A Shocking Bitcoin Transaction Fee of Half a Million Dollars

A Shocking Bitcoin Transaction Fee of Half a Million Dollars


In a jaw-dropping turn of events, an anonymous user unwittingly paid an astronomical transaction fee of nearly 20 Bitcoins, valued at approximately $500,000, when transferring a mere $2,000 worth of Bitcoin. This eye-watering blunder is suspected to stem from a software glitch within an obscure company’s infrastructure. To add a twist to the story, a generous mining pool has extended an offer to return the excessive fees.

Occasionally, mistakes can carry an exorbitant price tag. In a recent Bitcoin transaction, an individual sent 0.074 Bitcoin but astonishingly forked over a whopping 19,821 Bitcoin in transaction fees. This fee amount eclipses the standard block reward of 6.25 Bitcoin by threefold.

The colossal error has ignited rampant speculation about the identity of the responsible party. Jameson Lopp suggests that an exchange or payment service provider, afflicted by subpar software, may be the culprit. Lopp theorizes that they received an influx of over 60,000 transactions and subsequently dispatched the same number of transactions from a single address, an ill-advised practice that likely resulted in a miscalculation of the change output.

Identifying the erring entity remains a perplexing puzzle. It’s bewildering that, in 2023, a company would utilize bech32 addresses while attracting a deluge of transactions to a single address without a plausible justification. This oversight seems more indicative of inexperience than intentionality. Notably, the associated address currently harbors a balance of 375 Bitcoin, equivalent to nearly $10 million, and has amassed an astounding total of 763,428 Bitcoin, approximately $20 billion, since its first transaction in June 2023. Remarkably, the balance has consistently hovered between 400 and 500 Bitcoin. The obscurity surrounding this entity’s identity raises suspicions.

Jameson Lopp offers additional insights, suggesting that this address exhibits characteristics akin to a company’s hot wallet withdrawal address. It appears to accumulate deposits from a single source, periodically topping up its balance. This spending pattern resembles a continuous chain.

One plausible scenario is that the address belongs to a custodian responsible for safeguarding assets on behalf of various cryptocurrency firms. However, due to the undisclosed nature of the address and its peculiar transaction history, the possibility of involvement by a clandestine entity, such as a darknet marketplace or a ransomware perpetrator, cannot be entirely ruled out. Nevertheless, such entities typically diversify their usage of addresses.

The fortuitous mining pool that managed to include this transaction in a block is none other than F2Pool, one of the oldest players in the mining pool arena. Chun from F2Pool explains that they have temporarily held the 20 Bitcoins in question. If no legitimate claimant comes forward within three days, these funds will be disbursed among the diligent miners in what would constitute a handsome bonus for them.

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