TL;DR when you’re making a large transaction, do NOT mix up the amount and the transaction fee.
An ETH whale just had a very, very bad day. Take a look at this transaction and see if you can figure out what’s wrong with it: https://etherscan.io/tx/0x1f73b43dc9c48cc131a931fac7095de9e5eba0c5184ec0c5c5f1f32efa2a6bab
That’s right. The whale transferred 0.1 ETH, and paid a transaction fee of 2,100 ETH.
Cryptocurrency can be an extremely efficient way of moving value around the world. For example, last year a Bitcoin user moved $194 million of value – 29,999 BTC – with a transaction fee of just $0.10. That episode showcased the true potential of crypto to many people. Even the most efficient services in the traditional financial industry would have cost $7,500 to move $1 million.
But this fat-fingered or distracted Ether user neatly demonstrated what happens when it goes wrong. He paid approximately $309,000 to move $15.
And it wasn’t the only one, either. This was actually one of several transactions with insanely high fees That makes it look more like deliberate malice, or a malfunctioning dApp – or a piece of software designed to move funds around, but that mixes up two variables. The fact that different pools mined the txs suggests it wasn’t an elaborate form of money laundering, as one reddit user claims.
Whatever, someone just lost a lot of money. Potentially a single large holder went from whale to minnow in the time it takes to confirm a few transactions. Alternatively, some crypto project has just burned a good proportion of its ICO reserves. No doubt we’ll find out more soon enough.
What we do know is that a bad day for him was a very, very good day for the miner who got those tx fees
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