Antpool to Refund 83 BTC Erroneously Paid as Gas Fee to User

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Pixabay / Michael Wuensch

Antpool has announced steps to give back 83 Bitcoin (BTC) paid in error as a transaction fee to the user days after the incident. 

Blockchain security firm, PeckShield posted an update from Antpool on X (formerly Twitter) on the 83 BTC gas fee which sparked diverse reactions across cryptocurrency circles.

The mining pool stated that it would refund the fee demanding the affected user to contact them while fulfilling certain requirements to determine ownership of the asset.

Dear users, on November 23rd, some user submitted 83 BTC as gas fee. The risk control system of Antpool temporarily froze the fee when packaging the transaction. Please contact us before 00:00 (UTC+8) on December 10 2023 and verify personal identity in the following way. After verification, Antpool will refund the fee.” 

According to the update, the steps to be followed include the preparation of a signing tool which could be Bitcoin Core or Electrum after which the affected user is expected to use the private key of the wallet to sign a message “Antpool” and then forward signed text to the customer support; [email protected]

$3.1 million in transaction fees 

On Nov 23, the crypto ecosystem was hit with the news of a Bitvoiner who spent 83 BTC approximately $3.1 million on transfer fees. The user was making a transfer of 139 BTC and parted away with 83 BTC leaving the recipient with 55.77 BTC. 

Antpool mined the specific block and has now released new information on the return process. At the time the whole community and experts shared their opinion on the issue that led to one of the highest transaction fees.

Initial analysts pointed to the replace-by-fee feature which allows transactions in the mempool to be replaced by another for a higher fee. 

Developer Mononaut posted on X that the affected may not have known that orders cannot be canceled and might have made those transactions with hopes of cancellation.

Antpool follows precedents 

When such mistakes occur, the mining pool usually refunds the user if possible although in some cases, the users were only able to recover 50% of assets. In September, Paxos paid a $500,000 transaction fee to move 2,000 worth of assets.

Days later, the miner who received the fee announced the return to the company although many users joked that the assets should be shared among the community. 

A user claimed to be the victim of the 83 BTC transfer fee claiming a hack resulted in the expensive gas fee. 

It was my BTC that paid the high fee. I created a new cold wallet, transferred 139BTC to it and it got transferred out to another wallet immediately. I can only imagine that someone was running a script on that wallet and that the script had a weird fee calculation.”