Imagine paying a monster-sized fee for sending just a small amount of money to another wallet or address. For one Ethereum user, this appears to have been the case not just once, but twice in the past week.
Ethereum Transfer Results in Two Massive Fees
On June 10, a user transferred approximately $130 worth of Ethereum to a new address. This isn’t a huge transaction, and yet the fees for the transfer amounted to more than 10,660 ETH which ultimately means that the user wound up paying more than $2.6 million in fees on such a small amount.
Naturally, it caused mass confusion and concern throughout the cryptocurrency community, some of which felt the fees had to do with some form of crypto crime that was occurring behind closed doors, perhaps money laundering or something similar. Many believed that the fees had occurred on purpose; that the individual transferring the money had made it so that he (or she) could write off all that money without issue.
Others thought that perhaps there was a problem with the money-transferring software the person was using.
Either way, many dismissed the maneuver after a while, figuring it was a one-time thing and that it was probably a fluke that would never be repeated. They couldn’t have been more wrong, as less than a day later, the same event occurred all over again.
The same user – approximately 16 hours later – sent about $87,000 worth of Ethereum to a neighboring address. While this was considerably larger than the first transaction, it still generated a fee worth more than $2.6 million, which is far too heavy for the transaction in question. The same event occurred not once, but twice over the course of a single day, suggesting that the latter suggestion of a glitch in the money software is probably the most probable idea.
Bit Fly – operator of Ether Mine – tweeted out the following:
We believe that this was an accident and in order to resolve the issue, the TX sender should contact us immediately.
Alex Manuskin – blockchain researcher at the Zen Go cryptocurrency wallet – explained in a message that this is likely not the result of a money laundering scheme, but rather a serious problem in the money transfer software the client is using. He wrote:
A possible explanation could be a mix in the bot code between the sent value and the gas price. This sender used to send a transaction every 60 seconds or so, so this did not look like a human operator. Might be some sort of a trading bot, for some exchange, repeating the same operation.
Same Person Falls Victim
In addition, Larry Cermak from The Block states:
This is from the same address with the same exact fee in ETH (10,688.73185). This reinforces the theory of a bug and points to it not being fixed yet.