An unknown Bitcoin (BTC) user made a costly mistake by paying an 83.6 BTC ($3,136,058) transaction fee while moving his coins on Thursday. This marks the largest transaction fee ever recorded on the network in dollar terms. The total size of the transaction was 139 BTC ($5,198,720.84), but only 55.7 BTC actually reached the recipient.
The transaction was sent from wallet address “bc1qn3d…wekrnl” to address “bc1qyf…km36t4” on November 23, at Bitcoin block 818087. The fee was overpaid by a factor of 119,980x, based on the block’s 141/sat/vb cost at the time.
On Bitcoin, users can voluntarily attach a fee to their transactions to ensure faster processing. Miners are incentivized to include these transactions within the block’s limited storage space, as they earn the attached fee as a reward. Bitcoin also includes a feature called “replace by fee” (RBF), which allows senders to replace an unconfirmed transaction with a higher fee attached.
According to mempool developer @mononautical on X, the sender may not have known that RBF orders cannot be canceled and repeatedly tried to cancel the transaction with higher fees. The transaction’s RBF history shows that the last replacement attempt added another 20% to the transaction fee, resulting in unnecessary costs of 12.54 BTC.
Though the sender and recipient remain unknown, the winner of the block’s fee was Antpool, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pools based in Asia. Antpool usually averages 1.6 BTC in transaction fees per block. In normal circumstances, mining pool operators split profits from block rewards and fees between themselves and their miners.
However, in a similar case involving a large accidental fee sent by Paxos in September, F2Pool graciously returned the fee. It is expected that Antpool will also return the fee once contacted by the transactor.
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