The irrevocability of blockchain-based transactions is often referred to as one of the essential properties of the technology. On some days, however, the technology’s greatest strength could turn to hurt new users or perhaps punish any careless misuse.
One such transaction was recently spotted on the Ethereum network with a particular user spending 656 ETH (appr. $81,736) in transaction fees to execute a transaction where only 0.00000001 SNX tokens were moved from one address to another.
With that amount of SNX tokens being practically worthless, the earliest guess could be that the transaction itself was a mistake from the sender who perhaps did not understand the input required to execute ERC-20 token transfers.
— 0xcat.eth (@CryptoCatVC) March 13, 2020
Meanwhile, further research shows that the address involved in the transaction may belong to a South Korean crypto exchange, Coinone, with accurate transfers taking place at least four times before the mistaken high-fee transaction a day after.
Some members of Crypto Twitter think that the transaction is fraudulent and could be a case of money laundering in action, but no one can know that for sure.
The wallet at press time held a balance of 172,516 SNX amount to 660.8 ETH, almost 50% of the value lost in the inaccurate transaction.
It would be interesting to note that this isn’t the first time, a cryptocurrency user is paying a ridiculous amount in the network fees for low-value transactions. Last year, Coinfomania reported a transaction on the Litecoin network where the sender paid a ridiculous $17,500 in fees just to transfer $778 worth of LTC.
Evidently, the remedy would be for users to double-check all transfers before authorizing it since the inherent irreversibility of blockchain-based transactions have proven time and again to be a double-edged sword.