Abstract The reduction of dicyanocob(III)alamin leads in a first stage to monocyanocob(II)alamin which can be partially converted into the base-off and base-on Co(II) complexes (B12r). The latter species are easier to reduce than the starting Co(III) complex leading to a single two-electron wave at low cyanide concentrations and/or low diffusion rates. Upon raising one of these two parameters two successive one-electron waves tend to be obtained corresponding to the Co(III)/Co(II) and Co(II)/Co(I) conversion respectively. The kinetics of the reduction process is investigated using potential-dependent potentiostatic chronoamperometry which allows a simpler analysis than cyclic voltammetry for systems involving a slow initial charge-transfer step. It is seen that the second electron, at the level of the first wave, comes from the electrode and not from the cyano-Co(II) complex in the solution. The reduction thus follows an ECE rather than a DISP-type mechanism in conditions where they can be distinguished by the usual electrochemical kinetic techniques. This contrasts with that which occurs in organic electrochemistry where the electron transfers are generally fast, while in the present case they are slow. The analysis of the reduction kinetics as a function of cyanide concentration gives some insight into the mechanism of the ligand substitution reaction at the Co(II). The kinetic data are discussed in terms of SN1-, SN2- and SNAr-like mechanisms.