- Antpool has said that it will refund a user’s accidental record-breaking $3 million transaction fee
- The user mistakenly paid 83.65 BTC ($3.1 million) while transferring 55.77 BTC ($2.1 million), surpassing previous fee records.
- AntPool, the mining pool involved, demands identity verification through a signed message and has given the owner until December 10 to come forward
Bitcoin mining pool Antpool is set to refund a record-breaking $3 million transaction fee, giving the sender until December 10 to make themselves known. The user accidentally paid a fee of 83.65 BTC ($3.1 million) while transferring 55.77 BTC ($2.1 million) last week, surpassing previous fee records. AntPool, which mined the transaction, now requires the user to sign a message using their wallet’s private key and send it for verification. Someone has already come forward to say that they were hacked and blamed a “weird fee calculation” on the huge transaction fee.
Owner Comes Forward?
The bumper transaction fee stunned the Bitcoin world and led to many theories about how it could have happened, from a ‘fat finger’ to money laundering. A Bitcoin user has claimed to be the victim, saying on X how their wallet was hacked and their ₿139 stolen, 83.65 of which was accidentally used as the transaction fee:
It was my BTC that paid the high fee.
I created a new cold wallet, transferred 139BTC to it and it got transferred out to another wallet immediately. 😵
I can only imagine that someone was running a script on that wallet and that the script had a weird fee calculation. ☹️
— Hackers_paid_83.5BTC_fee_with_my_money (@83_5BTC) November 24, 2023
Antpool has agreed to refund the fee to anyone who can cryptographically prove that they are the owner of the private keys associated with the wallet. AntPool temporarily withheld the fee due to its unusual size immediately after it was detected and has asked the original owner of the funds to contact them before December 10 and verify their identity to initiate the refund process.
Private Key Signing Required
To verify ownership, AntPool has instructed the individual to utilize a signing tool such as Electrum or Bitcoin Core and, using the private key associated with the address that initiated the transaction, sign the message “AntPool” and send the signed message to AntPool’s designated support email address. Once identity verification is successfully completed, AntPool will proceed with the refund of the transaction fee.
However, some have pointed out that if the private keys to the wallet were stolen then the hacker could simply rock up and claim that the funds are theirs. It isn’t known if Antpool plans to add any further layers of identity verification, although it’s difficult to see how it could.