Most expensive transaction in Ethereum Blockchain history??

When you work with blockchain data as much as we do, you start to understand what you should and shouldn’t expect to see. Every once in a while we’ll discover something baffling — and today one such thing did occur.


Everyday we analyze Ethereum blockchain data over the last 24 hours and post those on social media. It highlights important statistics and helps gauge the activity on the blockchain.

So today like everyday we ran the queries, however, this is what we saw:

You’ll notice that the average gas price is 266.39 Gwei and it shot up by 1757%!?

At first, I thought there might be a problem with the query so I double checked. Nope.

We keeps tabs on anything out of the ordinary that occurs on the blockchain. We noticed something peculiar that our anomaly detector had picked up so I went to our transaction page to see if I could corroborate my findings:

Bingo.

What you are seeing is an average gas price of 70,024.51 Gwei in a five minute period. Now if you’re like me you are probably thinking, what kind of transaction could have possibly caused that dramatic of an increase. So I dug further.

We ran a query…

Get all past transactions where the gas price is over 10,00,000 Gwei

And this is what it returned:

Every transaction was from the same address: 0x587ecf…57516e.

So over the course of 4 hours they spent over half a million dollars in transaction fees, $583,976.40 to be exact.

The transaction in the 4th row is the largest transaction fee ever recorded on the Ethereum Blockchain.

What’s more interesting is notice the Amount and the Gas Price

They are identical.

Our team has their theories as to what might have occured. At first we thought, Money Laundering. But then checked to see which miners actually received the transaction fee and found that the fee went to different mining pools — SparkPool got the 2,100 Eth transaction, Nanopool landed 3 and Ethermine 1. The next possible explanation seemed to be a bot gone haywire. The developer must have confused gas price with the transaction value, walked away and then didn’t realise the mistake until it was to late.

Something like:

value=howMuchIWantToSend
gasPrice=getGasPrice()
send(address, value=value, gasPrice=value)

For example.

Very very bad luck.

However, it really highlights the benefits of having all of this blockchain data at your fingertips, as well as, the helpful data visualizations on our dashboards.

In addition, every query used to acquire this data will soon be available on Amberdata. Then you’ll be able to discover anomalies and interesting blockchain happenings yourself! Stay tuned.