Oops… Bitcoin owner pays $76,000 for minuscule payment

An anonymous Bitcoiner made a big mistake at the weekend. It sent a little bitcoin (BTC) for as much as tens of thousands of dollars in transaction costs.

Bitcoin transaction
The transaction can be seen in the blockexplorer (and also on your own node). It concerns a payment of 0.00005 BTC, which with the current price amounts to $1.10. However, the transaction costs for this payment amounted to 3.49 BTC. This in turn equates to over $76,000.

The screenshot below from Blockchain.com does not show which miner or mining pool is the lucky one. It says unknown. On Tokenview, however, a name is linked to the lucky miner who received these fees. They mention BTC.com as the miner of block 662,052.

What has happened?
How can it happen that someone (accidentally) pays so much for a bitcoin transaction?

The most obvious reason may be that the amount of the payment and the fees have been swapped. Possibly the sender wanted to send 3.49 BTC, and wanted to pay $1.10 for this transaction.

It is much less likely that the person wanted BTC.com to get hold of the bitcoin through the mining pool. Theoretically this is possible, but practically this is not plausible.

Reversing the blockchain is virtually impossible. The network is immutable because of the enormous amount of computing power behind it. So it cannot be reversed just like that.

Solution
Has the ‚victim‘ now lost tens of thousands of dollars in bitcoin? For the time being, yes, but there is hope. Now that the mining pool is known, he can contact BTC.com. It has happened before that the mining pool sent (part of) the transaction costs back to the owner. He or she must then prove that he or she actually owns the address where the coins were sent.

Last month another user paid over 2.6 BTC to transfer a payment of 0.01088549 bitcoin. In this case, however, it appeared to be a so-called self-transfer, because the transaction had only one output. Usually, a transaction has several outputs, namely the change of the UTXOs (which accesses a newly generated address of its own) and the actual payment itself.