Over the past weekend, a Bitcoin (BTC) transaction saw a user incur about $500,000 in fees for a mere $200 transfer, marking a new high in Bitcoin transaction costs.
This transfer, executed on September 10 at 5.10 PM UTC, appears to have come from a seasoned Bitcoin participant. Given their history of over 120,000 transactions, many speculate that it might be an exchange or a Bitcoin payment service.
Data from mempool.space reveals that the user spent nearly 20 BTC (equivalent to about $500,000) as transaction fees, resulting in an overcharge of an astonishing 481,299 times.
For context, the usual transaction fee for Bitcoin hovers between $1 and $2.
Community speculates on reason
The transaction swiftly garnered attention in the Bitcoin community on the social media platform X. Many netizens began speculating about the rationale behind such an exorbitant overpayment.
A section of the community hypothesized it might be tied to a money laundering arrangement with specific mining pool operators. However, this theory was quickly debunked by many who argued that no party could realistically profit from such a massive fee.
Jameson Lopp, the Chief Technology Officer at Casa and a renowned figure in the Bitcoin community, offered what many consider the most plausible explanation. He posited that the transaction might have originated from an automated payment system suffering from a software glitch.
Lopp elaborated on the user’s practices, stating, “They’ve conducted over 60,000 transactions both in and out of the same address, which is not recommended.” He believes they might have miscalculated the change output.
In a subsequent message, Lopp suggested that the sender might still be unaware of their costly error. “Considering the significant amount of funds still in their wallet, which continues to process transactions, they might not have noticed the mistake,” he commented.
The hefty transaction fee was picked up by the prominent Bitcoin mining group, F2Pool, which had mined the block containing this transaction.
F2Pool’s co-founder, Chun Wang, later confirmed that the 20 BTC would be temporarily held for a three-day period. If no claim is made within this timeframe, the sizable fee would then be shared among the miners within the pool.