A luckless Bitcoin sender seemingly made a costly mistake, paying a record-breaking $3 million in transaction fees for a single transaction.
Blockchain data shows that the Bitcoin sender intended to send 139.42 BTC (worth around $5.1 million), of which 83.64 BTC was gobbled up in transaction fees, leaving the recipient with just 55.77 BTC (around $2 million at today’s prices). The transaction fee is the largest such payment in the history of Bitcoin.
It’s likely that today’s payment was made by mistake: though making a Bitcoin transaction can be costly when the network is busy, fees are not supposed to exceed the amount being sent.
Bitcoin miner AntPool processed the transaction in block 818087, per blockchain data from Bitinfocharts.
Bitinfocharts shows that the current average price to make a transaction on the Bitcoin network stands at $10.51.
This isn’t the first time that someone has fat-fingered a Bitcoin transaction recently; in September crypto firm Paxos paid a $500,000 fee to process a transaction worth just $2,000, though Bitcoin miner F2Pool agreed to refund the overpayment.
Although this incident appears to be a mistake on the part of the sender, Bitcoin transaction fees have shot up this month due to renewed hype surrounding Bitcoin Ordinals. Ordinals, similar to non-fungible tokens, are digital assets inscribed on a satoshi, the lowest denomination of a Bitcoin.
Inscribing Ordinals on the Bitcoin blockchain means more activity on the network, which means it’s busier and therefore more costly to make a transaction.
There are options for those not wanting to pay much when sending or receiving the biggest cryptocurrency—users are able to select lower fees before making a transaction. Though by doing so, they risk waiting around for hours as miners prioritize more lucrative transactions.
And if the fee is too low, miners may completely ignore such transactions and it will never reach its destination.