What's a Smart Contract address?
A "smart contract" is a program that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It's a collection of code (its functions) and data (its state) that resides at a specific address on the Ethereum blockchain.
Smart contracts are a type of Ethereum account. This means they have a balance and they can send transactions over the network. However, they're not controlled by a user. Instead, they are deployed to the network and run as programmed. User accounts can then interact with a smart contract by submitting transactions that execute a function defined on the smart contract.
Smart contracts can define rules and automatically enforce them via the code. Smart contracts cannot be deleted, and interactions with them are irreversible.
What you need to know
- Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code.
- Transactions performed by smart contracts are irreversible.
- Since smart contracts are based on a public blockchain, their source code is not only immutable but also transparent, traceable and visible to anyone.
If you wish to understand a bit more about how they work, you can check out this link: https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/smart-contracts/#what-is-a-smart-contract
What happens if I mistakenly send my funds directly to a Smart Contract address without using the Bridge?
As we saw earlier in the definition of Smart Contract, these are not wallets. They are programs that are prepared to fulfil a certain function, and only that function. That means, if we send our funds there, this program would not know what to do with them since it does not meet the characteristics that need to be given for it to perform a certain function.
Can I recover the funds I send to a smart contract without using the Bridge?
No, those funds cannot be recovered; the transactions are irreversible; we cannot access the smart contract and take funds that were sent there to return them to the sender address. This is part of what makes them secure in the first place. They are usually designed to be safe from human interference.