Questions Linger on Why Anyone Would Pay $2.6M in Ethereum (ETH) Fees

Ethereum World News
Ethereum World News June 11, 2020
Updated 2020/06/11 at 11:38 AM
3 Min Read


Quick take:

  • Earlier today, 0.55 ETH was transferred for a transaction fee of 10,668.73 ETH. 
  • This translates to approximately $2.6 Million in fees paid for a transaction worth $134. 
  • Although initially seen as a mistake, questions still linger on other possible explanations. 

A transaction on the Ethereum blockchain has crypto enthusiasts scratching their heads as to whether the initiator of the transaction made a mistake, or whether the sender knew what they were doing. The transaction in question involves the transfer of 0.55 ETH for a hefty transaction fee of 10,668 Ethereum. Below is a screenshot of the transaction that can also be tracked via Etherscan.

Investigation in Progress

The team at has responded to the event by stating that they are investigating as to what really led to the sender initiating and approving a transaction with such a high fee. StarkPool focuses on professional mining pool services and the team responded to the event by stating there will be a solution in the end.

We are further investigating the incident of unusually high tx fee, and you are welcome to provide clues to [email protected]. SparkPool has had the experience of handling similar issues properly. There will be a solution in the end.

The mention of experience by StarkPool is in reference to a similar event in March 2019 when an Ethereum user accidentally paid 2,100 ETH in transaction fees by confusing the fields required to send an ETH transaction. The incident was solved with StarkPool refunding 1,050 ETH.

Ethereum’s Vitalik Chimes In

The enormity of the mistake has caught the attention of Ethereum Co-Founder, Vitalik Buterin, who is for the opinion that the transaction was a definite mistake. His comment regarding the event was via the following tweet.

Definitely a mistake.

I’m expecting EIP 1559 to greatly reduce the rate of things like this happening by reducing the need for users to try to set fees manually.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) June 10, 2020

Questions Still Linger on the $2.6M in Ethereum Fees

However, despite Vitalik’s comments that the transaction might have been a mistake, there is the additional possibility that the input was intentional and that the yet-to-be-identified sender, knew what s/he was doing. One plausible theory is that the transaction was what is known as a Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML) transaction. This theory was put forth by @benjaminjwhitby.

Feels like Trade based ML to me.

— Benjamin Whitby (@benjaminjwhitby) June 10, 2020

Best To Wait for StarkPool’s Findings on the ETH Transaction

However, it might be a bit premature to jump to the latter conclusion of Money-laundering. A more prudent approach would be to wait for StarkPool to conclude its investigation on the one-of-a-kind Ethereum transaction.

Sourced by Ethereum World News

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