Ether mining pool Etherchain has decided to keep the $2.6 million transaction fee that was sent last week as one of two mysterious transactions.
On June 10, an anonymous user paid 10,668 ETH ($2.6M) in gas fees to send just $133 in ether. The same wallet address initiated a similar transaction the following day, paying $2.6M to transfer 350 ETH.
Members of the Ethereum community were perplexed by the series of transactions, with most concluding that the user must have mistakenly input the fee as the amount to be sent.
Yet another “goose egg” transaction, this time on Ethereum. Someone paid $2.5m USD in transaction fees, to send $133. They almost certainly swapped the fee with the amount to send.https://t.co/3Vp8iHTgGP
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) June 10, 2020
Etherchain, who was responsible for mining the second transaction, announced at the time they would be freezing the transaction and attempting to contact the sender.
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
In a subsequent tweet made June 15, the mining pool announced that it had reversed course, and would be distributing the entirety of the $2.6M fee to its miners within the next four days.
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 justified its decision by claiming they had given the unknown sender “sufficient time” to contact them. The company also said “multiple people” had attempted to lay claim to the erroneously sent ether, but were unable to produce a valid signature for the account.
Members of the crypto community pushed back against Bitfly’s decision, with most replies in the comments asking the mining pool to extend its waiting period.
You did the right thing and already waited a bit. Don’t stop now.
At least make it a week or two. 4 days over a long weekend (public holidays in most of Catholic Europe) is not sufficient time in my opinion.
— Lefteris Karapetsas (@LefterisJP) June 15, 2020
I’d honestly wait a month or two if you’re serious about giving it back.
— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) June 15, 2020