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$2.6 M fee for 0.55 ETH transfer currently frozen by Spark Pool

Someone paid $2.6 million just to transfer 0.55 ether worth around $133 on Wednesday.

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Thu, 11 Jun 2020, 07:11 am UTC

A transaction of just 0.55 ether, valued around $133, is not that remarkable in the cryptocurrency market. But what shocked everyone is the disproportionately large fee of approximately $2.6 million that the mysterious sender paid for the transfer.

The transaction happened just before 10:00 UTC Wednesday when someone sent 0.55 ether, valued $133 at that time, to another wallet, according to Coindesk. But for the transaction, the sender paid a hefty transaction fee of 10,666 ETH, which is equivalent to $2.6 million at the time of the transaction.

The recommended fee for a standard transaction is $0.153, Forbes reported. However, the fee can go as high as $0.2 if a sender wants the transaction to be processed faster. But the $2.6 million fee for a $133 transfer is clearly way beyond the normal range.

According to Ethhub co-founder Anthony Sassano, the unusually high fee might be the result of a mistake or an attempt at money laundering. However, he is leaning towards the first possibility because the fee would go directly to the Ethereum network’s miners.

“It could have been a mistake, some form of money laundering or washing,” Sassano said. “It was mined by SparkPool so they could send that ETH back to the original owner if they wanted to.”

A Mashable article also expressed a similar opinion. Since users of the Ethereum network can set both the amount to be sent as well as the corresponding fee for the transaction, it is possible that the user might have mistakenly reversed the values he entered into the two fields. That is, the user probably planned to send ETH worth $2.6 million and was willing to pay $133 for the transaction.

This wouldn’t be the first time such kind of mistake happened. In February 2019, someone paid 2,100 ETH just to transfer 0.1 of the token. However, the mining pool that received the 2,100 ETH transaction fee only agreed to give back only half of the amount.

In the recent case, the more than 10,000 ETH fee was sent to the Chinese mining group Spark Pool. The group said that it has frozen the payout to member miners at the moment.

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