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Bitcoin User Pays More than $3.1M in Transaction Fees for Single 139 BTC Transfer



Table of Contents

Unraveling the Eighth-Highest Transaction Fee in Bitcoin’s History

  • A Bitcoin user accidentally pays a staggering $3.1 million in transaction fees for a single transfer, marking the eighth-highest fee in Bitcoin’s 14-year history.
  • The Replace-by-Fee (RBF) dynamics and user speculation contribute to this costly mistake, with parallels drawn to previous incidents, including the September Paxos debacle.
  • Insights from a mempool developer shed light on potential refund considerations, leaving the community pondering the implications for the mining pool, Antpool.


In a jaw-dropping incident, a Bitcoin user has managed to rack up an astounding $3.1 million in transaction fees for a single transfer. This eye-watering figure now stands as the eighth-highest transaction fee recorded in Bitcoin’s 14-year history.

Data from mempool show that the user, operating from the BTC wallet address bc1qn3d…wekrnl, initiated a transfer of 139.42 BTC to bc1qyf…km36t4 on November 23. However, what followed was a transaction fee that equaled $3.1 million, leaving the destination address with a mere 55.77 BTC.

The key players in this financial saga include the sender’s wallet address (bc1qn3d…wekrnl), the recipient’s wallet address (bc1qyf…km36t4), and the mining pool responsible for capturing this exorbitant fee—Antpool. The specific block where this record-breaking fee was recorded is Block 818087.

Speculation surrounds the user’s motives, with suggestions of a deliberate choice to opt for such a high transaction fee. Additionally, the Replace-by-Fee (RBF) node policy may have played a role, allowing unconfirmed transactions to be replaced with higher-fee transactions. Compounding the issue, the user may have been unaware of the non-cancelable nature of RBF orders.

Also Read: $9 Million Worth of USDT Seized by US DOJ Tied with “Pig Butchering” Scams

Unpacking the Replace-by-Fee (RBF) Dynamics

The 83.7 BTC transaction’s RBF history reveals a series of replacements, culminating in a 20% fee increase during the final replacement. This additional replacement added a staggering 12.55 BTC to the transaction fees.

Drawing parallels with a September incident involving Paxos, where a $500,000 fee was mistakenly paid for a $2,000 BTC transfer. A comparison with other historical cases underscores the unique nature of the current incident, with the November transaction now holding the dubious distinction of being the largest Bitcoin transaction fee in dollar terms.

Reflecting on Bitcoin’s history, the largest fee paid in Bitcoin terms occurred in 2016 when an accidental transaction sent 291 BTC in fees. The current incident, surpassing even the September mishap, stands out as a testament to the occasional pitfalls users face in the world of cryptocurrency transactions.


Perspectives and Potential Actions

Insights from mononaut, a mempool developer, draw similarities between the current incident and the Paxos case. The potential for Antpool to take action hinges on its payout policies, raising questions about their obligations to share transaction fees with miners and the likelihood of a refund. The unfolding situation leaves room for speculation on how these perspectives will shape the aftermath of this costly mistake.

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