The incident occurred when a Bitcoin user mistakenly paid an 83 BTC transaction fee. Following this erroneous payment, AntPool temporarily halted its risk control system. AntPool, in a November 30 update, set a deadline for the wallet address owner to verify their identity by December 10, 2023, and requested the user to contact the mining pool.
To facilitate the refund process, the mining company requested the user to prepare a signature tool using the private key of the wallet address associated with the transaction, such as Electrum or Bitcoin Core. The user will sign the message “AntPool” and send the signed text to the provided support email address.
The erroneous transaction resulted in a new record in Bitcoin’s transaction fee metric, reaching $3.1 million. Compared to the transaction fee required for the transfer of 55.77 BTC, the user paid 120,528 times more, with 83 BTC, as reported by Bitcoin blockchain explorer Mempool.
Identity Verification Required for Refund
According to AntPool’s statement, “On November 23, a user sent 83 BTC as a transaction fee. AntPool’s risk control system temporarily froze the transaction fee. Please contact us before 08:00 on December 10, 2023, and verify your personal identity as described below. After identity verification, AntPool will refund the paid transaction fee.”
This incident occurred following a similar erroneous transaction in September, where a user paid a $500,000 transaction fee to transfer only 0.074 BTC. At that time, the mining pool F2Pool became the recipient of the payment as the valid block-producing Bitcoin mining pool, and later returned the transaction fee to crypto service provider Paxos.