Yesterday (20.02.2019) a transaction took place on the Ethereumblockchain, for which a whopping 2100 ETH ($310,716) transaction fees were paid. The transaction itself, as well as the horrendous price of gas, amounted to 0.1 ETH which equals ~ $14.44.
At first sight, it seems like a user fault, mistakenly exchanging the transaction fee with the entire value they were trying to transfer. Crypto users usually make errors when transferring crypto to one location to another, infrequently even transferring crypto to the incorrect asset type or wallet address. It’s the cause it is regularly suggested that users should always check the drawing address before tapping send and approving a transaction.
Is this Money Laundering?
An unbelievable disaster may seem right away, but if proceed to examine, unusual things come to light. The sender does not seem to be an ignorant Ethereum user because he has already executed more than 17000 transactions at the time of this unusual transaction. Yes, almost every minute, transactions go away from this account. Not only that, it gets bigger. From this account went out numerous such transactions with tremendous transaction costs. Let’s all sort by block height.
Tx1 Etherscan -> Link Txkosten: 210 Ether (~ 27000 €) Miningpool: Nanopool
Tx2 Etherscan -> Link Txkosten: 420 Ether (~ 54000 €) Miningpool: Nanopool
Tx3 Etherscan -> Link Txkosten: 2100 Ether (~ 270000 €) Miningpool: Sparkpool
Tx4 Etherscan -> Link Txkosten: 420 Ether (~ 54000 €) Miningpool: Ethermine
Can that be a coincidence? Has the user made a mistake? Or was it intentional? Let’s take a look at some possibilities that might have happened.
Option 1: The user is a member of a mining pool. He made the transaction, did not broadcast it, and tries to mine in his blocks. As soon as he finds a block, the mining pool collects the transaction costs. One possible motive would be to cheat the gas price oracle which predicts what the gas price must be for a transaction to catch a certain block. The oracle would show higher values, which would benefit miners.
For this manipulation attempt, the mentioned mining pools would have to hold together and divide up the high transaction costs again. In addition, it is important that they keep the transaction with the horrendous sum for themselves and do not broadcast into the network. Otherwise, they run the risk that another miner will find a block with this transaction and thus the ethers are lost.
Option 2: The participants want to wash money or cover up something. So someone could have diligently made the transaction and the money is then split. The plot would have to proceed technically as in option 1.
Option 3: The station was really so unhappy and has repeatedly made false inputs. It is noticeable that in the transactions the gas price was chosen the same as the transaction amount. Maybe someone has unknowingly entered the same in both fields.
Some speculate that the high amount of fees are being used to launder money in some way. The Twitter account for the decentralized exchange Saturn Network explains how the transaction fees could be used to wash dirty funds so they appear as “honest miner income.”
Whatever the circumstance may be, the wallet is either conducting these transactions on purpose for one cause or another – conceivably to launder money – or is frequently making some notably costly mistakes. One thing is for sure: these transactions were carried with some of the quickest speeds the Etheruem blockchain has seen.
Sparkpool Freezes 2,100 ETH payout
Meanwhile, Sparkpool a crypto mining pool declared that it had suspended a puzzling 2,100 ETH payment it had obtained as block remuneration. What caused the pool questionable was the size of the payout after mining only one block which signifies nearby 600 times the conventional network’s block remuneration. Now the mining pool has announced that it will expect the sender to reach out.
We have temporarily frozen the transaction costs and are waiting for the sender to contact us. If he does not hear anything in the next few days, the fees will be paid to the miners to whom the amount is due.
Xin Xu, CEO of Sparkpool, told CoinDesk that the pool is keeping the funds given the notable sum included and that the firm’s users and miners follow the declaration.
Xu also said that blockchain is so far not entirely controlled by machines; human is still included. So we have a chance to fix the dilemma. Probity is our pool’s preference.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any cryptocurrency. It is not a recommendation to trade. The crypto market is full of surprises and overhyped assets. Do your research before buying anything. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose.
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