Ethereum Transaction Fee Mystery Just Got More Mysterious (UPDATED)
Yet another abnormal ether transaction occurred on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain for the third time. Now, someone transferred ETH 3,221 (USD 762,990) with a somewhat lower transaction fee of ETH 2,310 (USD 544,028). In total, USD 5.7 million were spent on Ethereum transaction fees via three transactions during the past few days, and some industry firms and analysts claim that someone is trying to send a message. (Updated at 15:28 UTC: the first paragraph has been updated, a new section - Could it be a blackmail attempt? - at the end of the article has been added
The third transaction occurred on the block 10247265, on June 11, 12:14 PM UTC time. Similar transactions with abnormally high fees (more than USD 2.5 million each) also happened yesterday (June 11th) and the day before yesterday (June 10th). This time, the transaction was not sent from the same address and originated from a wallet that had the “MiningPoolHub: Old Address 7” tag. It was mined by the f2pool, who said they are investigating the transaction and are in communication with the sender.
Today our ETH pool mined a transaction with a 2,310 ETH fee (https://t.co/mgcS1syB2m).— f2pool (@f2pool_official) June 12, 2020
We are currently investigating the transaction and in communication with the sender.
The regularity of transactions has prompted intriguing speculations about what they could possibly mean, with many crypto commentators claiming that it could be a hack, money laundering attempt, or a mere mistake.
For example, crypto analyst and founding partner at Primitive Ventures, Dovey Wan, stated that the transactions look increasingly more like a message from an attacker rather than a mistake.
WOW another abnormal ETH transaction with over 2K ETH fee just emerged, following the previous two incidences each with over 10K ETH fee— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) June 12, 2020
This to me is NOT a bug, more like a MESSAGE. A whild guess us certain exchange/wallet/ETH services is being “kidnapped” by hacker (explain👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/gZSL7V5AoM
Others are saying that the Mining Pool Hub address has been hacked, and the transfer is not related to the previous two instances.
It looks like this tx with a high fee is not related to the previous ones and this is just a coincidence.— Frank Topbottom (@FrankResearcher) June 12, 2020
In any case, I think that @f2pool_official will refund ETH to @MiningPoolHub that the hacker spent on fee.
Could it be a blackmail attempt?
Another interpretation has it that these high fees are "gas price ransomware attacks," claim China-based blockchain analytics company PeckShield, as reported by Chainnews.
The researchers state that it is highly likely that the hackers have obtained access to unknown crypto exchange's funds that are protected with multi-signatures and can only withdraw them to whitelisted wallets. As such, they are performing transactions with extra high fees and will not stop until the exchange meets their demands. Nevertheless, this analysis applies to the first two transactions only, and it remains unclear whether the third high fee transaction is related to the first two or not.
@econoar @decryptmedia Since we are in speculative territory, here's a wild guess: maybe the account is a server wi… https://t.co/Q2A4rS5IFu— weijie.eth (@weijie_eth)