Someone mistakenly paid $2.5 million in Ethereum transaction fees to send only $133 in ETH. Though, the real reason could be more sinister.
Ethereum Transaction Fee $2.5 Million
Earlier today, just before 10:00 UTC, a transaction was sent on the Ethereum network which made the sender over $2.5 million. Instead of opting for fees that can be as low as $0.5, the sender pays 10,668.73 ETH, worth $2.59 million, to send 0.55 ETH, worth $133.85.
The fee goes to the Spark Pool, a Chinese mining pool that processes transactions. The pool stops paying miners and waits for the sender to contact them.
The transaction is included in block 10,237,208 by Spark Pool, a China-based Ethereum mining pool. Spark Pool has since blocked payments to its miners, telling followers on Twitter that they are currently investigating the unusually high fees and are trying to identify the owners.
Money Laundering or Mistakes?
Spark Pool asked the community for tips on the mysterious transaction. In fact, this is not the first time Spark Pool has had to deal with transactions with exorbitant fees. Historically, Spark Pool has managed to find and share costs with the original sender each time.
Last year, Spark Pool froze the 2,100 ETH payments they received for mining a block, worth over $300,000 at the time. Successfully identified a South Korea-based blockchain company as the sender of the transaction, decided to share the bounty with them.
While rare, these kinds of transactions are nothing new in the crypto space. According to Cornell professor and founder of AVA Labs Emin Gün Sirer, the transaction “goose eggs“This happens sometimes.
There are two possible explanations for this error, he says, with the first being honest—someone accidentally swapped the amount they wanted to send for a fee they specified. A second explanation could be that miners launder money by laundering “dirty” coins through transaction fees, turning them into clean tokens.
It remains unclear whether this was a case of money laundering or a simple mistake.