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Bitcoin Mining Giant AntPool to Refund Record $3M Transaction Fee, Seeks Claimant Identity

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • AntPool agrees to refund a record $3M fee, requiring the owner's identity confirmation by December 10.
  • User '83_5BTC' claims the $3.1M fee was due to a wallet hack; identity verification is still uncertain.
  • In September 2023, Paxos resolved a 20 BTC fee error, sparking discussions in the crypto community.
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Bitcoin mining pool AntPool has made headlines by agreeing to refund a record $3 million transaction fee. This decision, however, comes with a stipulation: the owner must verify their identity before December 10, 2023.

This decision follows the accidental payment of a staggering 83.65 BTC ($3.1 million) fee. The user who made the error was trying to send a transaction of 55.77 BTC.

AntPool Offers to Return $3M Bitcoin Fee Mistake

The incident, involving the transfer of funds in block 818,087, marks a new record for the largest fee in US dollars for a single Bitcoin transaction.

Bitcoin block explorer shows $3.1 million fee paid by sender. Source: Mempool.Space
Bitcoin block explorer shows $3.1 million fee paid by sender. Source: Mempool.Space

The situation took a twist when a user named “83_5BTC” claimed to be the victim of this exorbitant fee. They alleged it was due to a hack of their wallet.

After transferring 139 BTC to a new cold wallet, the funds were swiftly moved. This raises questions about the legitimacy of the claim and the possibility of the attacker using the compromised wallet to sign the ownership proof.

This complexity has put AntPool’s risk control system to the test leading to the temporary freezing of the fee and the call for identity verification using tools like Electrum or Bitcoin Core.

AntPool instructions for user to claim 83 BTC transaction fee. Source: AntPool
AntPool instructions for user to claim 83 BTC transaction fee. Source: AntPool

Becoming a Common Occurance

This incident is not an isolated one either. In September, Paxos, a crypto services provider, was responsible for a 20 BTC transaction fee.

At the time, a Paxos spokesperson confirmed the overpayment, attributing it to a bug on a single transfer. This “fat finger” mistake has since been rectified.

The incident sparked widespread discussion in the crypto community, leading to a poll by F2Pool co-founder Chun Wang. He expressed regret over agreeing to refund the fee. This sentiment was also echoed by Cosmos developer “chjango.cosmos,” who suggested a 50/50 split between Paxos and the network miners.

All in all, these cases underscore the delicate nature of and the attention to detail required in making cryptocurrency transactions.

Read more: What Are Multisig Wallets and How Do They Work?

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Kyle Baird
Kyle migrated from the East Coast USA to South-East Asia after graduating from Pennsylvania's East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2010. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kyle got his start buying stocks and precious metals in his teens. This sparked his interest in learning and writing about cryptocurrencies. He started as a copywriter for Bitcoinist in 2016 before taking on an editor's role at BeInCrypto at the beginning of 2018.