Here is an Expensive Mistake!

Does anything about this seem off to you?

Look at the Value vs Txn Fee..

  • 350 Ether was sent from this address to a different wallet.
  • 10 668.73 Ether was paid as the transaction fee.

Wait, I thought you said crypto was a cheap and smart way to move money across borders? Well it is.. but this individual either made a grave mistake, or is up to some fraudulent activities. Lets explore each possibility!

Honest Mistake?

When using certain cryptocurreny wallets, you can define the price you pay for the transaction. This allows you to often define "speed" and how quickly the data gets processed by the network. Generally, the more you pay, the quicker the service you get! However, this individual took to it another level!

It is a possibility that they switched around their balance and fee, it seems like an honest mistake that anyone could make. However, the two mining pools that processed the transaction have come forward and given a grace period: an opportunity to get the funds back..

The First:

The Second:

    Both of these conglomerates have reached out and assured that the user can get their funds back by providing ID via access to the private key. A simple signature and they will get a refund.. but they haven't done that yet.

    Mistake, Intentional, or Bug?

    I think these are the three distinct possibilities here. It could've been a mistake or a bug and the user would likely actively pursue those funds back. However, that has not happened yet - which is interesting.

    The other possibility is that it was intentional. The first potential reason would be for tax evasion purposes. Would allow for a disowning of the assets and remove them from official ownership..Another possibility is money laundering.. One nefarious individual could broadcast a large sum of money via fee to the network, process the transaction themselves, and the funds will have been "cleaned". This strategy would permit access to "locked" funds, for example from an exchange hacking. However, I don't think this is likely because the transaction was broadcaster across two large mining pools, not to one individual.

    Regardless, We Will Probably Never Know..

    Given that the individual in question has not claimed his funds, it does not seem likely that they ever will. This implies that it was on purpose, and there is a larger scheme in play. I defined the two possibilities that I see, but there might be a bigger scheme in play. Do you have any ideas how this could be more complicated than it seems?

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