When sending Electroneum to someone else or to an exchange, should you use a Payment ID?
This article discusses payment IDs, what they’re used for, and how you should use them.
What is a Payment ID?
In Electroneum, a payment ID is a code unique to each transaction that allows the receiver to discern who sent the funds without actually revealing the identity or wallet address of that user.
Think of it as a reference code in a conventional bank transfer. When you perform a bank transfer to a business or other public entity, you usually need to provide a reference code (typically your name or customer number) for them to identify you as the sender.
The payment ID is used for the same purpose in Electroneum.
It allows multiple users to transfer funds into the same wallet, while still allowing the receiver to tell which transaction belongs to which user.
When to Use a Payment ID
Here’s a simple table of scenarios.
|Scenario||Should I Use a Payment ID?|
|Transferring to an exchange||Yes. Use the payment ID supplied by the exchange.|
|Transferring from an exchange||If you’re transferring the funds from the exchange to another exchange, use a payment ID. If not, there’s no need to use one.|
|Transferring to your online wallet||No need.|
|Transferring to your paper wallet||No need.|
|Transferring to another user’s online wallet||No need.|
|Transferring to another user’s paper wallet||No need.|
A general rule of thumb to follow is:
When transferring ETN to any exchange (even from another exchange), always use a payment ID. In all other cases, it probably isn’t required (unless the receiver explicitly asks for it).
Where to Find the Payment ID
When transferring to an exchange, the exchange will most likely provide you with a payment ID on the deposit page, in addition to the public wallet address to which you need to send the funds.
You will need to enter both codes when performing the transfer.
Some exchanges, like Cryptopia, show a QR code that contains both the public wallet address and the payment ID. Therefore, scanning the QR code in your app wallet will populate both the public wallet address and the payment ID.
Note: Don’t transfer your ETN to the code given above. Use the QR code given in YOUR own Cryptopia account.
What Payment ID to Use When Withdrawing ETN
Some exchanges like Cryptopia or Qryptos will still ask you to enter a payment ID when withdrawing ETN.
However, this is optional and is not required for the transaction to go through. If you’re not sending the ETN to another exchange, you won’t need to provide one. Simply leave the payment ID field blank.
What to Do When You Didn’t Provide a Payment ID
If you transferred Electroneum to an exchange and didn’t provide a payment ID where you should have, don’t despair.
If given enough information, most exchanges will be able to trace your funds. Just like a business or public entity can go through their records and confirm that they’ve received funds from your bank account, exchanges can also trace your deposit and credit your account.
However, this process could take a considerable amount of time (often several weeks given the backlog of support tickets on some exchanges). The correct procedure would be to open a support ticket and wait for the support team to investigate. Send them the following information:
- The date and time of the transfer
- The amount that was transferred
- The public wallet address it was sent from
- The transaction has (TxHash) as found in your online wallet
- The transaction private key (Tx Private Key) as found in your online wallet
Do NOT send them your Private View key or Private Spend key.
Using this information, they’ll most likely be able to trace your funds.
The payment ID has an important to play in the Electroneum system. Its use will become more visible in future. In a few month’s time, it will probably be used by online shops and other businesses to determine who the sender of a particular transaction was.
Until then, you’ll only need to use it when sending ETN to an exchange.