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New Transaction With $539K Fee Spotted on Ethereum Blockchain. Hack or Money Laundering?

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Fri, 06/12/2020 - 08:05
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Alex Dovbnya
A $539K fee was paid on the Ethereum network by an alleged hacker after two similar transactions
New Transaction With $539K Fee Spotted on Ethereum Blockchain. Hack or Money Laundering?
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One more abnormal transaction was recorded on the Ethereum blockchain on June 11, according to Etherscan.

The sender paid a fat gas fee of $538,876 that almost matched the value of the transfer itself ($751,545).

Ethereum3
image by @DoveyWan

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Two strange transactions  

As reported by U.Today, someone shelled out an eye-popping $2.6 million in fees to send just $133 worth of Ethereum on June 10.

Most analysts dismissed it as a costly human error, but there were also speculations that it was a complicated money laundering scheme.          

Notably, the user behind that mysterious transaction would usually have paid only 60 gwei in gas fees (instead of 500 million gwei).   

The following day, the second transfer with a 10,000 ETH fee linked to the same originating wallet was spotted by Bitfly.  

Bitfy
image by @etherchain_org

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This one could be a hack

The most recent transfer is not related to the previous two instances, which makes this standalone case even more puzzling for the cryptocurrency community. 

Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures suggested that the six-figure fee wasn’t a bug but rather a ‘message’ from a hacker.

Wan
image by @DoveyWan

Wan presumes someone is holding an exchange, wallet, or some Ethereum-related service hostage.

The most likely scenario is that a MiningPoolHub address has been compromised, given that it was tagged on Etherscan.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.