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Bitcoin user pays $3.1M transaction fee for a transfer of 139 BTC

Crypto The Bitcoin user paid a hefty fee of $3.1 million while transferring 139.42 BTC, which is the eighth-highest in Bitcoin's history of 14 years. A developer from the mempool suggested that the person making the transfer may not have known about the no-cancellation policy for replacement fees, leading to an accidental $3.1 million transaction
The Bitcoin user paid a hefty fee of $3.1 million while transferring 139.42 BTC, which is the eighth-highest in Bitcoin’s history of 14 years. A developer from the mempool suggested that the person making the transfer may not have known about the no-cancellation policy for replacement fees, leading to an accidental $3.1 million transaction fee.

The transaction took place on November 23, when the BTC wallet address bc1qn3d…wekrnl endeavored to transfer 139.42 BTC to bc1qyf…km36t4. However, the shocking revelation was that more than half of the intended value was consumed by the exorbitant transaction fee, leaving the destination address with a mere 55.77 BTC. Antpool, a mining pool, recorded this astonishingly high fee on block 818087.

Antpool mining reward history. Source: Mempool

Social media discussions surrounding this incident speculated that the sender might have intentionally chosen the high fee. Still, the replace-by-fee (RBF) node policy, coupled with the sender’s potential unawareness, contributed to this financial mishap. The RBF feature permits the replacement of an unconfirmed transaction in the mempool with a different one carrying a higher fee to expedite its approval. The mempool serves as the queue for all BTC transactions awaiting validation and inclusion in the Bitcoin blockchain.

RBF history of the 83.7 BTC transaction fee. Source: Mempool

Mempool developer mononaut, commenting on the matter, suggested that the user initiating the transfer might not have been aware that RBF orders are irrevocable. There is a possibility that the user, in a misguided attempt to cancel the transaction, repeatedly replaced the fees. Notably, the RBF history indicates that the last replacement escalated the fee by an additional 20%, tacking on 12.54824636 BTC in fees.

This incident echoes a similar case in September, where cryptocurrency exchange Paxos mistakenly attached a $500,000 transaction fee to a $2,000 BTC transfer. In that instance, the F2Pool miner responsible for verifying the transaction promptly returned the accidental fee to Paxos.

Nevertheless, the recent $3.1 million transaction fee surpasses previous records in dollar terms, overshadowing the September Paxos mishap. The highest fee in Bitcoin terms dates back to 2016 when an individual inadvertently sent 291 BTC in transaction fees. Mononaut emphasized that the resolution of this accidental transaction fee occurrence might hinge on Antpool’s payout policies and their obligations regarding the sharing of transaction fees with miners. As of now, Antpool has not provided any official statement and remains unresponsive to inquiries.

Wasif Shakir

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