Exchange issues with Destination tags, Memos and Messages

Changelly Team
4 min readJan 24, 2018


The crypto industry as a whole is full of techy and complicated things that may confuse you. Some of 90+ currencies we support require different measures to take before exchanging them. Over 70% stuck transactions happen due to negligence of these measures. We will take a closer look at common mistakes happening during the exchange process and sort out the possible aftermath. Let’s look into issues occurring with Ripple’s destination tags, NEM’s messages and memos in Steem, Stellar and Decent.

Destination tags, Memos and Messages

If you’ve ever sent Ripple, Steem, Stellar, Decent or XEM to Changelly, you are likely to know about Destination tags, Memos and Messages. These are short combinations of digits and letters that help us determine your payment and send exchanged money to a ‘recipient’s address’ you put in when creating a transaction. If they are specified incorrectly, your transaction may get stuck in Limbo or go to another Changelly user.

Destination tag

Destination tag is used in Ripple transactions. It is the most tricky thing you should be extremely careful with. If you send Ripple to Changelly, you should specify a destination tag when sending. The generated tag is tied to the recipient’s address, so that Changelly automatically sends money to that address, once it gets confirmation from the blockchain. If you mix up digits in the tag or put in a random combination, you may encounter quite frustrating issues. Your money will be sent to Changelly, but your transaction won’t go through due to the error, and you will have to contact our support team and ask them to process your transaction manually. Another, and the worst, scenario is that you may occasionally send your Ripples to an unknown person whose recipient’s address is already tied to the tag you specified. In this case, we can’t help you out.


John is about to exchange Ripple to Bitcoin. Let’s say his transaction is already created and he should send us Ripples to exchange them. He sees a screen below:

John opens his wallet app, puts in our wallet address. And then, when putting in the destination tag, John is like: ”Ah, whatever, I’ll put 12345 instead! Anyway, it’s still Changelly’s address. The tag is unnecessary stuff.”

This is the very moment John makes a terrible mistake, because 12345 is the tag tied to a wallet address of another Changelly user who is obviously not John! Once XRP is sent it will go to the wallet address provided by that user, and John will lose his money forever! The worst thing is that we can’t help John in this case, since we don’t control funds sent to our customers.

Poor John. Don’t be like him and always send Ripples with a correct destination tag. Only in this case your transaction will pass through in the right way.


The NEM’s message as such is quite confusing. While sending XEM to Changelly, some of users omit it or take too literally sending something like ‘I love Changelly’, ‘Greetings from Germany’ or ‘This is my first salary’. Instead, the NEM’s message represents a combination of letters and digits shorter than a wallet and works the same way as Ripple’s destination tag. If you omit it or specify incorrectly, your transaction will not pass through. You will have to send to our support team a request, so that we can process your stuck transaction manually.

This is how the message looks like.

Don’t omit it, don’t confuse it, and you’ll always get your transaction done.


Memo is unique supplementary information used in transactions with a range of cryptos listed on Changelly, such as Steem, Stellar and Decent. Although Memo works similarly in all these platforms, it is important to mention that they utilize different algorithms. For all of them, entering Memo is a mandatory measure. When sending either, you must indicate your memo, so that our machine will know that the transaction comes from you. If the memo is omitted or incorrect… well, now you know the outcome. Changelly will have to process your transaction in a correct way. It requires you to report us about the issue.

Steem’s memos look like the combination below. So do memos of Stellar and Decent.

Please bear in mind that the screenshots above are just an example. All Destination tags, Messages and Memos are unique for each our user. Never use the given examples for your own transactions.

Recipient’s addresses of Ripple, NEM and Steem

Similarly, when buying Ripple, NEM, Steem or Decent on Changelly, make sure if you need to input either a Destination tag, Memo or Message to receive your coins to a recepient’s wallet. Always provide this information, if required. Otherwise your money will be sent as an unassigned transaction to your wallet provider, and you will have to contact their support team trying hard to prove that the transaction belongs to you.

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Changelly Team

Changelly is the smoothest instant cryptocurrency exchange.