Ethermine Accepts Mystery $2.5 Million Dollar Ethereum Transaction Fee

Key Takeaways
Ethermine offered to wait for the sender to come forward to correct the high fee error.
The pool has now decided to keep the transaction fees.
The mystery transactions remain unexplained.
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Ethermine, the mining pool that validated the second of the million-dollar Ethereum transactions, has decided to keep the fees after the sender failed to contact the pool.
Mysterious Million-Dollar Ethereum Fee
Last week, two high fee Ether transactions caught the attention of the crypto community.
Sparkpool mined the first transaction on Jun. 10. 0.55 ETH was sent for a cost of around $2.5 million.
Ethermine mined the second transaction on Jun. 11. That was a transaction of 350 ETH for over 10,000 ETH in fees, also around $2.5 million.
Several theories circulated about the cause of the transactions. A simple “fat finger” mistake was ruled out by many as it occurred twice.
Someone just spent $2.6 million in fees to transfer 0.55 ETH. 👀By far the highest fee ever paid. Fat finger or money laundering? (Source: @glassnode)
— Arcane Research (@ArcaneResearch) June 10, 2020
Another theory states that a hacker was blackmailing an exchange. This thesis holds that the malicious agent gained access to a wallet but could only send Ether to whitelisted addresses. The threat, in that scenario, is that the hacker was seeking money in return for ceasing to drain the account through absurdly high fees.
Others speculated that the legitimate wallet owner was sending high fees as a tax evasion measure.
Ethermine Promised to Freeze Fees
Ethermine promised to freeze the payout of fees, assuming the two events were an accident. They asked the sender to contact them.
Today our Ethermine ETH pool mined a transaction with a ~10.000 ETH fee ( 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 immediately!
— Bitfly (@etherchain_org) June 11, 2020
The sender did not respond to the request, as today Ethermine announced that, after waiting four days, they would be disbursing the fees to the miners in their pool.
As the sender of the transaction 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
While Ethermine was criticized for not giving the sender enough time to contact them, if the transactions were a mistake, the sender would have made contact quickly to correct the situation.
That nobody came forward only feeds into the narrative that the action was malicious.
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