In a puzzling incident, a Bitcoin user paid an astonishing transaction fee of $3.1 million for transferring 139.42 BTC, marking the eighth-highest fee in Bitcoin’s history. The user attempted to transfer the BTC from the wallet address “bc1qn3d…wekrnl” to “bc1qyf…km36t4” on November 23 but ended up paying more than half the actual value in transaction fees. The destination address received only 55.77 BTC, while the mining pool Antpool captured the exorbitant fee on block 818087.
The incident suggests that the user might have unintentionally selected an excessively high transaction fee. The replace-by-fee (RBF) node policy and the user’s potential lack of awareness about the non-cancellation of RBF orders also contributed to the situation. RBF allows unconfirmed transactions in the mempool to be replaced with different transactions paying higher fees for quicker approval.
Mempool developer “mononaut” on social media speculated that the user might not have known that RBF orders cannot be canceled and may have repeatedly replaced the fees in an attempt to nullify the transaction. The RBF history shows that the last replacement increased the fee by an additional 20%, adding 12.55 BTC in fees.
This incident follows a similar case in September when Bitcoin exchange platform Paxos accidentally sent a $500,000 transaction fee for a $2,000 BTC transfer. In that instance, the F2Pool miner returned the accidental fee to Paxos.
Despite the similarities, mononaut noted that the possibility of Antpool returning the funds would depend on the mining pool’s payout policies. Antpool has yet to comment on the matter.
This occurrence sets a new record for the largest Bitcoin transaction fee ever paid in dollar terms, surpassing the previous record set by Paxos in September. The incident highlights the importance of user awareness regarding transaction settings and policies to prevent such costly mistakes.
My professional background is in public relations and I am the founder of Cryptochating. My journey into blockchain technology started four years ago, and I haven't looked back since then. The future of decentralized technology is incredibly fascinating to me, and I am passionate about communicating how it will change the world.