What should I do if 230 bitcoins just appeared in my Coinbase wallet?

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What should I do if 230 bitcoins just appeared in my Coinbase wallet?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers below are by Patrick Wagner, Srinivasa Atta, Bob Geier, Niels Soete, John Bremner, Hargun Makkar and Morton Gelt. 

Patrick Wagner, Blockchain startup investor, Bitcoin & Altcoin Trader

Answered Dec 1st, 2017
Just send it out to another Bitcoin wallet address. There are no refunds or chargebacks in Bitcoin. You can also transfer it to another exchange fairly easily. Once this is done your bitcoins are safe, next is how to secure and manage the next.

Srinivasa Atta, Programmer, Observer, Meditator

Answered December 8th, 2017
Congratulations ! I’m happy for you. It’s your wish to hold it long for more profits or withdraw to actually have money in your bank account. First thing, take it out of Coinbase immediately as IRS is eyeing on it heavily, also they have serious website scaling issues and no support to Segwit as well. Putting in other exchanges shall be okay, but if you want to be completely safe try not even putting in other exchanges as well looking at the hacked Bitcoins news every other day. Even if you are planning to keep it or withdraw it, try to divide or diversify across multiple wallets, actual hardware wallets or even better in cold storage. Don’t put all the eggs in one basket. I would suggest wallets like Greenaddres or Samourai as my first preference due to their segwit support.Other good wallets include Trezor and airbitz.

Probably try selling little for immediate money and keep the rest as the price looks promising. Keep an eye on income tax though ! Try following Tone Ways or Jimmy song on Twitter and YouTube for good Bitcoin updates every day. That shall tell you when to hold and sell.They are pretty good.

Enjoy your Bitcoin! You are welcome to donate any Bitcoin to my address and I will be more than happy: 12FHpu7iEKZHFYBaj6uKGVkc7Tav9RAEAG
Thank you!

Bob Geier, hobbyist

Answered Dec 1st, 2017
Those are someone else’s coins. Just like finding a wallet on the street, the right thing is to at least try to return them to the owner.
It could be that Coinbase just had some sort of internal glitch and is showing you a bogus balance. Contact them and let them know.

If it turns out that Coinbase confirms the transaction, get the transaction ID and address the coins came from. Take the coins off the exchange and into a secure wallet. With a new, secure address contact a few crypto news outlets and/or post on a few Reddit subgroups that you’ve received some coins in error, and you’ll be glad to return them if the person can verify they were the owner by sending a specified amount from the same address. Consider whether to ask for a 1% finder’s fee for your time.

If after a suitable period of time and a good-faith effort on your part no one claims the coins, then follow Alexander Buckley ‘s guidance to separate them from any previous criminal activity, and be grateful for your luck. Give some coins to charity for good karma.

Niels Soete, Cryptocurrency Investor

Answered Nov 30th, 2017 

Lay back and cash out.
Congratulations, you just got $2.196.025,35!
(if it real, withdraw it from your account to a wallet)

John Bremner, Bitcoin, Marketing & Cryptocurrencies, The University of Life (1976)

Answered Dec 1st, 2017
If you’ve made a receive address publicly available, consider it a gift. I sometimes receive Bitcoin and other cryptos without knowing where they’ve come from because people don’t always attach a tag, or sometimes it’s just a tag saying ‘thks fr article X’. (I have a crypto blog and many connections…) Or maybe even after 2.9 years or so, I’m just not expert enough to trace these payments.

So unless someone has sent it to you by accident, by putting in the wrong code, and you’ve not made a receive address available, just say thank you to the generous person who sent you that gift.

All transactions are on the blockchain, so somebody expert enough might be able to help you.

I doubt very much if Coinbase would be able to help you, because you don’t have to be a Coinbase customer to send to a Coinbase wallet. But anyway, move the Bitcoin immediately into a hardware wallet! After writing your question you’ll probably get a hundred people saying it’s theirs, and they sent it to you by accident! You’d have to physically see their wallet and the transaction addresses they sent to, and you’d have to know it wasn’t a fake coded wallet, to be able to confirm if anyone was telling the truth. Don’t accept a screenshot!

Hargun Makkar, Cryptocurrency Enthusiast

Answered Dec 4th, 2017
It’s easy to track the transaction down on blockchain. Once you know the recipient’s wallet address, you can either inform Coinbase about it or post it on forums or Reddit sub-groups as to who the wallet address belongs to. I guess you’re very much entitled to ask to keep a certain percentage with you (finder’s fee) Try to remember if you made your address public anywhere as well.

Once you’ve done things to the best of your efforts in good faith and yet nobody claims it then transfer it in parts to separate wallets (preferably hardware wallets), cash out with exchanges by selling some of BTC and hold on to most of them to get greater gains. On a moral sense though, once you cash out some of them please do some charity as well. All that good will come back to you definitely. 🙂 You are more than welcome to send something here as well if you wish – 14qaAEwqJVRYVxzeAFQAA6RLay479J9XT5

Morton Gelt, Founder of Decentralized AI Startup (2017-present)

Answered Nov 30th, 2017
First congratulations on 2.3 million dollars increase in your wealth. Next get hardware wallet (10 of them), create new addresses and send money to them. Take the wallets offline. Then think, talk to your attorney and your tax person and decide where to live.

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