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AntPool to refund record $3.1M Bitcoin transaction fee after costly user mistake

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Bitcoin (BTC) mining pool AntPool said it would refund 83 BTC, more than $3 million, an unknown user had paid as gas fees for a transaction, according to a Nov. 30 statement.

On Nov. 23, CryptoSlate Insight reported that BTC block 818,087, mined by AntPool, had seen fees exceeding 85 Bitcoin. Reports later revealed that one user had mistakenly paid 83.6 BTC for a single transaction, setting a new record for a transaction fee on the blockchain network.

In its update, AntPool said its risk control system detected the exorbitant fee during transaction processing, prompting the pool to freeze it temporarily. The pool urged the rightful owner of the funds to contact them before Dec. 10 to verify their identity.

AntPool wrote:

“The risk control system of ANTPOOL temporarily froze the fee when packaging the transaction. Please contact us before 00:00 (UTC+8) on December 10, 2023 and verify personal identity.”

The mining pool requested that the fund owner should prepare a signing tool like Electrum or Bitcoin Core that would be used to sign the message “AntPool” via the private key of the BTC address that sent the transaction.

The fund owner must also send the signed text to the mining pool’s support email address.

Last week, a claimant, identified as 83_5BTC, emerged on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

83_5BTC asserts ownership of the wallet that incurred the substantial transaction fee, saying:

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.”

Concerns were raised about the claim’s authenticity, as it could involve a compromised wallet. However, the claimant signed a message proving the funds belonged to them.

Notable figures within the community, including Mempool pseudonymous developer Mononaut, were able to verify this claim independently.

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