Prominent Bitcoin mining pool AntPool has committed to refunding a record $3 million transaction fee, contingent on verification of the original owner’s identity.
AntPool, a major player in Bitcoin mining, plans to return a massive $3 million transaction fee, but only if the real owner can prove their identity. This situation involves a huge fee of 83.65 BTC (about $3.1 million) just to move 55.77 BTC (close to $2.1 million).
The transaction happened on Nov. 23rd, with a fee much larger than normal, over 120,000 times what it should have been. The transaction didn’t just break records for the cost of a Bitcoin transaction, but also showed how circumstances can quickly turn with digital currency.
AntPool put a hold on the fee and is now asking the person who sent the transaction to prove who they are with a special tool and a private key.
This event is similar to when Paxos, a company that works with crypto, accidentally paid $500,000 in excess due to an error. F2Pool, the mining group involved, eventually returned the funds.
Bitcoin user, “83_5BTC”, claims they were hacked, leading to the enormous fee. The anonymous user believes the wallet was broken into, and the high fee resulted from a script that altered the fee amount. Mononaut, a developer for the Bitcoin tracker Mempool, verified the claim and reported it appeared legitimate, but doubts remain as to whether a hack took place.
Mononaut theorizes the problem may stem from utilizing a weak, easy-to-guess type of wallet. The transaction was also made faster using a special Bitcoin (BTC) feature, which could mean several hackers were trying to steal the money, pushing the fee up as they attempted to extract the funds before another cybercriminal could finalize the transaction.