AntPool, a leading Bitcoin mining pool, has pledged to reimburse an unprecedented $3 million transaction fee, provided the true owner’s identity is confirmed. This case involves a transaction fee of 83.65 BTC (approximately $3.1 million) to transfer just 55.77 BTC (around $2.1 million). The transaction occurred on November 23rd, with a fee significantly higher than usual, over 120,000 times the typical amount. This record-breaking fee for a Bitcoin transaction also highlights the volatile nature of digital currency.
AntPool has temporarily frozen the fee and is requesting the transaction initiator to authenticate their identity using a specific tool and a private key.
This incident echoes a previous situation where Paxos, a cryptocurrency company, inadvertently overpaid $500,000 due to a glitch, which F2Pool, another mining group, eventually reimbursed.
A Bitcoin user under the pseudonym “83_5BTC” alleges they were hacked, leading to the excessive fee. They suspect their wallet was compromised, and a script altered the fee amount. Mononaut, a developer with the Bitcoin monitoring service Mempool, confirmed the claim seems valid, though there are still doubts about whether a hack occurred.
Mononaut speculates the issue might have originated from using a weak, easily guessable wallet type. The transaction was expedited using a special Bitcoin feature, suggesting the possibility of multiple hackers trying to siphon the funds, thereby inflating the fee in their rush to beat other cybercriminals to the transaction.