message?
The above parameters require at least the following tokens and cryptocurrencies:
Ripple (XRP) – Destination Tag (numbers only)
Stellar (XLM) – MEMO (string and/or numbers)
Binance Coin (BNB) – MEMO (line and/or numbers)
EOS – MEMO (digits only)
Cosmos (ATOM) – MEMO (digits only)
IOST – MEMO
Terra – MEMO
Consequences of an incorrectly filled field
An error when entering the identifier will lead to 2 different situations:
An error may occur in the system, then the transaction will not be complete.
The transaction will be successfully processed and the funds will be transferred to the cryptocurrency wallet of an unknown user. In this case, you won’t be able to get your digital assets back.
If no memo (ID) is specified when executing the transaction, the coins will go to the general account of the service or cryptocurrency exchange. However, they will not appear on the user’s wallet. Sent funds can be returned with a commission deduction.
How to recover a transaction
The procedure for recovering lost digital assets is the same on all services and trading platforms. To do this, you need to:
Create a refund appeal. This is done on the wallet page or through technical support.
Fill out a refund form or tell in a letter about the problem that happened. Here you will need to specify the storage address, transaction amount, and its ID (TxID).
Send an appeal or letter for consideration. It usually takes up to 5 days to restore the transaction.
MEMO, Destination Tag or payment comment – additional option of the address in the details, which must be filled. For certain wallets, this is a prerequisite for receiving funds by you. Not all cryptocurrencies use this technology, but in the case of those that do, without this condition, the cryptocurrency may not reach the recipient. In the case of currencies that don’t use it, the requisites simply won’t have this box.