- The Ethereum mining pool that received a 10,668 ETH transaction fee will distribute it amongst it members
- The bounty, worth $2.6 million at the time, has not been claimed by the sender
- Transaction likely sent by criminal faction given the lack of a claim
Ethermine, the Ethereum mining pool that was the recipient of a $2.6 million transaction fee posted on the Ethereum network last week, has announced that it is to divide the bounty between its members after the owner failed to come forward and claim the 10,668 ETH. Four days after offering to return the bounty, the operator will split the fee between the miners as if it was any other transaction fee.
Ethereum Mining Operator Bitfly Closes the Window
Bitfly, the operator behind the Ethermine Ethereum mining pool, tweeted on the day of the 10,668 ETH transaction that it would send the funds back to the rightful owner if they claimed within four days:
Today our Ethermine ETH pool mined a transaction with a ~10.000 ETH fee (https://t.co/B5gRWOrcPf). We believe that this was an accident and in order to resolve this issue the tx sender should contact us at via DM or our support portal at https://t.co/JgwX4tGYr4 immediately! pic.twitter.com/sWxVRx5muv
— Bitfly (@etherchain_org) June 11, 2020
However, with the deadline now elapsed, the ETH will be split between the Ethereum mining pool members:
As the sender of the transaction https://t.co/h21A2Th4fw has not contacted us after 4 days we have made the final decision to distribute the tx fee to the miners of our pool. Given the amount involved we believe 4 days is sufficient time for the sender to get in touch with us.
— Bitfly (@etherchain_org) June 15, 2020
Bitfly said that none of the applicants to the fortune was able to produce a valid signature of the sending account (*cough* Craig Wright *cough*), and that in the future it would stick to its policy of automatically distributing the mining rewards between members, regardless of the size.
10,668 ETH Likely Proceeds of Crime
The 10,668 ETH transaction fee, one of three large fees sent to Ethereum mining pools last week, caused much conversation within the cryptocurrency community. The first fee was thought to have been a very expensive fat finger, before the discovery of two more threw the conversation in a different direction, with a range of suggestions suddenly emerging, including a cryptocurrency exchange’s withdrawal fee mechanism going haywire.
It didn’t take long however for thoughts to turn to darker alternatives, with money laundering and blackmail/ransomware payments being considered as options. The fact that no one has stepped forward to reclaim what is a pretty large chunk of ETH suggests that it may well have come from a criminal operation who don’t want to put their heads above the parapet and contact the Ethereum mining pool to claim ownership.
If this is the case then we can at least chalk this up as a win for the little guy over the hackers, and long may it continue.