Spark Pool, who received the fee, has decided to freeze its distribution until the sender is tracked down
In a puzzling turn of events, an Ethereum wallet has spent about $2.6 million in transaction fees, while the actual value of the transaction is only around $133. The mysterious transaction occurred at around 9.47 UTC, with the identity of both the seller and receiver unknown. The astronomic transaction fee was paid to the Chinese mining group Spark Pool.
Ethereum users are free to decide how much in transaction fees they wish to pay to be included in a block. The more they pay, the sooner their transaction is processed. However, there is no reason to pay more than a few dollars in transaction fee. Thus, many believe that today’s incident could be an accident on the part of the sender.
The sender’s wallet was opened only recently and has a current balance of 46,000 ETH even after the 10,000 ETH transaction fee. Netizens have noted that the wallet has made transactions almost every minute in the last few hours, raising speculations that it does not belong to an individual. Moreover, every transaction from the wallet, except the one in question, has been processed with a normal transaction fee. Many have also associated the wallet with Bithumb as the wallet has sent a number of payments to the crypto exchange. The receiver’s wallet is currently empty as funds have been transferred to other sources.
The details of the transaction indicate it may have been an accident. It is possible that the whale accidentally reversed the figures for the transactions, a report by CoinDesk claims. Decrypt agreed with this assessment, calling it the “most likely reason”. However, speculations about the wallet belonging to a bot or a hacker have also surfaced.
Speaking about one of the unsettling factors about the transaction, Alex Svanevik, founder of D5, the data science DAO, said, “Given the distribution of gas prices set by this wallet, I’d say this must have been some manual intervention on an otherwise programmatically controlled wallet.”
Another bizarre view about the incident has connected the unusual transaction with the 4,000 bank accounts of crypto traders being frozen by Chinese authorities.
Responding to the incident, Qiu Xiaodong, head of the Xinghuo mining pool of Sparkpool stated that the transaction fee has been frozen, and clues to identify the sender, in case the fee was sent by mistake, are welcomed. In a similar incident involving Sparkpool previously, the mining group agreed to split the transaction fee 50-50 with the sender.